“The Lord has made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.”
Isaiah wrote this of the Lord In Is 52:10 of the restoration of Jerusalem.
Earlier in the chapter He called to them saying,
Clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion;
Clothe yourself in your beautiful garments,
O Jerusalem, the holy city;
For the uncircumcised and the unclean
Will no longer come into you.
Shake yourself from the dust, rise up,
O captive Jerusalem;
Loose yourself from the chains around your neck,
O captive daughter of Zion.
He was calling for His people to awake and arise and go forth out of their captivity and back to Jerusalem, the city of the great King! He was announcing peace and good news and salvation to them. Even though it was their disobedience that got them where they were, here is God calling them out, calling them forth from their bonds and oppression and back to their rightful place in the world and in Him. He declares that HE has redeemed them back to Himself.
And who would dare to try to stop them? No one because the Lord Himself has bared His holy arm in the eyes of all nations!
We’ve all seen it. What do people do when they want to show you how strong they are? They roll up their sleeve and flex their bicep so that you can see and fear their strength. That is the picture I get when I read v10. I see the Lord Himself rolling up His sleeve and flexing His holy right arm as He looks into the faces of our enemies as if He is just daring them to try to hurt one of us. He goes further and tells Israel that it is He that goes before them clearing the way AND He will be their rear guard just in case their enemies get stupid and arrogant and think that they can sneak up and recapture them. The Lord seeks to show Himself strong to His people AND to His enemies because it glorifies Him.
I take comfort in this passage of scripture. The Lord has not changed. He is still calling His people forth out of the bondages and things of this world that hold us captive. He has already proclaimed and provided peace, good news and salvation through the precious death and resurrection of His Son.
And when the enemy looms large over us, when we feel overwhelmed and overcome, the Lord is stepping in, rolling up His sleeve, barring that Holy right arm, flexing that spiritual muscle and looking that enemy right in the eye just daring it to try something with us. This is part of our heritage in Christ. “No weapon formed against us will prosper. This is the heritage of the servants of God.” Is 54:17 When I take time to capture my thoughts and my fears and I remember that the Lord is all around me with His sleeve rolled up and His mighty arm flexed, there is peace even if the circumstances have not changed because I know that “the Lord is accomplishing all that concerns me.” Psalm 138:8 He did not forsake Israel then. He will not forsake me now.
Thank you Lord for the victory we have in Christ. Thank you that we have victory in every day and in every situation because you go before us and fight for us and you protect us from behind. We lose no ground because you are our rear guard! May my life be a testament of this so that all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God in my life!