Thursday, May 14, 2015
Get Out Of Depression
“Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out. There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up. These two things are come unto thee; who shall be sorry for thee? desolation, and destruction, and the famine, and the sword: by whom shall I comfort thee? Thy sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild bull in a net: they are full of the fury of the LORD, the rebuke of thy God.” (Isaiah 51:17-20)
Jerusalem has experienced God’s anger. They have felt the extremes of fear and hopelessness and have no guide to show them how to escape their situation, or even anybody who can give them a sense of hope. They feel deserted and fear they will be destroyed because of the famine and attacks by other groups. They have come to same point of despair as a wild animal caught in a trap, angry and resentful but helpless in the hands of its captors and dreading what God may do to them.
“Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine: Thus saith thy Lord the LORD, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again: But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.” (Isaiah 51:21-23)
Drunks are so affected by the liquor they have difficulty controlling their actions and thoughts. Jerusalem had a similar problem because of their emotional despair and fear. Like the captor of the wild animal, God has relieved the pressure on them and will take it completely away so they never have to feel that pressure again when they yield to him. Instead he will turn the things they hate against those who inflict the pain and suffering on them. They will no longer have to allow others to order them around and run over them.
“Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money. For thus saith the Lord GOD, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed. Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I.” (Isaiah 52:1-6)
A person or animal that is depressed tends to let everything go and not care about how they appear. The action of grooming themselves indicates a change in focus, but it also tends to overcome the depression. Jerusalem needs to quit focusing on their problems and begin to focus on making things right. Like a person who begins to drink and gamble as a way of gaining friends and popularity, Jerusalem had devoted their energies to things that would not produce lasting benefits. They had turned to Egypt for help, submitting to the Egyptian demands for protection from the Assyrians, but the Egyptians had not protected them, and the Assyrians had surrounded them, cutting off most of their supplies.
There was no reason for Jerusalem to be in such a state, but the leaders had focused their attention away from God, blaspheming His name by implying he was unable to protect them. God’s purpose is that his people will know who he is and that he can be trusted to keep his word.
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The LORD hath 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 52:7-10)
There was great rejoicing when the end of World War II was announced because it meant there would no longer be a demand for young men to sacrifice themselves on the battle field, or for families to go without to help the war effort. In the same way there was a wonderful feeling to know that God was the ruler of the universe and that he was going to build Jerusalem again. The guards who had watched would sing and shout with excitement that God was comforting his people and they were no longer in fear. The whole world would see the power of God, and the salvation he offered.
“Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD. For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.” (Isaiah 52:11-12)
God’s people should withdraw themselves from the world and not get involved in the things around them. Instead, they should get their act cleaned up because they would not be forcibly driven out, but led out by God as they had been when they left Egypt. He would be all the reward they needed, providing everything else for them.