Stand Up, Sit Down
“Shake yourself from the dust, arise; sit down, O Jerusalem! Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion!” – Isaiah 52 v 2
What a beautiful Scripture, made however slightly confusing by the two commands given to Jerusalem that appear on the surface to contradict one another. First the city of Zion is told to “arise” – to get up, stand up, rise to its feet, to take action, to adopt an aggressive stance – a simple enough instruction. Such is immediately followed by a command to do the complete opposite, to “sit down” – to take a seat, relax, take the weight off, to rest and recoup, to adopt a passive stance. Is God confused? Certainly not! When seen in the context of salvation, such makes perfect sense.
You see, salvation is a combination of work and rest. Work? Surely we are saved by faith and not by works? Yes, you are right! However, to receive salvation still requires that we take a positive step from our side in the form of our faith. To believe in the sin-destroying power of the blood of Christ, is nothing short of an act – an act of faith. Such can be likened to the command to “rise up” in the above verse, to make a conscious decision to believe, to leap into the arms of God. This action leads to the “sit down” phase, the spiritual rest and peace that accompanies being reconciled with ones Maker, no longer fearful of death, unaffected by eternal circumstances, calmed by the love and joy that overflows within. As we read in Hebrews 4 v 3 – “For we who have believed do enter that rest…”.
And so: ARISE, and then SIT DOWN. BELIEVE, and then REST. Arise and believe. Sit down and rest. What a glorious salvation we can enjoy! Such is so undeniably simple, and yet superbly profound.