For the moth will devour them as it devours clothing. The worm will eat at them as it eats wool. But my righteousness will last forever. My salvation will continue from generation to generation.” Wake up, wake up, O Lord! Clothe yourself with strength! Flex your mighty right arm! Rouse yourself as in the days of old when you slew Egypt, the dragon of the Nile. Are you not the same today, the one who dried up the sea, making a path of escape through the depths so that your people could cross over? Isaiah 51:8-10 NLT
J. S, Bach’s cantata “Sleepers Awake” was based upon a hymn written by a German pastor, Philipp Nicolai. Pastor Nicolai experienced the plague in 1597 were more than 1,400 people died. He was surrounded by death yet he looked beyond his surroundings. He reminded himself with the gospel’s transcendent message of hope. Bach developed this hymn and composed a cantata out of it that includes songs of hope, even joy, in times of suffering. When we are deep in suffering, we feel like telling God to wake up from His slumber. Yet, it is us who should be awakened. This is Isaiah’s message to God’s people where He reminded them that God’s strength is always fresh and His love never fails. God is not offended when at times we pray with boldness asking Him to act immediately removing the obstacles in life. But God had built-in waiting in our disposition to help us grow in our dependence upon Him. Isaiah reminded the Israelites that God led them out of Egypt to help them realized that God was with them during their bondage and eventual freedom. We have to be awakened because the demonic powers are waging wars with the intent to destroy the believers and their testimonies. “Clothe yourself with strength! Flex your mighty right arm!” We cannot doze off or shrug-off the existence of demonic involvement in the world. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10-11). Trust God for He promised that in this struggle, we will have our victory. God is “the same today, the one who dried up the sea, making a path of escape through the depths so that your people could cross over” (Isaiah 51:10). When we are asleep, God is awake.