Isaiah 52:7 gives us the basic message the church must embrace. “How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’”
The Old Testament context is the Babylonian captivity and Israel’s release from captivity. “Shake yourself from the dust, rise up, O captive Jerusalem; Loose yourself from the chains around your neck, O captive daughter of Zion. For thus says the LORD, ‘You were sold for nothing and you will be redeemed without money’” (Isaiah 52:2-3). Isaiah looks ahead and sees Israel in captivity. He also sees Israel’s redemption. All this is possible because “God is King.” And so the message to Israel is, “Depart, depart, go out from there, Touch nothing unclean; Go out of the midst of her, purify yourselves, You who carry the vessels of the LORD” (Isaiah 52:11). Leave Babylon. Separate yourselves from her idolatry and paganism. Return to your land. The vessels mentioned are all the implements used in the temple for sacrifices and worship. The people must return home, rebuild the temple, and reestablish the true worship of God.
The New Testament context of Isaiah 52:7 is Romans 10. Verse 9 declares, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Confessing “Jesus is Lord” is the New Testament counterpart to “Your God reigns.” Paul insists on the proclamation of this message. “For WHOEVER WILL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED” (Joel 2:23, Romans 10:13). In context, the Lord is Jesus Christ. He is King. And so Paul asks a series of questions. “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, ‘HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS’” (Romans 10:14-15). What is the Good News? Your God reigns. Jesus Christ is Lord.
Going back to Isaiah, we see the beautiful messenger declares the Kingship of Christ to the people of God, to the church. “How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news…And says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” Here Zion represents the church. In commenting on this text, Calvin says, “And let us remember that this message is sent to the Church; for it cannot apply to heathens that know not God.”
The church needs to hear the message, “Your God reigns.” The church needs to be reminded, “Jesus Christ is Lord.” Men and women, young people and children often come to worship torn by the trials, burdens, and challenges of life. We suffer weakness, disease, pressure, abuse, and heart wrenching loss. What brings order out of this seeming chaos? Knowing our God, the God whom we gladly serve, reigns supreme. We know that we are not in control of economic, political, and social forces. But Jesus Christ is King. He is working out His plans and purposes. He is in control of every molecule of the universe. He insures everything happening in His world and in His church falls out for the good of His people (Romans 8:28). Pray that the message of God’s rule and reign, the message of Christ’s Kingship, will pervade our church, the Reformed Presbyterian Church.