July 6th, 2008

“Awake, O sleeper,

and arise from the dead,

and Christ will shine on you”

(Ephesians 5:14)

It is plain from the quotation of Ephesians 5:14 that Paul is drawing from the Old Testament theme of personal awakening, among the Lord’s people.  This theme is especially represented in Isaiah.  Isaiah 51:9 reads-“Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake, as in the days of old, the generations of long ago…” Isaiah 51:17 reads, “Wake yourself, wake yourself, stand up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the Lord the cup of his wrath…” Isaiah 52:1-2 says-“Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion…Shake yourself from the dust and arise; be seated, O Jerusalem; loose the bonds from your neck, O captive daughter of Zion…” Isaiah 26:19 is also to be studied in this vein-“Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise.  You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy!”

“Church History” speaks of “Four Great Awakenings in American History;” the essential characteristic of which is a definite rise in religious interest.

1.    1730s-40s          3.    1880-1900

2.    1800 -1830        4.    1960-1970

May your own life be awakened to the love of God in Christ and the Holy Spirit (Romans 13:11)!  Paul had much more in mind than L-dopa.

-Robert M. Housby