When I worked in the area of childcare, I remember how we would walk with the children. There would always be an adult leading the way and there would always be an adult at the end of the line. Having an adult at the front of the line would not only provide leadership but also protection. The leading adult could be sure to watch out for danger lurking ahead. The adult at the back of the line had the job of making sure all the children were in the line and no one was left behind. The adult in the back also provided protection for the children because he or she had a different perspective.
Isaiah wrote that the Lord went ahead of the people and that the Lord protected the people from behind. There was protection all around, almost as if the people were in a giant protective bubble. But this bubble is real. God goes before us and he goes behind us. We are always under his protection.
Knowing that the Lord is with us always, that he is always before us and behind us and with us, can help us all to press forward with confidence. We can walk in faith, knowing that he is in control and that we are always under his protection.
“You will not leave in a hurry, running for your lives. For the LORD will go ahead of you; yes, the God of Israel will protect you from behind.” – Isaiah 52:12 [NLT]
Do you have different clothing you wear to different places? Perhaps you have “work clothes” or a work uniform to wear when on the job. Maybe you have gym clothing to use when working out. I even have “laundry clothing,” which is clothing I wear when doing the laundry.
In Isaiah 52, it speaks about putting on “beautiful clothes.” There is the command to “clothe yourself with strength” and to “put on your beautiful clothes.” So how do you clothe yourself with strength? It’s more than just eating your whole grain cereal in the morning. And what exactly are beautiful clothes?
Strength—clothing yourself with the armor of God. Your strength comes from Christ. Beautiful clothes—clothing yourself with holy, royal garments. Remember you are a child of God. Remember you are the bride of Christ. Today when you walk out the door, be sure to clothe yourself with strength and wear your beautiful clothes.
“Wake up, wake up, O Zion! Clothe yourself with strength. Put on your beautiful clothes, O holy city of Jerusalem, for unclean and godless people will enter your gates no longer.” – Isaiah 52:1 [NLT]