Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old…
Christ is here called the arm of the Lord. The arm of the Lord means God in action. The grand purposes of redemption, conceived in eternity, were dead thought, if lawful so to speak, in the mind of God, until they were revealed in Christ, the executor of the thoughts of the Godhead. Christ was ever called the Logos, the expression of Divinity. When the hand is spoken of in the Bible, it means the exact working of God in nature, providence and grace. The arm is that which sends the hand into action. "The outstretched arm" is the far-reaching power of God. By the right hand or arm of God we are to understand a more special and dazzling display of God's power. In all instances the hand or arm of God means Christ. The prophet appeals to the past, "Awake, as in the ancient days," etc. In the context he looks to the future and catches glimpses of the glory of the Advent, and he cries, It is the arm of God! The text is an invocation for Christ to come in the Advent. This arm of God is the revelation —
I. OF GOD'S GLORY.
II. OF HIS SAVING POWER. It is an arm that can reach everywhere. There is no height so high or depth so deep as to be beyond its reach to save.
III. A UNIVERSAL REVELATION OF GOD. It means the revealing of God in creation, in providence, in redemption, in the family in the closet, in the soul, in death, at the judgment, in eternity, where it will secure the eternal triumph of those whose faith will then merge into sight. Conclusion:
1. What are your relations to this arm of God? Has it been to you only an object of wonder as the bow in the clouds, or has it been an arm bared to the shoulder, entwined about you, filled with a vitality which it imparted to you as it defended and lifted you?
2. Have you thought what this arm hath wrought for you? How it suffered itself to De shorn of its strength that you might be strong!
3. Have you not thought of the final triumph of that arm?
(N. Schenck, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?