Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. ~Isaiah 52:2
It is amazing how dusty things around the house can get if we do not regularly vacuum, sweep, and dust. Books we have placed on the bookshelf can especially collect dust. I have had more than one occasion of getting my clothes very dusty after I’ve taken books from off of the bookshelf . When you get dust on you, there is one thing to do: shake it off! The people of Jerusalem were making a spiritual turn around back to God. Among the many things God told them to do was to “shake thyself from the dust.” There’s a great message for us in this command.
We must shake off the dust of defeat.
When we face adversity or get knocked down by a problem, we feel like we have been knocked off our feet and on our back. Paul faced this situation in Acts 14:19-20 when the Jews who opposed him manhandled him by taking him out of the city and stoning him. Paul was knocked down on the ground, severely injured, bleeding, and presumed dead. However, as the disciples stood around him, he rose up. He got up, shook off the dust, and went right back into the city to preach the gospel. There will be times when we will face the humiliation of defeat: be courageous, get up, shake off the dust, and get right back to what you were doing before.
We must shake off the dust of dormancy.
Things left in the same place for a long time will collect dust. Dormancy is when there has been long uselessness. A Bible that has been left on a table or shelf for a long time needs the dust shaken off and to be read again every day. A life that has been idle and slothful has long lost its potency and effectiveness. It is time to get up, shake off the dust, and put our lives back to service and usefulness for God. When John Mark left Paul, he became inactive for the Lord. Years later, Paul wrote to Timothy to “take Mark: for he is profitable for me for the ministry.” John Mark made a decision to turn from his dormancy when he shook off the dust and got back to serving God.
We must shake off the dust of defilement.
The prophet Haggai addressed the priests who were serving God about being acceptable before God when they served him. “Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean. Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the Lord; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean” (Haggai 2:13-14). Contact with a dead body made the priests unclean and unfit to serve the Lord. When we handle things that have a lot of dust or dirt, our hands get dirty. There is no way of avoiding the dirt. The dirt on our hands puts us at risk of getting ill or infection. The first thing we must do is shake off the dust.
Shaking off the dust indicates we are picking ourselves up and not staying down. Shaking off the dust indicates we are not letting things become useless and forgotten. This morning, let’s shake off the dust that we have collected on our person, and be diligent in keeping ourselves from becoming dusty again.
Have a dust-free God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Exodus 1-3