When I first became a Christian, one of the key verses that seemed to be everywhere (song, sermon etc.) was Isaiah 60:1 TNIV: “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” Another popular verse was Isaiah 52:1 TNIV: “Awake, awake, Zion, clothe yourself with strength!” The idea of rising up, waking up and proclaiming God’s kingdom was very dominant in the late 1980s.

Such truths are timeless, of course, so it is interesting to hear new songs being written on these same themes. Chris Tomlin’s ‘Awake, my Soul’ owes more to Ezekiel 37 than to Isaiah, but still has the chorus ‘Awake, awake, awake, my soul’. His ‘Awakening’ also uses this theme of our souls awakening to all God is doing. More recently, I learnt Luke Hellebronth’s song ‘Stand Up’, which again alludes to 2 Chronicles 20:12, 17 TNIV, Psalm 31 and Romans 8:31 TNIV in addition to urging us to stand up and see the king.

“With history behind us
And destiny before us
Every heart is bowed down.

When we don’t know what to do
Our eyes will be fixed on You.

Stand up, everybody, stand up!
Come on, lift your eyes up.
See the king!
Our God, such a mighty fortress,
You are with us, for us,
Jesus our King.” (‘Stand Up’, Luke Hellebronth)