Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord! Awake, as in days of old, the generations of long ago! Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces, who pierced the dragon? Was it not you who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep; who made the depths of the sea a way for the redeemed to cross over? So the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Wait, there are dragons in the Bible? Before we go too far into the medieval imagery of these fire-breathing monsters, we need to look a little deeper into the actual Hebrew word found within this direct reference in Isaiah. The Hebrew word here is tannin and as scholars set to set to translate unknown Hebrew words, they looked for context clues. What could the author been referring to that is a creature contemporary readers would understand? In Isaiah and other translating of this word to dragon, they were trying to convey a specific understanding of a mythical, ancient, and powerful creature that was no match for God. These creatures while fearsome to humans, God was no doubt in control. Creatures such as dragons, and later we’ll meet another, Leviathan were symbols of chaos and death that God had ultimate dominion over. God is a God who keeps promises and God will redeem God’s people in the end, no dragons stand a chance.
Ever benevolent and gracious God, remind us again even as we stand shaking in front of today’s dragons, you will redeem. Your Lordship is everlasting and your love is unshakable, in Christ Jesus our salvation is secure, Amen.