“‘For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great compassion I will take you back. In a burst of anger I turned my face away for a little while. But with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,’ says the LORD, your Redeemer…O storm-battered city,
troubled and desolate! I will rebuild you with precious jewels and make your foundations from lapis lazuli. I will make your towers of sparkling rubies, your gates of shining gems, and your walls of precious stones.” Isaiah 54:7,8;11,12
Ultimately these verses are for the redemption of Jerusalem. Yet in the rich layers of Scripture, I see myself and the church of Christ.
How often have you felt abandoned or forsaken by God? What kind of circumstances leave you feeling alone, afraid, or depressed? We face trials of many kinds in this world; a child’s death, a loss of a job, guilt from the past, a betrayal by a friend, or the absence of close friendship, etc… Sometimes it is my own poor choices that leave me feeling inadequate for the calling as a parent, employee/boss, spouse, or friend.
I compare or compete, and I always seem to lose.
I’ve messed up. I confess my sin. I accept my utter dependence on God. I daily need a Savior.
So, today I look up. I look into the eyes of Jesus who has cleansed me from my sin, and I am exceedingly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead for those who repent, believe, and obey. We may have to endure trials for a brief moment, but these trials will show that our faith is genuine (1 Peter 1:6,7). As our faith undergoes purifying trials and endures, it will prove to be far more valuable than gold. His chosen people are living stones that God is using to build his spiritual temple. For a mere moment, it may seem that God has turned his face away, but the everlasting kindness of his character will return to you and have compassion on you.
Today, take heart and claim the phrases of the promise tucked into these verses! The LORD says to me and to you in our brokenness, “I will! I will build you! I will build you with turquoise, sapphires, rubies, sparkling jewels and precious stones!” Yes, Lord Jesus, I claim this assurance that you will take my life and create something beautiful, valuable, and everlasting.
Prayer: Jesus, you are the precious cornerstone and the Rock to which we cling. Build us into a holy, spiritual temple where your Spirit can dwell, so that many others can see the goodness of God’s salvation in us. In Your precious name, Amen.