‘I will show compassion to Jerusalem,
to all who live in her ruins.
Though her land is a desert, I will make it a garden,
like the garden I planted in Eden.
Joy and gladness will be there,
and songs of praise and thanks to me.’
Read Isaiah 51:1-8
The pattern was first exemplified in the history of the Jewish people. First, God gave his chosen people the promised land, flowing with milk and honey. Then, because of their rebellion, he allowed them to be conquered and their land turned into ruins. Isaiah’s job was to tell them that God would once again restore them to their own land.
This three-stage pattern parallels the history of the world. It too was established as a special homeland for the human race. Originally it was perfect, before human rebellion turned it into a desert dominated by evil forces. God promises a new and perfect world for all his people, which is still to come.
The same pattern is reflected in your life on a daily basis. Through your baptism God has made you new. But you continually fall and fail him. Yet, in his love, he forgives you and restores you each day. One day he will do it for you and all his people forever.
Lord Jesus, thank you for the new life I enjoy as a Christian and for regularly restoring me whenever I fall. Amen.
by Richard Hauser, in ‘Assurance for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2004)
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