by Pastor Steve Liersch
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‘No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate … for the Lord will take delight in you’ (Isaiah 62:4).
There’s a popular TV show called ‘The Block’, in which teams compete to help renovate houses and ultimately have them auctioned to make the biggest profit and win. Sometimes these properties are derelict, abandoned apartment blocks with no-one willing to spend their time, money or effort to restore them. They are a bargain waiting for the right person (or TV show) to come along and have national TV coverage watching the process. The results are often quite spectacular, with huge money paid for them.
God did similarly with Israel and their destroyed national city of Jerusalem. After years of disobedience by worshipping other gods, turning a blind eye to corruption, oppressing the poor and neglecting the harsh warnings of being annihilated as a result, God acted through invading armies, leaving their nation and city in ruins.
Thankfully the story doesn’t end there. God still loved what he had created for his chosen people, and so he promised to rebuild and restore the city and rejuvenate the land. Well may we be thankful that we didn’t live back in those times and experience the destruction that Jerusalem did.
God does something similar with us at times. He hasn’t finished restoring his kingdom wherever it might be found on earth. Our sinful human nature quickly reveals how we, too, can ignore warnings from God’s word and his prophetic mouthpieces in our culture as we fail to protect the innocent, the unborn, the sick and the vulnerable. There are signs around our world that society will deteriorate and virtually destroy itself as a result. Yet God continues to pour out his Spirit and breathe new life into what seems to lie in ruins – people’s lives, a once healthy church, a broken relationship. Whether it’s people or buildings, God wants to bless and grow his kingdom to be used for his purposes so that he can ‘take delight in you’.
What have you noticed lying in ruins or severely broken that you could pray for God to restore?
God of power and might, restore to me the joy of my salvation and create in me a clean heart. Use me to help restore broken relationships and once strong communities so that you may be glorified and your name be praised as people delight in you. Amen.