Day 45

Restoration

from the Lent 2017: You Are Mine reading plan


Isaiah 62:1-12, Isaiah 63:1-14, Matthew 26:1-16

BY Missy Fuller

Text: Isaiah 62:1-12, Isaiah 63:1-14, Matthew 26:1-16

Isaiah 62 reveals God’s promise of restoration for His people. I could read this passage of Scripture 1000 times and never get sick of it.

The book of Isaiah as a whole is a tough read. The prophet tells of the coming destruction of Judah (3:8) and their captivity in Babylon (39:6). But think of this: the entire book of Isaiah is written before one Babylonian sword is drawn against Judah and Jerusalem. Before their destruction Isaiah tells the people of Judah of God’s promise to restore them.

Our God always tempers His righteous judgment with loving compassion (Psalm 145:8). He plans deliverance and restoration for His people even before He disciplines them. Even before God inflicts judgment, He plans to restore.

God promised to restore Jerusalem, and He sealed that promise when He gave her a new name. This is significant. Names are a core part of our identity—often the first thing we share about ourselves. Names embody who we are and what we are about.

When God changes a name, He also changes an identity.

Abram became Abraham (Genesis 17:5). From an “Exalted Father” to “The Father of Many Nations.” God changed Abram’s identity as a respected man with no son of his own, to one with many descendants, including the promised Messiah.

Jacob became Israel (Genesis 32:28). From “He Grasps the Heel” (or “Deceiver”) to “He Struggled with God.” Jacob’s identity changed from one marked by deceit and manipulation to the father of God’s chosen people.

Jerusalem was called “Deserted” and “Desolate,” but as God redeems, He promises to give Jerusalem a new name (Isaiah 62:2). She will be called:

My Delight Is in Her
Holy People
The Lord’s Redeemed
Cared For
The City No Longer Deserted
(vv.4,12).

What an identity shift!

This is the character of our God: He redeems. He rebuilds. He renames. While He disciplines, He also restores (Hebrews 12:6; Joel 2:25). We are never too far gone for the reach of His restoration. No wonder Isaiah can’t help but shout and proclaim God’s promises for Judah:

“I will not keep silent because of Zion, and I will not keep still because of Jerusalem, until her righteousness shines like a bright light and her salvation, like a flaming torch” (Isaiah 62:1).

It is good to proclaim God’s faithful restoration within our own circumstances, regardless of what they may look like today. As we cling to the the truth of who He is, we can rest—because His restoration has already begun.

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Post Comments (72)

72 thoughts on "Restoration"

  1. Kristi says:

    I went through a phase in my childhood where I wanted to change my name. I found so many names I liked better and thought they would suit me more than my given name.

    Growing up, I remember my mom had taped cards on the outside of my room door that shared the meaning of my first and middle names. Because of those cards, I’ve always known that my name means “Follower of Christ.” It was a meaning that I loved but was also overwhelmed by – I felt I just couldn’t live up to it because I failed God so many times.

    A year ago, I renewed my commitment to the Lord and He has recently been whispering to my heart about the significance of my name. I have started to see it as a promise instead of just a name. He knew before I was even created that I would be His child! Even when I was too busy following my own dreams, He knew He would restore me to be a follower of Christ! It is overwhelming and humbling for me to think about. I’m so glad that God sees past our current circumstances when He looks at us. He is able to renew, restore, and rename His children. To everyone else I may still be Kristi, but in my heart my name is Follower of Christ. Daughter of the King. Beloved Daughter. Chosen One. Thank you, Lord!

    1. Another Kristi says:

      As a fellow Kristi who also has felt like she could not live up to her name’s meaning, thank you. Our God is good and faithful to redeem!

      1. Kristi says:

        That’s amazing! I never thought of that really. I didn’t begin following Christ until I was 26, even though I was raised in church. Thanks for sharing, from one Kristi to another :)

  2. Zoe says:

    It is so good to be a daughter of God!

  3. Christina says:

    Between the Spirit confirming with my spirit the Scriptures this morning and the devotion, I’m about to shout! I guess I won’t, though, since everyone else is still asleep….

    Isaiah 62 describes a reality that has not yet been experienced by God’s people, Israel. It describes descriptive names for a people who have not lived up to their description, but who are called by them anyway. Isaiah 63 describes a God Who exacts His just vengeance against a people who have not lived in a way to experience the reality He has planned to give them. Yet He determined to give them good and gracious gifts out of His heart of compassion and love, and after a time of exacting His justice upon them, He remembers to draw them into His purpose once again. His plan was never thwarted, even in His people’s rebellion. It is in this state of affairs, then, that Jesus appears, first as a child who grows “in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52), eventually revealing Himself as the long awaited Messiah, the Savior of the World. He is the Compassion of God, the Fulfillment of every reality determined by the One True God of the universe to bestow upon all who will believe in Him. He alone restores to reality what our sin has tarnished and clouded from view of our earthly reality. It’s almost Friday. And Sunday is coming.

  4. Jess says:

    I love that she pointed out the difficulty of reading Isaiah as a whole because the first part of the book deals with destruction. I know many of us struggled with that BUT NOW! Now we are reading of their deliverance, their redemption, their restoration, their new name! All of this before it even happened. Incredible! I’m thankful He plans our deliverance and restoration before he disciplines!

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      Amen! Thank you, Jess! I’m so glad we have persevered in this together! Isaiah is definitely worth the read.

      – Stormye

  5. Tochi Heredia says:

    “His restoration has already begun.”

    This week started with despair and fear.
    Today, I feel peace and joy. Not because I did something to change my circumstances, it’s all about Him and who He is and what He has already done.

    I’m a living and breathing testimony of His redemption.
    Thanks be to God, for making us a new creation

    1. Zoe says:

      Yay! Glad to hear it. Enjoy this day friend

    2. She Reads Truth says:

      Praise the Lord! Thank you for sharing this, sweet friend. So grateful to have you in the SRT community.

      – Stormye

  6. Tina says:

    My given name is Christiana Esi ( born on Sunday) Prabah (river baby, after the river Pra), and my surname is partially Dutch from the slave trading days when slaves were given their masters names to identify to whom they belonged… but as you know I am known as Tina. This is because as a child I got cross at people who could not pronounce Christiana… it would be Christine, Christina…, anything but … so I accepted being called Tina as a compromise. I don’t mind it, to be honest, I have long given up hope of ever being Christiana again…except on paper…
    I love every letter in my name, I love that I know my history, some stories of my ancestors, I love that my name tells where I have come from…. I love the oppurtunity to give my name in full, because at that point, and with a double barrelled surname… my name goes on forever. I remember being introduced at a wedding on entering, the introductor, looked at me in awe, that makes me smile now…
    My earthly father gave me my names so I would always know who I was, that I would know, here on earth, where I belonged, and that no matter where I was or went I would be recognised as his beloved child… Thank you Daddy.. I love you.. for always.. x

    But God…

    He calls me His Daughter, He has chosen me, He calls me Forgiven, even though i continue to sin. Free…. though I may wear the shackles of my past, He calls me His Beloved, though i do not deserve it, and He continues to bless me…All thanks and praise to the blood of Jesus .
    He has restored to me my life that was shattered, a life i can live with, not in the past, but in memory of the past, He has restored to me my smile, my laughter… from my belly… He restores me each and every day, through His forgiveness, His love, His grace, His promises, His word…

    So, for sure I will speak out to encourage, I will not be silent..until, we are all called by a new name, a name given by the Lord God Almighty himself…
    Today I shall claim my new name… ‘God is pleased with her…’ because He has and continues to restore me, and I for one will not let that pass me by… Amen.
    Every blessing dear Sisters… with love and peace to you all…xx

    1. candacejo says:

      Amazing analogy, my friend! ♥

    2. Tochi Heredia says:

      Ah, you put a smile upon my face, Tina!
      Thankful for you :)

    3. Claire says:

      Beautiful!

    4. Alisa says:

      That is beautiful and meaningful. Thank you, Tina!

    5. Lexi says:

      Love this, and love your perspective even more! Thank you for always saying so eloquently what I need to hear! ❤

    6. Elisa Barry says:

      Thank you for this amazingly beautiful tribute to our loving Father!! Your writing is inspiring Christiana!!! Keep spreading your story! Amen!!

    7. Emily B. says:

      Thank you for sharing this beautiful story!

    8. Churchmouse says:

      Beautiful and touching, friend.

    9. Churchmouse says:

      So grateful today that in Christ all things are made new. In Him I am a new creation. The past does not define me. God sees me through the Cross. All my sin is as if it never was. Oh I still bear some consequences of my rebellion but that is not who I am any longer. Others may try to drag me back there. Others may describe me by that old name. But I am free. Free in Christ. Free by the Cross. All praise today. All praise.

      1. Zoe says:

        Thank you for this!

    10. Jody Heavenrich Hensley says:

      Love this. Thank you! Love your name, too.

    11. Lana says:

      Love you, Christiana!

    12. Mamajonk says:

      Once again your thoughts and words have me catching my breath and my eyes brimming with tears. You have such a wonderful testimony. You should consider writing a book! Sunday is coming, Happy Easter friend!

  7. Lesley says:

    “We are never too far gone for the reach of His restoration.” This gives me hope today.
    I would love if you could pray for my friend. A year ago she was baptised. Now she no longer believes in God. She has been badly hurt by Christians and I understand her anger. It’s just hard to see her hurting when I believe her only hope is in God and she’s not open to that at all right now.
    These passages give me hope that God can bring her back to him.

    1. Sarah Joy says:

      Said a prayer for her this morning. May she come to trust in a faithful God despite His broken children.

    2. candacejo says:

      Praying for your friend that she will realize God is faithful and never changing and it is He that we serve, not people, who may be imperfect. ♥

    3. Caitie says:

      Saying a prayer for your friend as well!

    4. Lexi says:

      Praying for your friend as well! It’s so hard for our finite minds to understand that it’s not God doing the harm, it’s people. And sadly sometimes it’s people who claim to know Jesus that can do the most hurt. But God! He always holds us in the palm of His hand, even when we think it’s the further place we want to be. ❤

    5. Donna Symes says:

      Praying

    6. Lesley says:

      Thank you all for your prayers!

  8. Jenn says:

    I so enjoyed this study today! I especially love how it was really driven home about a name change, and how it can change our entire identity. It’s incredible the power of both a name you have and a name change can impact a life so much! The song “What a Beautiful Name” has been on replay the last couple of days; what a beautiful, wonderful, powerful name.. the name of Jesus. <3

    1. candacejo says:

      Love that song!!

    2. Emily says:

      I woke up with that song in my head this morning and didn’t make the connection until I saw your post!♥️

    3. Emily says:

      Touched by your comment today, Christiana! Much love to you!

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