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. Melody Suarez says:

    I always wonder what Gods new name would be for me. :)

    1. Catherine says:

      I have often thought this for myself, Melody :) But Melody, your name is already so pretty. Just saying it out loud is beautiful. It’s like a song

    2. Johanna Tropiano says:

      You should ask him to reveal it you!

  2. Diane Huntsman says:

    I love new.. He makes all things new.. His mercies are new every morning.. I wish I could get a new name, but I’m grateful for a new nature and new mercies.. oh how I need them each day.. I also like new clothes and new shoes but won’t try to justify those with the word “new” ;) friends I pray for each of us that He would give us new hearts, new perspective, new passions for His kingdom.. that we would live our lives present in the new day and not in our past mistakes and regrets or missed opportunities.. Jesus give us new songs and new hope in the new mercies of this new day.. thank You for “new” and thank you for You.. amen

    1. Abigail Fuad says:

      Diane, thank you for your wonderful prayer! It’s a prayer I really needed to hear, so I adopted it into my own reading and prayer :)

    2. Rebecca Bates says:

      New song and new hope :) thank you! And amen!

  3. Caroline says:

    “This is the character of our God: He redeems. He rebuilds. He renames.” I love this. Nothing is too far gone or too hard for God. In an instant, he can change everything. Thank you Lord for you loving and redemptive power.

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  4. Madalyn says:

    What a sweet and timely reminder. I have recently been diagnosed with depression in addition to anxiety disorder, and have been struggling to reconcile those circumstances with my relationship with God. I know that He is there through all of this and can sense it somewhere deep down, but I feel guilty for being broken in this way, even though it isn’t exactly something that is in my control. There have been moments where I can see that He is and will continue to do something wonderful with these circumstances, but there are also many moments where I am saddened and sometimes even angry that I am numb, that my ability to enjoy each day and to lovingly engage with those around me is hindered by these mental health problems. I long to feel that burning desire within me to come to Him each day with an open and actively joyful heart, but more often than not, I have to begin by simply going through the motions. Sometimes I find myself in His presence, and sometimes not. To be reminded that God has always planned to restore me despite whatever circumstances arise or whatever mistakes I make is so encouraging. Lord, I pray that you continue Your work in me even when I seem to be incapable of noticing it, so that I may develop more and more into the disciple of Yours that You intend me to be. Thank you for being a God of righteous judgement tempered with loving compassion. Thank you for being my Rock Eternal. And thank you for this sweetly bittersweet season of preparation for the resurrection of Your Son Jesus. In Your Son’s name I pray, Amen.

    1. Emily says:

      Madalyn, God knows your heart and is grateful that you seek him despite your feelings. He sees our obedience to him. He knows our hearts and motivations. Praying for you! ❤

    2. Emily Cotter says:

      Praying for you, I have struggled with anxiety and depression too. I remind myself every day to, “look up!” to Jesus where my identity comes from and who holds me. You are not held down for He has paid the price for you to be renewed and restored. https://youtu.be/WZooaMnXj1g

      1. Emily says:

        The link is to a song :)

    3. Lexi says:

      I’ve had severe anxiety and depression as well and I can promise you’re not alone. ❤️

    4. She Reads Truth says:

      Praying for you in this, Madalyn. Thank you so much for sharing. Asking the Lord to restore your joy. Thankful for you today.

      – Stormye

    5. Terri says:

      “The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to HEAL THE BROKENHEARTED, to proclaim LIBERTY TO THE CAPTIVES and FREEDOM TO THE PRISONERS; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of our God’s vengeance; to comfort all who mourn, to provide for all those who mourn in Zion; TO GIVE THEM A CROWN OF BEAUTY INSTEAD OF ASHES, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes INSTEAD OF DESPAIR.” Isaiah 61:1-3 (HCSB) I pray this will be true for you today and every day.

    6. Emily B. says:

      He’s with you through all of this, no matter how you’re feeling or what’s going on inside of your head. He sees you, and He cares. I pray you can feel His presence encircling you and lifting you up!

    7. Di says:

      Madalyn, sometimes going through the motions is all we can manage and we may never know what the Lord’s purpose is, but he knows and he loves you dearly.

  5. Amanda Mae Steele says:

    Such a sweet encouragement today. I wrestle between the tension of “the already and the not yet”, and often wonder my (petty compared to the grand scheme of things) circumstances really matter to God – so thankful that nothing is too big or too small for Him!

  6. Hailey T. says:

    I love that Easter is in the spring. Barren trees begin to bloom and the dust returns to fertile soil. I so love the book of Isaiah. It is difficult and tough to read for so much of it. But through destruction we have everlasting beauty. The book itself transforms into a wonderful exaltation of love. We are “My Delight is in her” and He is Risen!

    1. Terri says:

      He is risen, indeed!

  7. carriebethfish says:

    I work full-time as a children’s director in a church. I LOVE my job, but as with any job it’s not without its challenges. This week has been especially hard… trying to prepare Easter Sunday for the kids (our super bowl!) and an Easter Carnival for families in the church community on Saturday. I’m striving, in the midst of the busyness, to sit at His feet and soak in Holy Week for myself. Striving to be like Mary in a very Martha kind of week. I often find myself “do-ing” for Jesus and getting so busy that I forget to BE with Jesus – which is really all He wants. I’m so grateful for the encouragement of this community in a week where much encouragement is needed. Thank you to all who post with such transparency and thoughtfulness. SRT has truly been a blessing to me. Father, thank you for calling me by name and calling me your child. Thank you for your promise of restoration and redemption that brings hope and purpose to our everyday lives. Amen.

    1. Kersti says:

      He will bless your desire to be with him. He loves your heart!

      I hope the carnival goes really well too!

    2. She Reads Truth says:

      So glad to have you in this community, Carrie! Thank you for sharing this. Praying for you and the little ones you shepherd over this Easter weekend!

      – Stormye

  8. Lana says:

    God led me to She Reads Truth in one of the most turbulent emotional times of my life. The man I thought I was going to marry no longer loved me, even though I had sacrificed so much to be with him. I started reading these devotionals three months before leaving the relationship and God has been by my side the entire time – speaking to me through his Word. Teaching me the error of my ways. It’s been 8 months since I started this journey with SRT. I felt rejected, unloved, desolate, in severe pain. But I just want to take a moment and testify about my personal restoration. Isaiah 62 brings it full circle.

    “You will no longer be called deserted and your land will not be called desolate; instead, you will be called My Delight is In Her, and your land Married… so your God will rejoice over you.”

    In my journey, I realized I was trying to find God’s love in an earthly man. But as Isaiah has shown me, that only leads to destruction. For the first time I can remember, I feel full and satisfied from God’s love alone. How awesome it is to be His, to feel sought after, to feel appreciated, secure, loved, provided for, in the best of company. And I can’t thank the SRT community enough for being part of my personal restoration. I was so broken when I first joined you, but now I am restored.

    1. Joy says:

      Lana, I am so glad I stumbled across your post. All I want to do is encourage you to stay strong in the Lord. I had a similar experience in my life and unfortunately, I did not hold onto the healing love in Christ and instead I followed a path of hurt and regret. Today, though I am a testament to God’s faithfulness and continued love and mercy. I hope you are encouraged today and never forget, God is faithful and He is near to the brokenhearted. =)

    2. Amber says:

      What a beautiful testimony of His redemption! He ALWAYS redeems. Praise Him! Thank you for sharing.

    3. Sarah says:

      What a beautiful testimony. Thank you so much for sharing.

    4. Kersti says:

      I am sorry for your pain, but so thankful God is able to use even those deeply hurtful moments in life. You’ve given me hope and a desire to let God re-breathe life into & re-name a few hurtful moments in my life that I am having a hard time giving up.

      May today you realize how loved & cherished you are!

    5. She Reads Truth says:

      Lana, this is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us today. We are so, so grateful to have you in the SRT community.

      – Stormye

    6. Emily B. says:

      He makes beautiful things out of the dust. Thank you for sharing your heart with us!

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