As you look around your current setting, what do you see? As you listen to the sounds around you, what do you hear? As you go through your day, what are you feeling, or what emotions are you experiencing?
“The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins (Isaiah 51:3a)”
The prophet Isaiah declared to his people who were experiencing some challenging times that the Lord would bring comfort to them and upon the brokenness would pour out compassion. The people had been exiled from their original homeland and experiencing a sense of isolation and despair. However, the word from the prophet was that they would receive restoration.
“He will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord (Isaiah 51:3b)”
To provide a more specific visual of the Lord’s actions, the prophet shares that the deserts would become like Eden and the wastelands like the garden of the Lord. At the time of Adam and Eve, Eden was a place of abundance and prosperity. It was a place of refuge and security. The garden of the Lord is where we are meant to be – fully surrounded by the Lord’s presence. This visual is one of true fulfillment for the people.
“Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing (Isaiah 51:3c)”
Finally, not only will there be an abundance and a fullness restored, but with that will come a sense of gladness and joy. There will be thanksgiving and the sound of singing. A much different perspective than despair, discouragement, and sadness.
As we hear the word from the prophet Isaiah, may we know that the Lord is able to restore our deserts and wastelands. The current state of brokenness and despair is not the end. Restoration and renewal are making their way through the challenges we are facing. With each new day, the Lord declares to us that we in fact matter. Each day is an opportunity to embrace God’s grace and mercy granted to us through Christ’s death and resurrection. The promise of forgiveness allows us to give and receive this gift.
May we look to the Lord who is our rock and our refuge. May we trust that through the chaos and disparity of our current situations, God’s love for us has not ended, but continues to be given to us. Isaiah was aware of that which would ultimately fall away, but also declares a great promise from the Lord:
“But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail (Isaiah 51:6c)