Tuesday, July 16, 2013

flowers among the ashes

And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. 

Isaiah 32:17-18

This promise of restorative rest in righteousness and of a peaceful trust in God forever comes after the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the land of Israel. God has just commanded the women of Judah to weep over the ruined land and to mourn for the desolation of Jerusalem. But after the loss comes a promise: God will pour out His Spirit on the people and restore the nation. The land will again be fruitful. The people will serve Him in righteousness. They will live in peace, serving The Lord.

When sin leaves behind desolation, God will bring back beauty in restoration. It is a magnificent experience. The fullness of God's grace comes even in the promised judgment. God reminds Israel that He will restore what will be ruined. He will bring them back after they have suffered. God restores what He redeems.

I am glad that God works in this way. I admit that I have made my share of willful choices to disobey God, even as I have claimed to follow Jesus. And there are consequences to sin. There always are. But God's mercy, grace, and forgiveness fall on me with fresh power when I repent and return to Him. His mercies lead me to repentance and in His forgiveness I am at rest. He gives me grace to grow beyond my failures. I am so glad that God restores what He redeems!

No comments: