Weekly Blog- Liz Harden- Restoration Promised
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Posted on: 6th September 2023
‘No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah ; for the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be married.’
This verse was written several times in Baptismal cards given me at the age of 15. Interestingly, no one knew that others had also chosen these verses for me. But I have held these verses close to my heart all my life as I knew they must be important for me to hold onto for God to have laid them on numerous other’s hearts for me.
The context of this verse is that Isaiah is prophesying about the future restoration and glory of Jerusalem, which was still a functioning city but spiritually corrupt in his time. He speaks comfort and assurance to the exiled and discouraged people of God.
Isaiah promises that God will not rest until he makes Jerusalem righteous and glorious, and that he will give her a new name that reflects his love and delight in her. He compares Jerusalem to a bride who is married to the Lord, and who is no longer forsaken or desolate, but beautiful and fruitful.
However, this prophecy also has a spiritual meaning for all God’s people, who are called by his name and are his inheritance.
Up to the age of fifteen I had suffered much emotional abuse and disconnection from those you would expect to protect and love me. Looking back, I realise many observing my situation could probably see that.
What it has come to mean to me over the years is a constant reminder that though others may reject me or not see the value or worth in me, Jesus delights in me and is faithful to covenant relationship with me.
2 Timothy 2:13
If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
There are many times I have let God down or not been the best example of a follower of Jesus, but just as His loving kindness draws me to repentance, I am always humbled by His commitment to always stand by me as one of His children who is made in His image and bears His name. He cannot disown me, for I am a part of Him. I am a part of his body. This is true for you too.
And as His children we are called to unity. True unity is not staying quiet in the face of conflict or abuse, but embracing healthy accountability. It is a covenant commitment to not give up on one another, to be committed to drilling down on the hard stuff, bringing our weakness and brokenness into the light so we can be an unblemished bride presentable to Jesus.
In the hard work of commitment to better understand one another, we build stronger connections as a body, enabling each one to effectively play their part and grow healthily together, delighting in one another and committed to covenant relationship no matter the personal cost. In this place is the breaking in of the Kingdom’s blessing.