From the Ruins

Read Isaiah 61.

In Matthew 11 John the Baptist asked Jesus if he was the Messiah that had been foretold of and expectantly waited for by the Jewish people for years.  In response Jesus quoted from Old Testament scriptures from Isaiah 35 and 61.  Both chapters were written by Isaiah about what happens when God intervenes in His people’s lives.  Since Jesus quoted these verses about himself we can also say they must explain what happens when Jesus intervenes or enters someone’s life.

Isaiah chapters 35 and 61 both portray people whose lives are dramatically changed, for the good, when Christ intervenes.  Isaiah refers to the before-Christ state of these people as “ancient ruins,” “places long devastated,” and “ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.”  When a physical place is important and useful it is not only kept in a fit state, but it is kept with immaculate care.  I’m sure if you visit the White House you’ll find that the lawn is well groomed, there is no paint peeling, and the driveway isn’t full of cracks.  Contrast that with ancient ruins.  Ruins are ruins because they are no longer good for use and aren’t deemed worthy of rebuilding.  No one cares to rebuild them and the utility they once provided has run out.  To put it bluntly, they are good for nothing.  Remember, this is a description of the state of people before Christ intervenes in their lives.

Isaiah also describes the life of someone after Christ intervenes.  The Christian’s life is full of meaning and purpose.  Isaiah says that strangers and foreigners will take care of their flocks and fields.   Why?  Because they so badly want to be close to important, meaningful people.  Isaiah goes on to say that Christians will be the priests and ministers of God.  What higher calling and is there than to be a priest and minister of God?  When God intervenes in someone’s life they have gone from good for nothing to the highest calling any person could have. 

Isaiah’s description of a transformation from a lifeless state to one filled with purpose and glory should give us all encouragement and hope.  God is mighty and He cares.  Our lives are one filled with purpose and are good for use by the King of kings.

Lord, thank you for the change you have made in my life.  Use my life for your glorious service, I yield it to you.

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