Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Refuge (Isaiah 14:32)
By Ramone - November 6-8, 2006
These verses also apply:
"But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds," declares the Lord,
"because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares."
This is what the Lord says: "I will restore the fortunes of Jacob's tents
and have compassion on his dwellings; the city will be rebuilt on her ruins." - Jeremiah 30:17-18
"The poor will see and be glad — you who seek God, may your hearts live!
The Lord hears the needy and does not despise his captive people." - Psalm 69:32-33
"The Lord upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down." - Psalm 145:14
"For the Lord takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation." - Psalm 149:4
This is a picture of Zion (the Church) as she is intended to be, as she is not completely yet, and as she is becoming and will become before the Lord returns. It means that God will rebuild us on our brokenness.
I was reading my Bible the other day when I was startled by the verse in Isaiah, and I wanted to never forget the verse. Recently Christians in America have been shocked by Pastor Ted Haggard's "fall", but I pray for him & his family as he goes through this time of brokenness, that the Lord will "rebuild him on his ruins".
For many of us who have not known brokenness, we forget that we are all in the same position as he before the Lord; we're all in the same boat. Christians often forget this, and we often show a lack of grace towards broken people, particularly towards non-Christians. We forget what it's like to be tempted, and we judge people according to their sin, as if that sin defines the person completely. And then we worry about how "the world" will see us if we have a "fall" or show a weakness.
The good news is that God knows better. He brings us to a place of brokenness, and then He takes us through. In fact, a great many of us need to experience this brokenness before the Lord. When the Church comes to understand it, when she comes to reach out with the Lord's healing grace, then she will know who she is called to be in His sight and to the world: a place where the afflicted find refuge.
Thank You, God, for rebuilding us on our ruins. Thank You for life in the midst of our mess. Thank You for giving us all grace, and for drawing us to You, to Your well of life in the midst of our brokenness. Make Your people into a place of healing, Lord. May we all become broken before You, and may the world know You do not despise us for being afflicted, but rather You use it as a starting point for our healing. Thank You for sharing Your brokenness with us -- on the Cross, and redeeming that death to bring life... thank You for doing the same in each of our lives, and in the Church as a whole. We love You Lord.