Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor My covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. “Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with lapis lazuli. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones. All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace. In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you. If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing; whoever attacks you will surrender to you...No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 54:10-15;17, NIV)
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Trials in life shake us to the core. Good things which seem to be full of beauty and triumph are removed from our lives. Sadness and suffering rushes in to replace what we thought was stability. Yet today, we find an ultimate truth from our Lord. His unfailing love is unshakable and His covenant of peace is irrevocable.
The people of Israel needed this prophetic promise. Their borders were ransacked and destroyed on multiple occasions. Enemies were a constant. Their homes were unstable. And their sense of security was but a distant memory. Throughout the book of Isaiah, Israel is noted as being unfaithful, flaky, and irresponsible.
But into their hearts, the Lord speaks: "Afflicted city, I will rebuild you...In righteousness you will be established."
We could hear it like this... "Afflicted heart, afflicted mind, afflicted thoughts, afflicted soul, afflicted sense of purpose/meaning, afflicted child, I will rebuild you. In righteousness you will be established."
And then a shift takes place in the prophetic words of Isaiah.
Now, I wish - like REALLY wish - I had the time to dive deep into this with you, but I pray that this short devotion will do this reality shift justice.
You see, Chapters 50-54 of Isaiah beautifully illustrate the coming of our Savior, Jesus, the Messiah. On multiple occasions, Isaiah dictates the life, the humility, the obedience, the sacrifice, and the victory of our Lord. (If you have time this weekend, read through these chapters!)
Each time, Jesus is not given a name - instead, He is assigned a series of words to describe Him. One used most often is the word "Servant." In fact, Jesus is depicted as being the "LORD's Righteous Servant" in chapter 54, right before the passage above.
This is the first time in Isaiah that the word "righteous" has been so highly definitive of a person. As stated throughout the Gospels, our Jesus is righteousness. And what follows in Isaiah is utterly beautiful. After the work accomplished by this Righteous Servant, the LORD states that He will rebuild the people and remake them in a foundation of righteousness; the same definition that He just gave His Servant.
And in this new state He promises: nothing can harm them. No weapon formed against them will stand and no accusation that is spoken will stick. In righteousness, they will stand.
And notice the word choice of Isaiah: "this is the heritage of the servants of the LORD..."
Now, you may see this as a little detail, but this is the first time that Isaiah defines the collective people of Israel as being "servants" of the LORD. In an instant, the word "Servant," found throughout chapters 50-54 to define Jesus, becomes plural. And in six other instances following this, the word "servant" now reads "servants."
From the moment of Christ's victory and onward, He is no longer separated from the people that He came to save. The Servant of the LORD is now one with the "servants" of the Lord. What He has, He has given to us. We are now Kingdom heirs.
This is why weapons fail.
This is why accusations become falsified.
For righteousness cannot be touched.
And righteousness cannot be accused.
I don't know where you are in your life. I do not know what circumstance is surrounding you. But what I do know is that the Righteous Servant of the Lord suffered so that we - you and I - could be reestablished in a foundation that is eternally untouchable.
You may feel shaken, but rest assured, Christ is in you.
You may feel broken, but rest assured, Christ is in you.
You may feel bruised, but rest assured, Christ is in you.
You may feel run down, but rest assured, Christ is in you.
Greg, Declare Glory
Today's image by God's Fingerprints: