A couple of days ago when I read through this chapter, I wouldn`t have told the Lord I was struggling with these truths but He knows me even better than I know myself. What a beautiful chapter in Isaiah 62. I have often read this chapter and thought solely of self; that these words are being spoken through Isaiah from God to me about my redemption and salvation in Jesus Christ. And though there is truth hidden in each scripture as the Spirit brings it to light, this passage is actually Isaiah`s heart cry for the church.
Several months ago I remember sharing struggles I was having in my faith related to community and church fellowship with a trusted friend and after each conversation I had with her I remember saying if I would only pray more than I would complain...
About the church. About brokenness. About how people fail us and hurt us and abandon us at our worst. About the one people on earth who are suppose to encourage us and love us and how they just don`t meet our expectations. But that is the thing. The church is not just meant for ME. I have to get past ME. The church is US. The church is the BODY.
Matthew Henry`s commentary says this in summing up this chapter. "The Son of God here assures his church of his unfailing love, and his pleading for her under all trails and difficulties." I see so much beauty in this passage that I may have never seen before. I see such a passion in Christ for his church, for his people. I see the story of a prostitute who sees her life as wasted and worthless yet Jesus finds her and she repents and finds herself restored. This is the church. Brokenness being made new- but first we all have to deal with the fact that we are broken and we will remain in a broken world.
And so with us in the moment we accept Christ we are given a new name. He crowns us washed, righteous, justified, forgiven, beautiful in his sight, new, beloved. He takes our sin, shame, guilt, ugliness and he restores us 100 fold. And in and through this process he gives us the church. It is a gift. Isaiah says she is the crown of his glory, a royal diadem in the hand of God.
I don`t really know that much about the church, it is a subject in scripture I have not thoroughly studied and it is honestly not one of my greatest passions. But in Isaiah`s words I find myself reminded that I play a part in this body. As I shared with my friend months ago about frustrations just in the last month really I have seen God bring healing and beauty in some of those broken places. And I am really glad I didn`t give up and walk away. It is so much easier to give up and walk away.
so much easier to focus on the sin and the shame instead of the beauty and the change.
Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah:
for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.
I love these promises. Regardless of what the day brings and how I feel I see the church or the body of believers I know these promises are true. I know they were and they will be. No longer forsaken or desolate... for the LORD delighteth in thee and they land shall be married.