I don’t know about you, but I am better at taking items apart than I am at putting them back together. I’ve always considered it a gift, though the circumstance is unfortunate when the situation calls for the item to be put back together in one piece as it was originally built.
I’m sure that none of you men have ever dismantled an engine, thinking you could put it back together, and then given up on doing so. I’m sure that none of you mothers have ever run out of baking ingredients after burning a batch of cookies, wishing that you could redo it all. However, how would you comfort someone who has experienced anything similar to what I described? More importantly, how do you restore happiness in peoples’ lives when they are going through deep despair, loneliness, or doubt?
In Isaiah 52:8-10 the writer shows how our spiritual lives can be completely restored, even if little hope seems to remain in getting to our original state. This means that our ‘waste places’ will remain wasted, unless we are restored by God. Isaiah gives three ways in which God restores the ‘waste places’ of our lives.
First, God restores the ‘waste places’ of our lives by comforting His people (52:9b). Our lives are fraught with battles, with heavy strain pressing down upon us. When we find ourselves empty of all hope, living in dying despair and neglect, God feels pain and sorrow for our predicament. He rebuilds the lives of His children. This shows that God is a personal God who wants to restore the spiritual lives of His people.
Second, God restores the ‘waste places’ of our lives through redemption (52:9). God not only comforts those who are in need of sympathy and empathy, but He has the power to displace difficulties and dangers. God redeems those who are His people (i.e. Israel, in this context). Our spiritual restoration comes from the God who proactively removes us from that which wears us down—according to His timetable.
Third, God restores the ‘waste places’ of our lives by baring His holy arm (Isaiah 52:10). When God’s people serve Him, His salvation is extended to His people and everyone else will be able to see His extended power. The passage teaches that God is able and willing to restore our spiritual lives, just as long as we serve Him first.
How would the world change if everyone was restored spiritually by God’s power? How much different would the condition of the church be if she could better share this comfort and redemption with those who need it most? How would your life be affected by a restored spiritual condition?
Isaiah explains that the Lord will go before you (52:12). Isaiah explains that the God of Israel will be your rear guard (52:12). Those who serve God, become a part of His people, and follow His guidances will find spiritual restoration. Purify yourselves, this day, to be spiritually restored, knowing that God has your back.