God’s people in the Old Testament, the Israelites, really get a bad rap, and they probably deserve it. If we were ever trying to find a completely broken and messed-up group of people, the Israelites are the answer. There was idolatry, sexual immorality, theft, murder, and a whole host of other sins that infested the tents and lives of these people. They were about as messy as they come.
But because we serve a loving and compassionate God, He wasn’t going to leave them like this. They were still His people that He loved because He created them. They were God’s children.
In Isaiah 61, Isaiah is preaching a message of hope to these broken people. He assured them that the Lord would restore what had been broken. The Lord would turn what was crushed and demolished into something of beauty, for His glory. Look at all of the verbs used in verse 4:
“They shall build up the ancient ruins;
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities…”
We are all Israelites. No, we aren’t physically Jews, but we all struggle with the same hard stuff God’s people did. We have broken and messy lives. We get so caught up in the Enemy’s lies that we don’t even know what Truth is anymore. But that is when the Maker steps in. He takes what is broken and messy and useless in the world’s eyes and turns it into something beautiful, “that He may be glorified” (Isaiah 61:4). God gives us gladness where there was once mourning and tears. Because that is the loving God that we serve. A God who won’t leave us in the dust, but who will turn our ashes into something beautiful for His glory. Because it is in our weakness that His power is perfected (2 Cor. 12:9).
Our God restores what the Enemy tried to destroy. You are never too far gone for the Maker to remold you into a useful, beautiful vessel. There is no jar so cracked that the Lord can’t repair it. There is no pit so deep that the Lord can’t bring you out into the light. Give Him your ashes, your broken heart, and let Him turn it into something beautiful.