Pastor Daniel Bramlett
I’ve been reading Isaiah 51 on and off for over a week now. It captivates me. It’s addressed to the seeker of righteousness. I’ll say this, if you are in a mood to play around in your relationship with God, just skip to the next thing you need to read. Isaiah has no desire to placate you and neither do I. There is a time for patience with those who are willy nilly with the Lord, but this isn’t one of them. I get so tired of people who want to do life their way AND they want all the blessings of the Lord. And then I think “Lord, I’m one of those people!” God, help me to daily surrender every ounce of every piece of my life to you. I have no desire to hold anything back.
Isaiah isn’t addressing the perfect or those who have it all figured out. He’s talking to the seeker of righteousness. Well, here it is! We’ve found it! Jesus is the only righteous One in the Universe. If we are seeking righteousness, we’re seeking Him. As soon as we begin to know Him, we begin to experience the effects of His righteousness in our lives.
The next thing the prophet says is “Consider the stone from which you were cut.” He’s talking to his people, the people of Israel. For them the stone was Abraham. When I think about the quarry I come from, I have some good rocks and some shady ones; some I’m proud of and some, well, not so much. But I have to look past my local quarry if I want to understand Isaiah’s words here. Jesus is the Rock from which I was cut! Me and everyone else who trusts Him as their Rescuer! Seek the righteous Rock!
He doesn’t stop here. He goes on to talk about how the waste places and the wildernesses will be restored. Israel was going through a pretty rough patch. They’d ignored the Lord for so long, God gave them over to their own plans and desires. He let their own hearts lead for a while. It didn’t end up so well. After other countries conquered them, their beautiful land became a waste. Their cities were broken down and their wells filled up. Their fields were full of briers and their houses burned up. But God promises here to not leave them that way. Isn’t that what we all need to hear from God? “I know you’ve made a mess of things, but I’m not going to leave you in that mess. Trust me and know that I am able to redeem you and your surroundings!”
God reminds them of the amazing things He accomplished for them in the past. He does the same for us. Our wasted places are not the end; they won’t define us forever. We long for Heaven and He promises to bring it near. If your family is broken, seek God and trust Him to restore it. If your life is a wreck, seek the Lord and believe that He will put it back together. If you are absolutely and totally lost, trust the Maker of Heaven and Earth to meet you where you are…to find you…and bring you home again.
His words call me out. “Wake up! Wake up, believer! Shake off the dust and rise up!” When we find ourselves in the dirt, sometimes we like to just lay there. Maybe we are looking for pity. Maybe we’re just out of strength. Maybe we’re tired of trying. But, listen to this, you who are seeking Jesus, stand up and shake the dust off your clothes! Don’t stay in the dirt any longer! Your Redeemer is ready even now to straighten you and restore you. Will you let Him?
This is a new year and a new opportunity for something different. Don’t settle for the same old dirt. What will happen in your life that is righteous this year? How will you seek the Lord this go around? Stop playing around with your life and finally let Jesus begin the work He’s been wanting to do all along. It’s time to start something new. Are you ready? Are you really ready? Plant your heart in the Word of God. Put your face in the mind of God. Give Him your life in a fresh, new way today. Right now, ask Him to pull you out and stand you up. 2023 is the best time for you to seek Jesus. Let’s do it together. Happy New Year!