Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach…(Isaiah 58:12)
When Isaiah prophesied the words in today’s scripture, everything in Israel’s life lay in tatters. The temple was still in ruins; the walls that had protected Jerusalem were still a heap of rubble; the rhythms and rituals of their common life were still disrupted and in disarray.
In the midst of all this destruction, Isaiah called the nation and each one of its citizens to be a “repairer of the breach.” It was a stunning prophecy, a prophecy that must have seemed ludicrous given the odds, but it was a prophecy that, in time, took hold of the hearts and imaginations of the Jews—for they did indeed, with God’s help, rebuild their temple, city, culture, and faith.
It is imperative that we look at the impact we have on others. As we make a mature and responsible assessment of the wake of how we live and treat others, we need to assess if we spend more time scattering or gathering, tearing or mending, hurting or healing, dividing or uniting, impairing or repairing.
During the time of crisis in Israel, God through Isaiah was imploring the people to repair the breaches in their city, culture, faith, and nation. During this time of crisis as we deal with the Coronavirus, God through His prophet is giving us the same message. As people of God, as disciples of Jesus, as citizens of this nation, we need to hear and heed and live into Isaiah’s words, and we must commit our best efforts, deepest intentions, and most fervent prayers into repairing the breaches, the losses, and the divides all around us.
Before we can repair the breaches around us, we may need to recall the breaches that Jesus has already repaired in and for us. For me, He has repaired my relationship with God by forgiving me; He has repaired my broken heart after it has been broken; He has repaired broken relationships and dreams and hopes. The only way I can get out of bed, speak, write, make a difference is because Jesus has been and is repairing my broken places. Take a good, long, and honest look at your own life, isn’t the same true for you?
Here is a spiritual truism: Once repaired, go repair; once restored, go restore; once mended, go mend. Living into the truth of these words will give us and others hope. Rejecting these words leads to even more division. Although we might go about repairing the breaches in and around us differently, there’s no way around God’s call upon us to do so. If we are to be repairers during this challenging time, we must let go of any tendency to deny, defend, or blame others; instead, we must see and admit the challenges that are before us, and then we must take responsibility to act and live carefully, sensibly, wisely, patiently, and faithfully.
- What breaches has God repaired in you? What breaches is He currently repairing?
- What breaches could God be calling you to repair around you?
- If you spend more time scattering than gathering, tearing than mending, what would help you to repent and change? If you spend more time healing than hurting, repairing than impairing, what would help you to stay strong and resilient?