Friday, December 16, 2016
by Larry Owens
Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have posted sentinels; all day and all night they shall never be silent. You who remind the Lord, take no rest, and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it renowned throughout the earth. The Lord has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm: I will not again give your grain to be food for your enemies, and foreigners shall not drink the wine for which you have labored; but those who garner it shall eat it and praise the Lord, and those who gather it shall drink it in my holy courts.
Go through, go through the gates, prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway, clear it of stones, lift up an ensign over the peoples. The Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth: Say to daughter Zion, “See, your salvation comes; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.” They shall be called, “The Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord”; and you shall be called, “Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.”
The City God Will Save
Do you know that God’s promise of Salvation has everything to do with where you live?
Long ago, Isaiah assured a ragged bunch of homeward bound refugees that Salvation would take shape in the devastated streets of an abandoned Jerusalem. With everything destroyed by the Babylonians decades before, such a promise sounded almost too good to be true!
Yet, Isaiah was certain that God had some ambitious plans for the City. He said God would send a Savior to build a Jerusalem like no one had ever seen before. It would be a Peace-filled City, with secure walls that kept residents safe from the ravages of warring hoards, an economy that allowed farmers to enjoy the fruits of their labor, and a transportation infrastructure that would bring in people from all over the world looking for a safe place to be.
No doubt, we long for such a City Savior not only in Decatur but in the thousands of Holy Cities all around the world. But what needs to happen to get construction underway?
Isaiah tells us. We’re to be like watchmen on the walls of our city whose job it is to remind God to get to work! To “give him no rest” (v.7) until God remembers God’s city and returns to it. Enough of the memory-destroying work of warfare! Enough of the urban blight and senseless killing! We’re to be like squeaky wheels, awakening God in the face of urban destruction.
In the meantime, certain that our persistent reminders have God’s attention, we get to work building the walls that will make for peace, restoring the ravaged gardens, freeing the farmers to work their fields without fear of being robbed, and opening up new highways that will bring the world’s weary travelers into our little peace of Heaven.
Is such a City possible? Mount your watchtower and see for yourself: “For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior!”