Isaiah 58:12b “…And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,
The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.”
“The Breach” is a reference to a wall that once protected and kept the city secure, having fallen into disarray and crumble. The city had become vulnerable to attack from adversaries.
It describes those in The Body of Christ who have become exposed in their minds and hearts due to the ravaging nature of both neglect and the winds of adversity. Their vulnerability has led to their discouraging sin and defeat. That defeat then brought accusation and hurt to the Church.
Then came their anguished and heart-felt repentance.
Their cry for help can be a confused and bewildering miscommunication that some believers question the validity of. Those who are in pain struggle to respond to the rejection and further accusation, and this can lead to reactions of anger – which we may take personally instead of understanding the pain that lies within.
The cry of the vulnerable is for one to come and “repair” the breach with understanding and healing. But all too often, the Pharisee comes instead, with judgement and condemnation. The pain intensifies and a wounded brother becomes a disillusioned adversary. The Pharisee congratulates himself on his diagnosis, rather than realising his part in compounding the tragedy.
Isaiah reminds us that there is also the call to be “A Restorer of Streets to Dwell in.”
The Hebrew word for “streets” in this passage is translated “a path that was once trodden”. “The Restorer” was one that would have the responsibility to “return back to former status and function”.
Again, the picture is of a Christian (often a leader) who has held a position and function of significance in the Body of Christ but fell into neglect and disarray. Their demise is evident, and their failure has resulted in an ever-mindful sorrow, regret, and repentance. Their cry is now for “The Restorer” who will see beyond the disrepute their failure has caused. Their hope is that others will see the heart of one now crying out for, not only the forgiveness of a merciful God, but the forgiveness of merciful brethren.
Instead, the Pharisees line up to hurl their stones and religiously proclaim that their need to be seen as righteous in the eyes of society and the media will not permit them to see such a one restored to ministry life. Their sin is the greater offense to God.
Too many in the Body of Christ have sat in such self-righteous judgement, and a God of restoration sees them for the stumbling blocks that they are. Unless repented of, their attitudes produce dryness of spirit and, eventually, their own darkness.
God’s Word is clear:
Isaiah 58:9-10 “If you take away the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.”
Galatians 6:1-2 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
My challenge to us all is this: let us remember our own desperate need for grace (past and present) and let us reach out with the heart of “A Restorer” to re-embrace these fallen warriors of the Kingdom. In doing so, we see “A Gift of The Christ to the Church” restored to live a fruitful life and cause the heart of our Father to rejoice.
In love and hope,