Our Treasures in Ruins

from Lynda Lindsey

Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways, … Isaiah 64:4-5(a)

Your sacred cities have become a desert; even Zion is a desert, Jerusalem a desolation. Our holy and glorious temple, where our fathers praised you, has been burned with fire, and all that we treasured lies in ruins. Isaiah 64:10-11

Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “My servants will eat, but you will go hungry; my servants will drink, but you will go thirsty; my servants will rejoice, but you will be put to shame.” Isaiah 65:13

Picture something treasured, highly valued, something adored that takes a great amount of attention to care for and keep in pristine condition. Imagine the sorrow one would feel to find that treasure spoiled, wrecked, a heap of crumbled ruins.  God’s people and His temple, once glorious treasures, had been wrecked, spoiled, left desolate. Sin and inattention to God and His ways left the temple, and people’s individual lives, in ruins. God again and again called His people to repent; again and again God’s people chose to ignore God. 

Spurning God leaves our soul’s shriveled; the more we ignore Him, the more we become distanced from Him. We eat and drink but still hunger and thirst. We pursue endless pleasure but shipwreck both body and soul. Empty, broken, our lives wasting away, we drift further away from God. What does it matter, then? What hope is there? God, our only hope, yearns for His repentant children to forsake sin and turn to Him. God, unlike a cold, lifeless idol of wood and stone, actively works on our behalf, actively participates in our lives. He pours out His help on those who turn from sin, remember His ways and gladly obey Him. 

God, righteous and holy by nature, rewards obedience and faithfulness, if not always in the-here-and-now, in eternity. God will restore to us the years the locust has eaten! He will restore our shattered ruined lives, remaking us into His treasured vessel! Just as blessings follow obedience, consequences follow disobedience. Our God will come one future day as a whirlwind with fire and sword to judge sin and righteousness. God will not be mocked; attend carefully to living a life that pleases God, laying up treasures in heaven where they can never spoil. Gladly obey; God’s righteousness is worth it!