Brought In, Gathered Together, and Restored

from Lynda Lindsey

For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the Lord and serve Him with one accord… But I will leave in your midst a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of the Lord, those who are left in Israel; they shall do no injustice and speak no lies, nor shall there be found in their mouth a deceitful tongue. For they shall graze and lie down, and none shall make them afraid. Zephaniah 3:9; 12-13

“At that time I will bring you in, at the time when I gather you together; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes,” says the Lord. Zephaniah 3:20

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.  Luke 2:25-26

Consolation, receiving comfort and hope from another, comes in the form of cards,  letters, or phone calls, but most often consolation is in the form of a personal visit. The Comforter, the consolation of Israel, the very Word of God, became flesh and dwelt among us! Simeon, righteous and faithful, was promised he wouldn’t die before his Savior came. Imagine Simeon’s joy; Simeon not only saw Jesus but was allowed to cradle the Consolation of Israel in his arms! Messiah, Immanuel, God with us, came to redeem and save us, to release us from sin and to comfort us in our sorrows.

Judah, oppressed, burdened by sin, facing exile, needed comfort and hope; God offered boundless consolation, not just to the Jews, but to the entire world. God, through a remnant of His faithful people, would, by His grace, redeem and save, comfort and console the repentant. Jesus forgives, saves, and restores the fallen, the lost, the oppressed. God’s freely offered gift is for anyone who reverently and humbly seeks Jesus. Sin robs us of the holy, good life God meant for us; Jesus heals the devastation sin leaves in its wake and transforms and remakes us into new creations.

As we yield to the Holy Spirit’s work in us, we are remade from the inside out; everything from our actions to our speech is transformed. No one shall make us afraid, for God has won the battle; we shall lie down and rise up in peace. Jesus’ shed blood has assured the victory; fear God, not man. Trust God; accept His correction. God brings us in, gathers us together, and restores to us the years the locust has devoured. Seek refuge in Jesus’ name; He in no wise casts out any who call on Him. Experience Jesus’ consolation and experience life as God meant it to be.