A few years ago the B.B.C. ran a fascinating series on the restoration of old buildings. In each programme several were introduced to the viewers, and people got to vote on which one they most wanted to see renewed. This led to some remarkable transformations. I confess I never realised that restoration could be such a wonderfully riveting subject.
God is in the restoration business! ‘’The LORD will restore the splendour of Jacob, like the splendour of Israel, though destroyers have laid them waste and have ruined their vines.’’ (2).
In chapters 2 and 3 of ‘Nahum’, the judgment announced in the first chapter is described in graphic detail. For example, look at verse 6. Historians have confirmed that Nineveh’s wall was breached by the force of backed-up canal water. In these chapters we see the Babylonians overthrowing the city of Nineveh. We are left asking, ‘’So, what happened to the famous and fierce Assyrian lion And all those cute Assyrian cubs? To the lion and lioness Cozy with their cubs, fierce and fearless? To the lion who always returned from the hunt with fresh kills for lioness and cubs, The lion lair heaped with bloody meat, blood and bones for the royal lion feast? ‘’ The Message. The lion, and his den were overthrown. Nineveh was totally silenced; completely destroyed. In fact its ruins lay undiscovered for more than two thousand years. They lay buried in sand, but were finally discovered in 1845. God’s Word, through Nahum, came to pass. And God launched this attack on the Assyrians in order to restore the ‘’splendour’’ of Israel (both northern and southern kingdoms). The Assyrians had destroyed Israel’s glory. ‘’Israel’s lived through hard times. He’s been to hell and back.’’ The Message. God was now going to destroy Assyria.
It is good to know that the Lord is able to restore people:
• He is able to restore broken-down lives. The image of God in people is now defaced because sin, but God restores the glory of that image in those who turn to Christ (Ephesians 4:20-24; Colossians 3:9, 10). He can so change people that we no longer see the waste and ruination of sin, but simply the shining light of His own reflection;
• He is able to restore prodigals to the Father. It may be that there is someone reading these words, and you know that you are not where you once were spiritually. You are in the ‘far country’ and you are eating pig food. But such a welcome awaits you back ‘home’ at the Father’s table. He will throw a party for you if only you will turn back to Him. He longs to see you on the horizon, and He will run to welcome you;
• He is able to restore Christians and churches to their first love (Revelation 2:4, 5). It will entail repentance; a painful recognition of where we now are compared to where we once were; and a deliberate turning back. But don’t doubt that the Lord can restore you;
• He is able to restore good times to those who have been through bad times. In fact, they often find themselves in even better times than they ever knew. This is the sheer goodness of God. He regularly saves the best wine for later.
God’s purpose in restoration is that we should shine as lights in this dark world. He clothes us with His beauty for His glory (Isaiah 60:21).
Prayer: Thank you for going to work on this old wreck of a life. May everything you do in me bring all honour to you.