Posts Tagged ‘survivors’

Finally, after all the despair and destruction, there is beauty—glorious beauty for the survivors.

We can hardly use the word survivor in our day without conjuring up horrible holocaust images: emaciated, skeletal survivors of Nazi concentration camps, sole familial survivors of the Rwandan genocide, refugees of innumerable civil wars, even the survivors of natural catastrophe like the tsunamis of Southeast Asia or the earthquake and atomic meltdown of Japan.

But the words Isaiah chooses to describe the survivors of Zion are beautiful, glorious, and holy.  Destruction and judgment have washed away the filth and removed the bloodstains.  Both the filth and the bloodstains, if left after the destruction would have tormented the consciences and souls of the survivors, but when the Lord brings a purging judgment, it is followed by olive trees and rainbows—not remnants and rubble of shame that would continue to mar the beauty of His new creation.

Then the Lord shows His steadfast love. Just as He did after delivering Israel from Egyptian slavery, He provides a cloud of smoke and a pillar of fire to lead them day and night.  You remember how the Israelites, trapped between the sea and Pharaoh’s army were also protected by the fiery cloud, which moved to the rear of the escaping slaves to stand between them and a certain return to bondage.

In addition to the cloud of smoke and the fiery pillar, God adds a new dimension to His loving care—a canopy!  Now a canopy does not seem like much of an addition—unless you are baking in the sun of the Middle East.

I have never been as hot as I have been in that part of the world. The nomads, even today, build canopies to shelter themselves. Every leafed tree—even large bushes—serve as shelter and shade from the heat of the day—

…and they also offer protection from the inevitable storm and rain.  Survival did not mean paradise on earth.  Israel did not become Hawaii. It was still a place where the heat seared and storms arose.  The difference is that the survivors now live under His Canopy of Love and Protection.

If you are a Christian, then you are a survivor—beautiful, glorious, and holy. The Lord has washed away the filth and covers you with His Canopy.

You have survived. You are the living. So live as one who has been saved.


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