“Know ye the land where the cypress and myrtle
Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime?”
“Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree…” Isaiah 55:13
It’s not enough to eradicate thorns and thistles. God does more: He causes the cypress & myrtle to flourish where nettles & weeds encumber the ground
It’s not enough that God removes our vices. He does more: He replaces them one by one with solid virtues, so that the old site of evil becomes a place of rare beauty.
As A Roper wrote: Where cynicism abounded, hope and optimism begin to emerge;
where harshness and sarcasm flourished, kind, gentle words appear;
where malice & anger produced anxiety & turmoil, forbearance, tranquility & peace start to surface;
where lust grew rampant & unrestrained, pure love springs up.
This is the supplanted life, the living & lasting sign of God’s work, the only memorial that matters
And how does this transformation take place?
Just ask the Lord to do it. Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.” Isaiah 55:6
God can be “found,” when we grow tired of ourselves when we stop our self-efforts to be good. Then God calls us, reminding us that he’s at hand.
Turn to him, act “before desire shall fail,”
—turn from all our strategies to sanctify ourselves to One who loves us to death. A.E. Houseman
“And he will have mercy on us” Isaiah 55:7
Sink our roots into God’s Word & ask Him to speak to us
“as the rain & the snow come down from heaven & do not return to it without watering the earth, making it bear & sprout, so shall God’s Word be that goes forth from His mouth; It shall not return to Him void, But it will accomplish what God pleases, And it shall prosper in the thing for which God sent it” Isaiah 55.10,11
Lord Jesus burn Your words into our hearts Make Your voice bear fruit in us.
Lord Jesus drench us in Your grace let it “come down” Let Your beauty “spring up”; from Your word accomplish Your will & the purpose for which You’ve planned.