05 Apr Out of the Ruins – 4/4/20
Isaiah 61:4 – “They shall build up the ancient ruins…”
The Pergamon Museum in Berlin has one of the most impressive museum exhibits I have ever seen: the Ishtar Gate. It was one of the inner gates to the city of Babylon and was constructed in 575 BC by King Nebuchadnezzar II. Less than 50 years after it was finished, Babylon was conquered and the city eventually fell to ruin. It wasn’t until 1902 that the excavation and restoration of the Gate began. When I first walked into the room that housed the Gate, it was hard not to be impressed by its size and opulence. It stands a looming 46 ft. tall and 100 ft. wide and is painted in a vibrant deep blue glaze with large intricate depictions of animals in golden yellow. Though it had fallen to ruin from war and neglect over a couple of thousands of years, now stands this ancient ruin, built back up, restored.
We were once the poor, the broken hearted, and the captive, but through the work of the Messiah, God built up what man had destroyed and let fall apart. When we accepted Christ, and asked for forgiveness, we were not just forgiven, we were restored. He did not throw out the ruins of our former life. He carefully excavated them from the debris, gently cleaned them off and used those very ruins to re-build and restore us. In this exact way that God restored us, we are to bring restoration to the world. Excavation is slow and tedious work. Destroying anything that remains and starting over would be a faster and easier way to build but that is not in God’s character. Our God is a God of redemption not waste. So, it is our responsibility to carefully handle the ruins around us, gently cleaning them and painstakingly building them back up to their original design and reflection of God’s glory.
- Spend some time thanking God for the restoration you have experienced in your own life. Pray for a heart that is aligned with, and willing to do, God’s work of restoration in your own sphere of influence.
- Pray that as a Church, we continue to be steadfast in doing the work of building back up what has gone to ruin right around us. From the practical restoration of our new church building, to the restoration of every soul that walks in the door or is served by us.
- Pray for a revival in our city. That so many people become saved, that every empty seat in every gospel centered church is full, and that many more churches will need to be planted to meet the demand.