“Then I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning; after that you will be called the city of righteousness, a faithful city.” (Isaiah 1:26, NASB95)
I have read/listened to the book of Isaiah all the way through in just a few days. The benefit of reading through a book like Isaiah more quickly is that you pick up on themes you might miss if you were to read it over weeks. The verse above is a case in point. Isaiah’s message in many respects is a tough one to hear. Throughout Isaiah, God is telling His people that they are going to face some very tough times as a consequence to their lack of faith and disobedience to His word. God’s description of the punishment to come is pretty graphic.
But throughout the book of Isaiah are verses like the one above. In the midst of verses of judgment and punishment are verses like this that remind us of God’s heart and intention. God intends to restore His people back into a proper relationship with Him. The purpose of His punishment is not to condemn but to save, redeem and restore. You might be in a time in your life where you are feeling the consequences of sinful choices. You might be in the midst of experiencing the Lord’s discipline. Please know that He still loves you. Know that it is His desire that you respond to what you’re experiencing with a repentant heart and turn back to Him. Yes, turn toward the One who is afflicting you and He will end your affliction. He will redeem and save you. He will restore you into a right relationship with Him.