January 11, 2009
Repairers of the Breach
Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
“If you take away the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
The LORD will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Those from among you
Shall build the old waste places;
You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,
The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.
“If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a delight,
The holy day of the LORD honorable,
And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,
Nor finding your own pleasure,
Nor speaking your own words,
Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD;
And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
The mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
Isaiah 58: 6-14 (NKJV)
This is the fasted life that brings true Honor to the Lord. Previously in this passage the Lord is rebuking Israel for putting on the appearance of a fast but then living out the opposite and wondering why God would not answer them. If we seek an answer from God, we should probably start inspecting our walk with Him to be sure we are living in a way that pleases Him. Don't forget that the yoke is light and the burden is easy and that God promises to be our rear guard. If you don't understand the meaning of the rear guard, then consider the Israelites in Exodus 14 that had been freed from Egypt just to be consumed by Pharoah and his army in front of the Red Sea. What God did was buy them time, and then set them free. He literally was their rear guard by bringing darkness to Israel's enemy and bright light to them. The same promise applies to each of us. I think it's easy, at least for me, to forget this promise. But God always sets us up to learn greater trust and dependency on Him. Taking us to the very precipice of disaster, just to come in at the last possible moment and deliver us. I don't know about you, but I want to know this God of the Israelites. He seems quite different from what I've seen and experienced growing up.
What leaps out to me from this passage is the section about raising up the foundation of many generations and that, if we choose to live this fasted life to the Lord, we will be called Repairers of the Breach. I'm certainly no theologian or scholar but the first thought that comes to mind is that Christ is the true Restorer and Repairer. I did a little research on this "Repairers of the Breach" phrase and here's something interesting I found: "to repel the enemy, which would be the act of the bravest soldiers, who would expose their lives to most imminent peril." In other words, the Breach is where the enemy has gained ground into the wall surrounding the city. Repairing the breach would imply removing the enemy from within, and then rebuilding the wall (see Nehemiah for a detailed look on wall building).
I'm honestly not entirely sure what this means for us, but I know it's highly significant. Jesus, would you make us all Repairers of what's been broken and stolen from your church. Keep our eyes on you, give us supernatural strength to overcome the enemy. We have no plan apart from your deliverance. Strengthen our weak hands and feeble knees.