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by PJ Salas delight

"You will no longer be called Forsaken; nor will your land be called Desolate anymore; for you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the Lord delights in you, and your land will have a husband (בָּעַל care taker, keeper)."  "And all nations will call you blessed: for you will be a delightsome land, says the Lord of hosts."  Isaiah 62:4;  Malachi 3:12.

The above passages are in the context of Israel's seventy-year captivity, which they brought upon themselves. In these verses, God is promising to reconcile His people to Himself from whom they had wondered; and to restore in them true beauty. Further, the passages contain God's assurance that He will heal their land, devastated during their capture.

God's Chosen delight

Israel was God's chosen people, His means to reveal Himself to the world, to show His goodness and great love. However, Israel was led away by their desire for something else, something more, something different (Genesis 3:6;  1 John 2:16), and in so doing they lost the truth of who God is. They disregarded His goodness, His graciousness, and generosity; and consequently put themselves in an appalling state.

Israel wandered down the ever-darkening path of sin, to the point of sacrificing their own children to false gods. They were not only rebelling against the Creator, but against themselves. Israel was in a horrific condition. God could no longer show them mercy. He had to intervene and let them reap the consequences of their actions. Thus, Israel spent seventy years captive in a foreign land.

The Bible says that because judgment against evil is not executed speedily, the hearts of people are fully set on doing the evil (Ecclesiastes 8:11). Instead of seeing God's merciful hand in enduring our hideous behavior, we use it as license to continue in wickedness. Because we are not walking with God, our sinful condition carries us places we should not go. Our corrupt nature bends to the unwholesome, unkind, and downright horrendous; and so it was with the chosen of God.

Correction delight

Through the refining captivity, God sought reconciliation with His people, to restore them in the true beauty of a sterling character.

The record of Israel's history stands as testimony against not only God's people, but against all people. As Israel preferred the sinful and harmful, unfortunately, so do we. Our corrupted natures unabashedly abandon God's limits and boundaries. We reject His governance, and hasten to the perverse, destructive, and horrific.

God's correction for His people through the captivity was for their good. Left unchecked they would destroy themselves. The Lord chastened Israel that they recognize their ruinous behavior, and recess from the shameful conduct.

Nonetheless, in the tenderness of God's loving kindness He did not abandoned His people. He had plans for their future good, plans of reconciliation and restoration (Jeremiah 29:11).

God Keeps His Promises

The Creator is a loving heavenly Father who cares deeply for His children. Once the seventy years of captivity were complete, God fulfilled His promises to His chosen. He brought Israel back to their land and re-established them as a people.

God's promise to reunite Israel with Himself, and to return them to their land, is symbolic. This is what He wants to do for each one of us. Through His plan of salvation, God seeks to bring us back to Himself, and to rebuild us in righteousness. He desires our reinstatement to the right of the Tree of Life, lost to us in the Garden of Eden. The Lord longs to give us our eternal delightsome land, the new earth. (Genesis 3:24; Isaiah 66:22;  2 Peter 3:13;  Revelation 21:1-5;  22:14).

Isaiah chapter sixty-two plainly speaks of God's plan for our salvation, His coming deliverance to reconcile and restore all people. He tells of the coming Savior who will redeem all who open their heart and let Jesus into their life.

The Plan delight

God's plan of salvation is to deliver us from sin. His purpose is to recover and renew us through His beloved Son Jesus, who paid the price for our sins. Jesus willingly offered Himself, so we no longer have to be in bondage to sin. In our stead, Christ died the second death to regenerate a beautiful character in us that we may live forever.

The lost image of God in Israel exemplifies our need to have God's image restored in us. This is the purpose of the Lord's salvation plan. God seeks to return us to His image of goodness and well-being, in which He created us (Genesis 1:26). He desires our good. The Lord provides for us to be in righteousness and holiness, delightsome. He wants to delight in us, even as He did when we walked with Him in the Garden, before sin entered our hearts (Genesis 3:8).

Birthed and Carried by God delight

Ezekiel chapter sixteen, and Isaiah chapter five, verses one through four are an analogy of God's relationship to His people. It chronicles the time of their birth as a nation through the many years, decades, and even centuries of rebellion. Israel rebelled against the One who loved them best and most, the One who gave them life.

It is a very sad history, and an all too true account of the human race. Their story is ours. Israel's revolt against the Creator is an illustration of how we treat the One who gives us life. By the breath of God, we live and breathe (Genesis 2:7). He sustains and blesses us with all things good and beautiful. Look around see the beauty given us by God, His creation, our environment. Even after six thousand plus years of degradation, God's earth still provides for us, and delights us.

Through the captivity, God was showing His people their horrific condition, reconciling them back to Himself, and restoring them in true beauty. After their exile, God returned Israel to their land, demonstrating His salvation not only to Israel, but also to all people.

God has given us the record of His chosen people to show us ourselves. He wants us to understand the state of our condition, and to repent from our sins. The Lord bids us to turn back to Him, the One who created us, and who desires to recreate us. God seeks to restore us to our coming eternal home, the new earth, a delightsome land.

"Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you, declares the Lord of hosts."  Zechariah 1:3.

All Who Choose Are Chosen

While the verses of Isaiah and Malachi are referencing Israel's captivity, they are a truth and promise for all people. Those who choose reconciliation with God through Jesus, accepting restoration to the beauty of a godly life, will live forever. The delightsome land, the earth made new, is their eternal reward (Isaiah 66:22;  2 Peter 3:13;  Revelation 21:1-5).

Open your heart to the truthfulness of your condition, turn to God, repent, and be saved. Reconcile with your Creator; and be restored in the beauty of righteousness. Choose reinstatement in your right to the Tree of Life, lost in Eden (Genesis 3:24;  Revelation 22:14). Embrace eternal life in the delightsome land, which God promises to all who have faith in Jesus, and follow Him closely.  Choose to be chosen.

"… come, let us walk in the light of the Lord."  Isaiah 2:5.

"You will no longer be called Forsaken; nor will your land be called Desolate anymore; for you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the Lord delights in you, and your land will have a husband (בָּעַל care taker, keeper), Jesus, our true husband (Isaiah 54:5)."  "And all nations will call you blessed: for you will be a delightsome land, says the Lord of hosts."  Isaiah 62:4;  Malachi 3:12.