Terrified would be a good word to describe my emotions when my youth pastor slammed on the brakes going down the highway. “Look at that bucket” he exclaimed. With an excited tone, he started pushing me and telling me, “go get it, hurry”!
My youth pastor, Terry Terry, is a man who sees value in almost everything! I cannot tell you how many times the man has stopped on the side of the road to pick up a piece of “junk” to use.
The older I get, the more I find myself doing the same silly things. “it’s got a few holes, but I can use it for something in the garden” I find myself thinking. Maybe you are a redeemer of old and broken things. Do you find yourself taking that which other’s deemed as trash, and seeing the diamond in the rough?
Though Israel had failed more times than could be counted, God still desired to redeem them and use them. He said this in Isaiah 44:21 – “Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt NOT be forgotten of me.” God is not finished with Israel, He loves them.
Some of the most visual word pictures are given in Isaiah 42 to describe God’s willingness to redeem broken and useless things. God loves the broken. He loved Israel, and He loves sinner still to this day. God declares that He will break a bruised reed or quench a smoking flax… praise the Lord!
A reed was used to create a flute like instrument in Israel, and only the healthiest strongest stocks were pulled from the water. These flutes were often used among shepherds who would use them to call their flocks. A bruised reed was one that was bent and weak. God wouldn’t break and discard this reed, instead He would simply make a shorter instrument called a piccolo, a short flute. God saw the potential in what others saw as broken, busted, and junk.
The flax is the wick of a candle (made from flax). A smoking flax is one that the oil has run out, and the candle is about to be extinguished for lack of fuel. God doesn’t throw the flax away, but rather trims it, adds oil, and allows the wick to burn bright once again! God doesn’t throw away the burned up, short, and seemingly worthless flax wick.
Praise His name! God chooses to use weak, broken, worthless, busted junk like us! He sees our lives, bruised and smoking and sees potential, not junk. God loves using “worthless” people because He gets all the glory.
I am so thankful that God, in His great mercy and grace, redeemed a worthless sinner like me. He took this bruised reed, and has given me the opportunity to be a simple piccolo for Him!
Don’t you ever call junk what God has redeemed. He loves you, and He loves sinners. He saw value where other’s only saw junk, and He was willing to die to redeem it!
God is not through with Israel… they may seem like they are lost and broken right now, but they will one day remember their God and believe in the true Messiah, Jesus.
Daily Scripture Reading
“Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law.”