January 16, 2024 – Tuesday
Isaiah 54:11-12 NET
11 “O afflicted one, driven away, and unconsoled! Look, I am about to set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundation with lapis lazuli. 12 I will make your pinnacles out of gems, your gates out of beryl, and your outer wallout of beautiful stones.
Isaiah 54:11-12 NKJV
11 “O you afflicted one, Tossed with tempest, and not comforted, Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems, And lay your foundations with sapphires. 12 I will make your pinnacles of rubies, Your gates of crystal,
And all your walls of precious stones.
Isaiah 54:11-12 NIV
11 “Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with lapis lazuli. 12 I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones.
These two verses are clearly about the city of Jerusalem, not individuals. Nonetheless, commentaries have applied them to individual people of God, when afflicted and tossed, think they hear God speaking comfortably to them by these words, taking notice of their griefs and fears(Matthew Henry). Then by David Guzik, God cares about the one tossed with tempest. He cares about the one who is not comforted. When someone is in this place – afflicted, tossed, and not comforted – it is easy for them to believe God doesn’t care. But He does, and He gives precious promises to give strength.
Why is this? I believe it is because the city, Jerusalem, is like a child to God and His care for Jerusalem translates to His care for those who believe and follow Him. Just look at verse thirteen (NKJV), 13 All your children shall be taught by the Lord, And great shall be the peace of your children. This applies to the future inhabitants of Jerusalem, but also to the children of those who will live there. What parents would not want for their children to live in peace, a promised great peace. Then there is the first phrase in verse seventeen, 17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper … says the Lord.
But let’s go back to verses 11-12. First question, what is antimony? Turns out it is black mineral powder used to increase the brilliance of eyes by darkening edges of the eye lids. I think we see too much of this in our own time. Here it is used to provide a setting for all the precious stones used throughout the city.
From this let me ask you, “Have you ever considered why precious stones are used for foundations, gates and wall?” Look at Revelation 21:17-21 you will find the same. Verse twenty-one says, 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass. Streets of gold, why is this?
I believe it is to show us, the things we think of as showing great value or wealth are commonplace and have nothing to do with wealth at all in heaven. Only worthy of being used for roads and walls and foundations. And it adds weight to Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:20, 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. Of course, we are not going to take any treasure of wealth or valuables when we go to heaven.
Bottom Line: What we can take to heaven is what we have done to follow Jesus and the few directions He has given us such as Mark 11:25, 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
Prayer: Almighty God, Help us to forgive others as You have forgiven us. Help us to humble ourselves to do so and to let Your will be done in our lives. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Still writing and working for the Glory of God