Cities of old used to fortify themselves by building a wall around them. Those walls created a barrier which complicated the actions of the enemy. The walls also kept wild animals at bay.
Unfortunately, neglect and withering attacks took a toll on the wall. If the enemy waited long enough and worked hard enough, they could breach the wall, enter the city, and defeat it.
Afterward, the city would always have vulnerabilities. Predators such as thieves and foxes could enter, wreaking havoc on the people.
In fact, the walls were useless until someone would fix them.
The Repairer of the Breach
…came to help, the city would fall victim to practically anyone and anything.
Let me tell you a few things about…
Jerusalem was no exception to the rules of ancient warfare. The city had a wall, however, an enemy breached it. Babylonians captured the city and carried most of it inhabitants into captivity. The city lay in ruins.
The people who remained were defenseless.
Although scripture records the physical conquest of the city, it also records its spiritual downfall.
God gave His people…
Physical and spiritual walls
…to protect them.
God gave Israel a framework of constructive human behavior. He gave them good moral values that guaranteed their longevity.
As long as the nation honored God and conducted themselves in a moral way, no enemy could overtake them.
Sadly, the people rebelled against God. They angered God by killing their babies. They rejected moral standards. The lusts of the flesh governed their behavior. Wicked kings seduced the people, and the people sought out sinful lifestyles. They rejected God.
God sent prophets warned the people. Still, the people defied God. They continued on a destructive course.
Satan created a breach in their spiritual defenses.
By the time Judah’s King Manasseh finished his reign, the nation had no moral compass. They had no national conscience of right and wrong. Their sin corrupted them. Their rejection of God’s Way destroyed them.
Satan had breached Israel’s spiritual wall.
….in many ways.
They went whoring after false gods, wickedness, corruption, and perversion, they still (and in vain) gave “lip service” to God.
Prophet Isaiah acknowledges this in the Book of Isaiah Chapter 58. The people “went through the motions” of service and expected their rituals to appease God.
Go ahead and fast. Pray. Go through the motions of worship. The breach renders your religious service useless.
Here’s what God says to the people in Isaiah Chapter 58, Verse Five:
Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?Isaiah 58:5
Of course, the nation and its people did not satisfy the Lord by performing a routine. God rejected their service.
God wanted His people to serve Him from their heart. If they did, their service would manifest outwardly in their behavior (Isaiah 58:10).
If the people had…
- Loose the bands of wickedness.
- Undo heavy burdens.
- Free the oppressed.
- Break every yoke.
- Feed the hungry.
- House the homeless.
- Clothe the naked.
- Fulfill family obligations.
They would stop:
- Putting forth the finger.
- Speaking vanity.
True religion supports morality and justice. It allows God to work through us. It provides a framework that lifts us up. Everyone can benefit from God’s way.
Intact spiritual walls give you security. They result in blessings. They give you…
God wants to help. Propher Isaiah says,
Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.Isaiah 58:9
Thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:Isaiah 58:10
And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.Isaiah 58:11
Most importantly, serving God from the heart leads to your…
The enemy had breached the walls of Jerusalem. God’s people were defenseless spiritually and physically. The nation needed restoration.
I’m pretty sure that many people didn’t realize the source of their trouble. They expected God to help them. They only heard positive things from their prophets. Some were deliberate in their sin. Perhaps others didn’t know right from wrong.
They needed someone like Prophet Isaiah to speak on God’s behalf. God gave Isaiah this mission:
Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.Isaiah 58:1
Restoration begins with…
Repentance begins with the preaching and teaching of God’s Word.
At this critical moment of Israel’s history, God mercifully sent someone to expose their sin.
I think God wants the same thing for our nation. Sadly, with “churches” of every size and denomination all over our land, few seem willing to “cry aloud and spare not.” Instead, they choose to compromise. They want to “go along to get along” with the world and our corrupt, perverted society.
Just as in our text regarding Israel, the enemy has breached our national spiritual and physical defenses.
We have no moral fabric. The Constitution no longer defends us. In fact, our enemies now use it as a weapon against us while exempting themselves from it.
We have allowed evil people to ban God from every nook and cranny of our society and government. The people follow our leaders into the promotion and acceptance of perversion as normality. They sell us evil labeled as “good.”
Many of us, personally, are also breached. We try to serve God in ritual, but God is against us. So many people, even those who attend church, don’t know why. Few people will lift up their voice like a trumpet, declaring, “Thus saith the Lord!”
Our enemy, Satan, has laid our land to waste. We need restoration. But we also need…
The Repairer of the Breach.
The enemy has breached our nation, our families, and our personal lives. God’s hand is against us.
As is the case in our text, the people were content to live among the ruins. They were happy to let Satan have his way with their country and their lives.
I’m telling you that God wants something better. He wants us to prosper. He wants abundance for us. He wants us to live in peace and safety. He wants us to enjoy the fulness of life.
For that to happen, something needs to happen. Someone needs to rise up to say, “Thus saith the Lord!”
According to our scripture, you and I have the responsibility to solve the problem. Here’s what God says in Isaiah Chapter 58, Verse 12:
They that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.Isaiah 58:12
Doesn’t that sound wonderful? I think it’s time to take responsibility for restoration. If you’re anything like me, you’re pretty good at tearing things down.
For the most part, most people do a pretty good at doing nothing about the breach. Sometimes, I feel like we’ve been programmed to accept our personal deficiencies. We’re trained to accept our national decline. So often, we want God’s blessings without putting our faith in motion.
Sometimes, we expect others to do their part, so we ignore our responsibility. After all, God gave His people prophets. He gave us pastors and teachers. They are supposed to be the watchmen on the wall:
I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,Isaiah 62:6
Sadly, as was the case with Israel, the people who should make mention of the Lord keep silent. They fail to warn the people of their transgressions. They do not offer a path forward.
God speaks to religious leaders in Ezekiel Chapter 13. The people who were supposed to speak for God prophesy out of their own hearts (Ezekiel 13:2). He called them “foolish.” They follow their own spirit, not the Spirit of God (Ezekiel 13:3).
Those whom God expected to care for the people prey upon the people like “foxes in the deserts” (Ezekiel 13:4). They lie about what God says (Ezekiel 13:6). Their vision is vain (Ezekiel 13:7).
What I want you to know is in Ezekiel Chapter 13, Verse Five. God says to the prophets,
Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD.Ezekiel 13:5
Gaps existed, but the prophets, the pastors… the ministers, if you will… refused to repair the breaches.
Those who claim that God has called them to lead have failed. They’ve betrayed God. They’ve sold out to the Enemy.
The time has come when…
…must rise up to repair the breach.
You might feel as though you’re “unqualified.” You may think that you’re “unable.” It’s time that you change your way of thinking. Now is the time for some new labels.
Prophet Joel says,
Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.Joel 3:10
I’m telling you that God wants to give you a new name. You can be called “The Restorer of the Breach.”
God wants us to do something. He needs us to step up.
I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.Ezekiel 22:30
The stakes are high. You can repair the breach in your character. You can repair the breach in your family. You can repair the breach in your church and your community. You can make a difference.
Right now, I think you get the picture of the problem. Evil people have broken down our spiritual walls. We’ve neglected our defenses. The enemy has conquered us.
If you’re ready to answer the call, you need to understand
How to repair the breach.
Fortunately, God tells us exactly what needs to happen. He tells us what to do to repair the breaches in our life and nation.
Build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations;Isaiah 58:12
We don’t need a new way. We don’t need to invent new ways to build fortifications. We don’t need a bunch of “woke” politicians and politically correct social activists to deceive us into worsening the problem.
The answer lies in the ruins that surround us.
Modern religion (or should we call it post-modern religion) wants to clear away the ruins. Mega churches and their “ministers” want to remove the rubble and reconstruct Christianity in a new way.
That’s not the answer.
Build the waste places
It’s time to recognize what brought us peace, prosperity, and security. We must reconstruct the institutions that Satan has destroyed.
I speak of families. I speak of morality and justice. I speak of truth. I dare say, I speak of Christian assemblies. I speak of the Church.
Preach the Gospel
In Isaiah Chapter 61, we see Isaiah’s mission, which the Lord Himself claimed in Luke Chapter Four.
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;Isaiah 61:1-2
Nothing gets the job done the way preaching does.
I want you to notice the result of preaching:
They shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.Isaiah 61:4
Did you hear the Word of God? To repair the breach, we must seek to restore that which we’ve lost. To repair the breach, someone must preach.
As an aside, please notice Isaiah’s audience:
- The meek.
- The brokenhearted.
- All who mourn.
I want you to understand the intended result. “Crying aloud and sparing not” serves to accomplish good things, not bad. God wants to…
To give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.Isaiah 61:2
To enjoy the blessings, we must become the Repairer of the Breach,
Raise up the foundations of many generations.
Israel had a solid foundation. They had the law and the scripture. They had the blueprint for success. In fact, in the midst of the ruins, the foundations were still there. Good things were still possible!
Psalms 106 talks about someone who became the “Repairer of the Breach.”
[God] said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.Psalm 106:23
Recognize the problem. Solve it.
Don’t build new foundations. Instead, raise up the foundations that the past has proven effective.
You can make the difference between life and death for you, your family, your community, your nation, and the world.
Let God call you by your new name: “The Repairer of the Breach”!