(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
What do you do when the candles on your birthday cake are still smoking? Perhaps you blow harder, or you lick your fingers and snuff out the remaining spark.
What do you do when you are in the garden and you see a branch that is alive, but is broken and seems to be dying? Probably either break or cut it off.
Perhaps as a kid you tried to see if you could get the candle to come back to life, but I don’t know anyone who would take a broken branch and try to splice it back together or somehow preserve it’s life.
It’s easier to snuff it out or break it off.
Unless you are the Lord and the wick and the branch are you and me.
Isaiah 42:3-4 says, “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope.”
Matthew quoted these verses (12:15-21) as one of the prophesies Jesus fulfilled. How did he fulfill it?
15 Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. Many followed him, and he healed all their sick, 16 warning them not to tell who he was. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
18 “Here is my servant whom I have chosen,
the one I love, in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
19 He will not quarrel or cry out;
no one will hear his voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
till he leads justice to victory.
21 In his name the nations will put their hope.”
Jesus didn’t break people off or snuff them out, he healed them. As we looked at in yesterday’s devotion, he is gentle and humble at heart. His desire was to help people physically, but more importantly spiritually. When he saw someone ill, he healed them. Matthew indicates that people intentionally brought the sick out to see Jesus. Someone about to die? Jesus didn’t snuff them out…he healed them. Someone broken and couldn’t walk? Jesus healed them.
But most importantly he wanted to fan into flames, and strengthen bruised reeds spiritually. Matthew says of Isaiah’s words, “In his name the nations will put their hope.”
Jesus used his power to heal and restore, not break and crush. He uses his power to heal and restore us, spiritually.
King David said in Psalm 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”
God could crush our broken spirits heart, but he doesn’t. He chooses to be gentle and uses his power to forgive, restore and bring new life to our souls.
With the gentle love and forgiveness of the Lord, we always have a reason to have hope.
Apply: How has the Lord restored you when you felt like a smoldering wick or bruised reed?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for using your power to gently restore me, a smoldering wick and bruised reed. AMEN.