Summary: This message is included in a series from the book of Job.
“GOD RESTORES” Job 28:1-17
INTRO – “This Old House” – TV show that features the renovation and restoration. Bob Vila was host for many of the 25 years that it has been on TV. They’ve worked on every type of house imaginable – modern style, 1849 Greek revival farmhouse, 1928 brick Tudor, 1865 2nd-Empire style brick townhouse, 1907 Craftmans-style bungalow, 1835 barn, Victorian cottage, even a church. All over the country, coast to coast – Santa Barbara, CA, Boston, MA, Tampa, FL, Tucson, AZ, Honolulu, HI.
Christian life is like “This Old House.” Go through life. The storms beat against us, the sun beats down on us, and the enemy beats us up. Begin to show signs of the stress. Life has broken us down into a state of despair and disrepair. Find ourselves in need of renovation and restoration. Need for the Master Carpenter from Nazareth to step in and go to work. On “This Old House, “they worked on all sorts of houses of all sizes in all sorts of locations. In the Christian life, doesn’t matter who we are, where we live, what we’ve gone through. God is ready, willing, and able to step in and begin His restoration and renovation process. He’ll take all the ugly messes that we’ve made and turn our lives back into something beautiful and useful.
Isaiah talks about God being the potter and we are the clay – “Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” The clay starts out as just a ugly lump of clay. But the potter begins to work, patiently, expertly working w/ the clay. He turns it, molds it, squeezes it, sometimes using a firm hand, sometimes a gentle hand. He might use his whole hand or maybe just a fingertip. But He knows the potential of that lump of clay. He sees what it can become as long as it stays on His potter’s wheel and in His hand. Sometimes, the clay gets broken and misshapen. The potter patiently and lovingly works the clay back into a useful utensil – maybe a beautiful pitcher that can be used to help quench the thirst of a thirsty person.
God wants to do this w/ our lives. He sees and knows what we can be. He knows the plans He has for us, the incredible potential that exists w/in us when we are in His hand. He works in our lives, molding us, shaping us, refining us, turning us and forming us. Sometimes He has to use a firm hand, pressing hard against an obstinate area of our lives, a stronghold that we won’t let go of, an area we just don’t want to give up. But He always does it patiently, out of love for us, w/ His plan and purpose in mind for us.
Job has come to the end of his ordeal. He is broken, hurting, dazed, confused, but still holding on to his faith – “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him (13:25).” “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God. I myself will see Him w/ my own eyes – I, and not another. How my heart yearns w/in me!” (19:25-27) After all he had gone through, God spoke to him, picked him up, and restored him. His friends couldn’t do this; his former status in the community couldn’t do this; his former fortunes couldn’t do this – only His God could do this for him. Only God could restore Him. And only God can restore you.
Movie, “The 2 Towers.” Eowyn, niece of the king of Rohan, brandishes her sword in anticipation of coming battles. Practicing w/ it in private. Aragorn, warrior-king who has come to help Rohan, stumbles upon her private swordplay. Eowyn is embarrassed and belittles her own ambitions. She tells of her disappointments & how she has repeatedly been denied the chance to fight for her king and for her people. She’s afraid her life will end up being meaningless. Aragorn listens w/ compassion then speaks words of great power when he says, “You are a daughter of kings, a shieldmaster of Rohan. I do not think that will be your fate.”
Imagine the power and encouragement of that statement: “You are a daughter of kings!” A reminder to her of all that is hers b/c of who she is.
You and I need to hear again the words, “You are a child of THE King – a daughter of the King, a son of the King!” Be encouraged w/ those words! Remember all the potential that exists b/c that is true of you. Doesn’t matter what the condition of your life is right now. If you are a son or daughter of the King, He can and will restore you. Might feel right now like your life is meaningless, that you have nothing to offer b/c of the circumstances of your life at the present time. But you don’t have to stay there. God can restore you, giving you a new start, a new lease on life, a new direction w/ a renewed sense of purpose. God can restore you. I like what Joyce Meyer said: “You can be pitiful, or you can be powerful, but you can’t be both.” You can stay in your broken down, pitiful condition, wallowing in self-pity and self-condemnation. Or you can remember that you are a son or daughter of the King, clay in the hands of the Potter, and let Him rejuvenate your intimate walk w/ Him, renovate your deteriorated life, and restore you to a position of usefulness in His K’dom work.