When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Psalm 126:1
READ: Ezra 9:5-9
5 And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God,
6 And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.
7 Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.
8 And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
9 For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.
Restoration presupposes that something is missing or a loss has occurred, usually that of something good – whether spiritual or physical. There are some people in the Church today who have backslidden and need divine restoration. The danger in backsliding is that the fellow, more often than not, may be reluctant to leave his sinful ways (Proverbs 14:14) and might have been given over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1:28), if you have backslidden. I pray that you would retrace your steps today, in Jesus’ name.
When a fellow loses his salvation, so many unpleasant things happen. As in the case of Ezra and his people in today’s Bible reading, there was a corruption of virtues.
What then should a spiritually backslidden fellow or nation do to be restored? Like Ezra prayed penitently on behalf of his nation in our Bible reading today, a backslider too must be penitent and humble before God. Psalm 51:17 says:
“…contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
Paul also said in 2 Corinthians 7:10:
“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
In other words, when you are so sorrowful about your sins that you confess and forsake them, you experience restoration (Proverbs 28:13). When you repent, you are making a complete ‘U-turn’ from your trespasses. Ezra warned the people in captivity never to return to the sins that brought them into that state in the first place. He instructed them to stop the pollution of inter-faith marriage too (Ezra 9:12). This is a very important lesson to this world (Romans 12:1-2), but rather we must come out of the sinful environment, be steadfast, and separated unto God (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
When we obey God’s word, our restoration shall be complete and permanent. Have you suffered spiritual, physical, material, or any other kind of loss? You can experience divine restoration if only you would repent today and return to the Lord.
I pray that the Almighty God will restore unto you everything you have lost, in Jesus’ name.
Father, please restore to me all that I have lost, in the mighty name of Jesus.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: ZECHARIAH 8-14.
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE
HYMN 11: I NEED THEE EVERY HOUR.
1. I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.
I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
Oh, bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.
2. I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their pow’r when Thou art nigh.
3. I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is vain.
4. I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.
5. I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
Oh, make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son.