Devotional of the week: A royal diadem

“The nations will see your vindication, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow. You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah,and your land Beulah; for the Lord will take delight in you, and your land will be married. As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you” (Isaiah 62:2–5 NIV).

Photo credit: found on flickr by archer11.

Photo credit: found on flickr by archer11.

We might feel uncomfortable applying the language of the prophet Isaiah to our lives, and men in particular might struggle to call themselves a royal diadem or the bride of Christ. But as CS Lewis said, God is so masculine that we are all feminine in response to him. And so male or female, we can ask God to reveal how his loving words from centuries ago can speak into our spirits and souls today.

Being a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand makes me think of Jesus on the cross, wearing his crown of thorns. He who could take the place of the righteous king yet endured pain for our sakes. So that we too can be sons and daughters of the King, wearing a jewel-encrusted crown as bestowed by our heavenly Father.

No longer do we have to endure desolate lives of emptiness. For God reassures his people that he dwells with us and delights in us. He who has created us – the Builder – who has set our foundations into place, will rejoice over us even as a bridegroom on his wedding day.

Living out of the new self entails embracing our identity as the beloved. Our new name reflects joy, rejoicing, delight, and love. What name could you claim today?

For reflection: “‘Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb’… It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal” (Revelation 21:9, 11).


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