“For the coastlands shall hope for me,
the ships of Tarshish first,
to bring your children from afar,
their silver and gold with them,
for the name of the Lord your God,
and for the Holy One of Israel,
because he has made you beautiful.”
It is the last line in this verse that is shining in my heart. The nations will glorify the name of the Lord our God because He has made beautiful those who are His.
This is His aim in our life. To make us beautiful. To purify our heart and rid us of all darkness, all fear, all hindrances to His glory filling us with all the fullness of God.
However weak, discarded, or stained we feel at times, however unworthy we may see ourselves, in Christ we are whole. In Christ we are cleansed and clothed in the righteousness of God. In Christ we are chosen, accepted, loved completely forever, and never cast aside or forgotten. In Christ, we are reconciled to God Most High and can approach His throne of grace, His mercy seat, directly and without fear.
Our God does not see us as unworthy sinners. He sees us as His. Our sins have been covered in the blood of Christ and cast into the depths of the sea. Punishment has already been dealt. Jesus took it. And so, trusting in Him, we now live with the Holy Spirit continually at work within us, making us beautiful—making us like Christ.
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 24-25). It is not up to us to make ourselves beautiful…we would only exhaust ourselves with fruitless efforts and miss the point. We simply need to draw near to God our Savior, the only One who is able to keep us from stumbling and present us blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy.
This is His work. It is His power within us, the power of the cross which brings salvation and forgiveness and healing, the power of the resurrection which brings life eternal, the power of the Holy Spirit to seal us as a guarantee that we are kept in the almighty power of God. This power is reigning over your life, changing your heart, making you beautiful and blameless. Because the God of Heaven wants to make you beautiful. And He will complete that work, to the praise of His glorious grace.
“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up,
so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise
to sprout up before all the nations.
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet,
until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,
and her salvation as a burning torch.
The nations shall see your righteousness,
and all the kings your glory,
and you shall be called by a new name
that the mouth of the LORD will give.
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.”