Isaiah 54 starts with a call for us to sing in celebration of provision, even though we still live in lack. We are urged to make room for more when there’s no evidence of a need to expand. We are promised that as we step out in faith and have the courage to believe the words of our Maker, the One who has redeemed us, the shame that’s hounded us all our lives, will be forgotten. He is our Prince of peace and today He speaks these words over you;
“O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted,
behold, I will set your stones in antimony,
and lay your foundations with sapphires.
I will make your pinnacles of agate,
your gates of carbuncles,
and all your wall of precious stones.”Isaiah 54:11-12 (ESV)
The Apostle Peter likens followers of Jesus to, ‘living stones’ that are “being built up as a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5).
When I looked into the physical attributes of these elements and minerals, I saw something beautiful.
As you trust God, He sets your life ‘in antimony’.
Antimony comes from the Greek word ‘anti-monos’, meaning, ‘not alone’. It’s often added to lead or other metals to improve their hardness and strength and is used to make flame-retardant materials.
Your foundation will be laid with ‘sapphires’.
Sapphire is the third hardest mineral on earth and is highly resistant to scratching and abrasion and is often associated with royalty.
Your ‘pinnacles will be made of agate’.
The pinnacle of a building is the highest point or in terms of human endeavour, the point of greatest achievement.
Agates essentially form in layers of dirty groundwater within the cavities of volcanic rock. Agate is durable, has the ability to retain a highly polished finish and is resistant to chemical attack.
Your gates of ‘carbuncles’.
In geological terms, a carbuncle is a deep red gemstone capable of emitting its own light.
Your wall of ‘precious stones’.
One definition for precious stones is that they are minerals which combine the highest degrees of beauty, hardness, durability and rarity. These include diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald.
You may feel afflicted and storm-tossed, but God sees you as strong, secure, at peace and not alone.
You are precious in his sight and your life is hidden in him. Your foundation is in your identity as a child of the King of kings. You are royalty. God takes those parts of your story that cause you greatest heartache and shame and he fashions them into something beautiful, to be put on full display. His light shines through you and gives hope in a dark world and he protects you with a boundary wall of precious stones. There is no one like you. You are beautiful and strong, able to withstand the knocks of life. Remain in him, stand firm and display his glory.
© 2021 by Ruth O’Reilly-Smith