… 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.
You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
and your land shall no more be termed Desolate,
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her … for the LORD delights in you …
as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.
How can an unfaithful, forsaken city become “Not Forsaken”? The answer lies in the upside-down wisdom of the cross. In the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, God takes the antagonism, hostility, and violence of the inhabitants of the earthly city upon himself. Jesus, God’s Son, is forsaken (Matthew 27:46) in order that he might create a city called “Not Forsaken.” He faithfully bears the punishment for our unfaithfulness so that his city can be called righteous and faithful (Isaiah 1:26). (Why Cities Matter, by Stephen Um and Justin Buzzard)
Unfaithful, forsaken people (like you and me) become Not Forsaken. We become crowns of beauty, held in the Lord’s hand. How can that be?! Me? You? A crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord?
Yes. But not by our own faithfulness. Rather because Jesus became forsaken. He chose desolation so that His bride would be given a new name.
O believer in Christ, you are no longer Forsaken, for Almighty God, the King of kings and Lord of lords delights in you. He rejoices over you! You are a crown of beauty, a royal diadem in His hand.
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Painting: Ludwig I of Bavaria, by Karl Joseph Stieler, 1826
Hymn: And Can It Be, that I Should Gain? by Charles Wesley, 1738