And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities…
There are many wastes in the world, and there are all sorts of them. But of all sad and melancholy waste places, there is none so melancholy, so terrible, so desperate as a waste soul — a soul in which there is no sense of right and wrong in the tribunal of conscience; a soul where there is no distinct, manly, nobly inspiring purpose for spending and occupying life; a soul in which the mind is not instructed or Fed with useful knowledge, but which lies fallow; a soul where the heart is a cage of unclean birds.
I. As to THE METHODS of building up these waste places. Let us honestly confess that there are many of them, and none of them to be despised; and each is to be put in its proper order, and none can be dispensed with — one comes first, another second, and another third. There are in this earth of ours whole nations which may be called waste places.
1. The first thing to be done with the waste place of a great nation is to bring civilization into it; then the soil of the heart is prepared for better things to come.
2. Then many of our missionaries have to form a language: there are many words missing in the people's dialect, without which they could not understand the truths of the Gospel. Then when a man is educated, he finds his imagination filled with new ideas; he feels he has taken his place in the great society of mankind, and is ready to listen to the truths which a little while before he trampled under his feet.
3. Another great means of building waste places is commerce and trade.
4. Good government is necessary. No man can receive the greatest and loftiest truths when they are living in a constant state of danger.
5. Preach the Gospel of Christ.
II. THE INSTRUMENTS. Whom does God use to build up the waste places?
1. His Sou is the great Builder (Luke 4:18, etc.).
2. Then as His representative, and, so to speak, in His place, His minister, His ambassador, His mouthpiece, HIS witness, the Church of God. Her great mission is to preach the Word of God, and administer the sacraments of Christ. Then there are other ways. The Church must try to enter into all the needs, and difficulties, and wants of those to whom she ministers.
(A. W. Thorold, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.
WEB: They shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.