My Delight Is in Her

by Susan Sampson

The other morning I read the Daily Light devotion and Isaiah 62:4-5 was quoted: “You shall no longer be termed Forsaken…but you shall be called Hephzibah [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” (NKJV).  So I realized that the pauper girl Laurie mentioned in her recent Who Am I in Christ lecture had a name–Forsaken.  But now, because the prince married the pauper (to continue Laurie’s analogy), we have a new name–Hephzibah (which means “My Delight Is in Her”)!

Not only have we been given this beautifully amazing new name, but we also have been completely cleansed and given new clothes!  When we were the pauper we lived in our filthy rags.  We had nothing to bring.  Not only were we wearing filthy rags, but even our good deeds were filthy rags (Is. 54:6, NIV).  Our sins defiled us from head to toe.  But the prince “cleansed her by the washing of water with the word” (Eph. 5:26)!  Now that the prince has made us a princess, we wear His robe of righteousness (Is. 61:10)!

Listen to the prophet Zechariah’s vision in chapter 3:1-5:

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.  And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan!  The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you!  Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?”  Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments.  And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.”  And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.”  And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.”  So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments.

Here is what the ESV Study Bible notes say:

The vision is located in the heavenly courtroom, where the angel of the Lord is seated as the judge.  Joshua the high priest, one of the leaders of the returned exiles, is the defendant, and Satan, whose name means “the accuser” is the prosecutor.  Satan has a very strong case, for Joshua was not merely clothed with filthy garments but, more precisely, clothed in garments soiled with excrement, which would automatically defile the wearer….Yet the Lord ruled Satan’s charges inadmissible before he could present them.  The Lord’s election of Jerusalem and Joshua’s position as one “plucked from the fire” means that Joshua is free from any possible condemnation. The Lord also acts to cleanse Joshua from his iniquity.  He commands his servants to remove the filthy garments, so removing Joshua’s iniquity, and to clothe Joshua in pure vestments, garments suitable for him to wear in the presence of the King of kings.  Since the filthy garments represent iniquity, these “pure vestments” represent a new righteousness imputed to Joshua.

In love the King of kings chose us to be his daughter-in-law!  The King’s firstborn Son chose us to be His bride forever!  “And I will betroth you to me forever.  I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy.  I will betroth you to me in faithfulness.  And you shall know the Lord” (Hosea 2:19-20).  Remember Hosea?  He was the prophet the Lord told to marry a prostitute.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!  Jesus rescued us, redeemed us, delivered us and restored us.  “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:13).

Over the past couple of weeks the word that keeps coming to me is “respond.”  How will I respond to these amazing truths?  I even have in my mind a picture of Sean Connery from the movie “The Untouchables” dying on the floor looking at Kevin Costner saying with his dying breath in his Scottish accent, “What are you prepared to do?!”

I want to respond in humble gratitude, entering into the love of my Savior, trusting in His perfect love for me.  This can only be done by the grace of God.  We are completely dependent on Him.  We must cry out to Him every day for our daily bread.  Every day for more and more grace from His fullness.  He is the Vine and we are the branches.  Apart from Him we can do nothing.  But in Christ we can do all things.  We have the power of the Holy Spirit living in us.  We have been sealed by the Spirit of God Himself.

Today let us look to Christ, look to the cross, turn our eyes away from self and the things of this world and see what He has done for the pauper girls.  Let us thank Him, tell Him we love Him because He first loved us, and worship Him in spirit and in truth by offering our bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to the Lord as our Beloved first did for us.

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