you shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your Cod»(Isaiah 62:33).
The greatest desire of the people of Israel while they were held captive in Babylon was to return to Jerusalem, rebuild the temple, enjoy freedom of worship, and resume their customs and traditions. With the conquest of Babylon by the kin Cyrus of Persia in 539 BC, a window of hope opened as the Persian conquerors name was mentioned in the prophecy written one hundred years before (Isa. 44:28). One year after the conquest of Babylon in 538 BC, Cyrus decreed the edict that granted freedom to the Jews and allowed them to return to their land, restore the temple of Jerusalem and rebuild their lives in their home country. He did not only grant them permission to return, but he also gave them back all the gold, silver, and riches that Nebuchadnezzar had plundered from that temple (Ezra 1).
Despite the good news, the realization of the project was not easy, according to the Book of Ezra. Firstly, only some of the exiled decided to take the opportunity to return to Judah. Secondly, many of those who returned (especially the elderly) cried because the restoration of the temple would not bring back its original glory. Thirdly, opponents tried to stop the rebuilding of the temple. We also know from the prophet Haggai that instead of building the house of God, many people put their efforts in building their own houses. When they finally decided to resume the rebuilding of the temple, they had to deal with scarcity and hardships.
The message of Isaiah 62 comes during the difficult moments lived by God’s people and conveys hope, promise, and courage. One of the metaphors is that of today’s verse: crown of glory and royal diadem. Throughout the history of mankind, many body adornments were used confer authority, distinction, and honor: tiaras, miters, crowns, garlands, sashes, belts, strips, medals, and medallions. But the crown and the diadem of today’s verse are very different: they come from God’s hand. The privileges and honors become valuable according to whomever grants them. There is no higher hierarchy than the King of the Universe. Do not give importance to the dignity that comes from human hands. That kind of dignity is imperfect because it is given and accepted by mere mortals. Give utmost value to the dignity that comes from God which makes us perfect when we receive it. What a sublime privilege!