Read Isaiah 54
The Future Glory of Zion
54 “Sing, barren woman,
you who never bore a child;
burst into song, shout for joy,
you who were never in labor;
because more are the children of the desolate woman
than of her who has a husband,”
says the Lord.
2 “Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
strengthen your stakes.
3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
your descendants will dispossess nations
and settle in their desolate cities.
4 “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame.
Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.
You will forget the shame of your youth
and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.
5 For your Maker is your husband—
the Lord Almighty is his name—
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
he is called the God of all the earth.
6 The Lord will call you back
as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—
a wife who married young,
only to be rejected,” says your God.
7 “For a brief moment I abandoned you,
but with deep compassion I will bring you back.
8 In a surge of anger
I hid my face from you for a moment,
but with everlasting kindness
I will have compassion on you,”
says the Lord your Redeemer.
9 “To me this is like the days of Noah,
when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth.
So now I have sworn not to be angry with you,
never to rebuke you again.
10 Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
11 “Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted,
I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise,
your foundations with lapis lazuli.
12 I will make your battlements of rubies,
your gates of sparkling jewels,
and all your walls of precious stones.
13 All your children will be taught by the Lord,
and great will be their peace.
14 In righteousness you will be established:
Tyranny will be far from you;
you will have nothing to fear.
Terror will be far removed;
it will not come near you.
15 If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing;
whoever attacks you will surrender to you.
16 “See, it is I who created the blacksmith
who fans the coals into flame
and forges a weapon fit for its work.
And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc;
17 no weapon forged against you will prevail,
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the Lord.
From the description of the suffering Servant as the One who made intercession for the transgressors, Isaiah now calls for a response to sing, to burst into song. He uses three figures to describe God’s relationship and grace to His redeemed people: a barren woman, a deserted wife or widow, and an afflicted city. With each description, Isaiah reminds us of God’s personal and unfailing love for His people.
These are rich pictures painted of God’s renewal, redemption, and restoration of His forgiven people. As we read this chapter, let’s highlight the powerful promises and character of the Lord. For the barren woman who represents exiled Judah, there is hope and a future through the coming suffering Servant. Her descendants will require enlarging the tents preparing for a larger family God promises to provide. God renews and offers hope. For the deserted wife who represents unfaithful Israel, God calls her back, removing the shame and disgrace of exile. Because God is her Maker, her Husband, the Lord Almighty, He calls her to a restored relationship with Him. His everlasting kindness and compassion are on display, exposing His unfailing love. Isaiah describes this as an unshakeable and permanent love. This love is further expressed as God promises to rebuild the afflicted city, Jerusalem. Isaiah’s description of a future rebuilt city was partially fulfilled when Jerusalem was rebuilt after exile, but also looks to a future day of the Lord’s return when the new Jerusalem is established. God restores, He rebuilds, He is hope eternal.
Admittedly, prophecy is sometimes difficult, even confusing, but as we read Isaiah’s prophecy today, take time to ponder the vivid descriptions of the character of our Lord. He renews. He restores. He forgives. He removes our shame, our humiliation. He is our Maker. He is Holy. He is compassionate. His kindness is everlasting. He redeems. His love is unfailing, unshakeable. He is peace. He protects. He is sovereign. The God revealed in Isaiah is the same God we love and worship in 2022. Philippians 2:8 encourages us to think about whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable – anything praiseworthy or excellent. What better place to begin than to focus on the gracious, compassionate, unfailing love of the Lord God Almighty!
- How do you respond to God’s unfailing love?
- Where do you need God’s reminder that His love is unshakeable?
- Who do you know who needs a gracious reminder of God’s unfailing love? How could/will you share His love with that one today?
The Hebrew word for God’s unfailing love is hesed, used more than 250 times in the Old Testament. To learn more about this word and its usage throughout scripture, check out this article from GotQuestions.org.
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4 thoughts on “Isaiah 54”
Reading this chapter brings tears to my eyes. The great exchange continues—shame, disgrace and mourning are traded for a covenant of blessing, everlasting love and compassion. He takes our shattered lives and remakes them into vessels of unimaginable beauty, and then promises that “no weapon formed against you will prosper” (v17). The Creator is also the Redeemer who shows us mercy we can neither comprehend or deserve. That’s a future worth looking forward to!
BUT GOD has shown mercy on us a multitude of times due to the fact the He made us for His Glory. We never think in those terms. He made YOU for His glory!! Mind blowing. We need to grow up and be that person. We were made a new creature,2 Cor 5:17, we are righteous, 2 Cor 5:21, He CHOSE YOU!! Eph 1:4-5, you have the mind of Christ, 1 Cor 2:16, He has a plan for you, Jeremiah 29:11, He has accepted you and will never reject you, Eph 2:6, you are completely forgiven, Heb 10:17, you are called God’s beloved Rom 9:25. The list goes on but we have to walk and believe that we are His. I am so guilty of thinking about what is wrong instead of what is right. That is called pride. In ourselves without God we can do nothing and we are not much value BUT GOD has given us a chance for something different because again, HE MADE YOU FOR HIS GLORY!!! Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
God thank You for making me for Your Glory. Thank You for helping me to wrap my mind around that. I know and desire more and more of that Hesed love. I believe we were all built with that desire innate in us. Thank You for opportunities to just be that loving gentle kind person without words. If words are needed that You give them. Let me wear Your Love goggles at all times!!! Thank You for words with my family being seasoned with Hesed love! I want to exude You love from head to toe at all times in Jesus name amen
I was reading in Psalm 69 yesterday in prep for Sunday and noted the last 3 verses; 34 “Let heaven and earth praise him
the seas and all that move in them,
35 for God will save Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah.
Then people will settle there and possess it;
36 the children of his servants will inherit it,
and those who love his name will dwell there.”
I also noted v13 “But I pray to you, Lord,
in the time of your favor;
in your great love, O God,
answer me with your sure salvation.”
So far that made the 4th verse in the Bible that has reminded me of God’s timing… and almost repeated 5x or more (I’m about to go on a search! 🧐) in both the OT and NT.
Its also hidden here in the scripture! Isaiah is reminding the people that “at the right time—in time of God’s favor—you will be redeemed, restored, rebuilt!
That verse has brought me comfort for the last 4 months by showing up when I needed to be reminded to keep the faith, have hope, TRUST in God, and push forward towards His will! And by the way, He hasn’t let me down yet! Nor, will He towards you!! Claim it!
Wow! Todays message! Waiting on God and His timing!