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Beginning January 1, we’ll be studying the book of Proverbs for the next 31 days. The new year is a great opportunity to invite your friends, families, and Life Groups to read along with you in 2023.
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Read Isaiah 62
Zion’s New Name
62 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet,
till her vindication shines out like the dawn,
her salvation like a blazing torch.
2 The nations will see your vindication,
and all kings your glory;
you will be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.
3 You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand,
a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
4 No longer will they call you Deserted,
or name your land Desolate.
But you will be called Hephzibah,
and your land Beulah;
for the Lord will take delight in you,
and your land will be married.
5 As a young man marries a young woman,
so will your Builder marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
so will your God rejoice over you.
6 I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem;
they will never be silent day or night.
You who call on the Lord,
give yourselves no rest,
7 and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem
and makes her the praise of the earth.
8 The Lord has sworn by his right hand
and by his mighty arm:
“Never again will I give your grain
as food for your enemies,
and never again will foreigners drink the new wine
for which you have toiled;
9 but those who harvest it will eat it
and praise the Lord,
and those who gather the grapes will drink it
in the courts of my sanctuary.”
10 Pass through, pass through the gates!
Prepare the way for the people.
Build up, build up the highway!
Remove the stones.
Raise a banner for the nations.
11 The Lord has made proclamation
to the ends of the earth:
“Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your Savior comes!
See, his reward is with him,
and his recompense accompanies him.’”
12 They will be called the Holy People,
the Redeemed of the Lord;
and you will be called Sought After,
the City No Longer Deserted.
Throughout the book of Isaiah, there is a lot to say about God’s judgment on His people. They are called out for being a rebellious nation, and Isaiah’s debut prophecy over his people was a harsh one (Isaiah 6:9-13). Now as we get closer to the end of the book, the text has taken a turn. In the past two chapters, we now hear the voice of the Messiah that “the Spirit of the Lord is upon [Him]” (61:1). Reading this with our current perspective we know that this Messiah is Jesus, and that Isaiah is being inspired to write these words.
In the first few verses of Isaiah 62, the Messiah declares that the desolation of God’s people will be replaced with delight. He continues with passion and fervor when describing a deep love for his people and claims them as his own. He loves Zion as a bridegroom and promises them a hephzibah, which can be translated to “my delight is in her.” He uses the word beulah which can be translated as “married.” This paints a heartwarming contrast to the book of Hosea in which Israel is labeled as “unfaithful” and compared to a prostitute.
Additionally, the Messiah reminds His people that He never forgot them because He sent prophets to guide them. He then tells his people that they will no longer be given over to their enemies, but they will be restored by mercy and satisfied by his love. The chapter concludes with the Messiah inviting all the nations of the earth into the salvation of Zion. They are called “Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord, Sought After, and the City No Longer Deserted” (v. 12). This is a powerful glimpse of what is to come: a moment in time where “every nation, tribe, people, and tongue” is welcomed with open arms into the salvation of God. This is a brief preview of what we now know as “the church.”
Isaiah 62 might be the most inspiring passage we can read on a day like today. It helps us remember the reason why Jesus came and the vision that the Messiah has, not only for his own people, but for all the inhabitants of the earth.
- How does this passage help you view God’s heart for the church?
- The Lord was faithful to keep His promise in bringing the Messiah. How have you seen the Lord’s faithfulness throughout your life?
- The Messiah’s arms are open wide to all to enter in. Who will you share the good news of the gospel with this week?
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