Isaiah 54:1–10comment (0)
April 23, 2009
By Dale Younce
Related Scripture: Isaiah 54:1–10
Explore the Bible
Professor of Christian Studies, School of Christian Studies, University of Mobile
The Lord is Compassionate
God’s people are not immune to sin. They give in to temptation, disobey Him and fail to serve Him consistently and wholeheartedly. Many believers are dismayed when they realize they have ignored His righteous demands or have outright rejected them. They recognize they have distanced themselves from the Lord and have allowed other people, things or pursuits to assume priority in their lives. Even after they repent of their sins, they often feel God cannot love them or restore them to usefulness in His service. Despair may accompany their sense of guilt. In compassion, however, God seeks to forgive them, assure them of His love, move them toward spiritual maturity and make them productive in His plan and purpose. The week’s lesson, Isaiah’s message about Israel’s future, sketches for us the truth of God’s compassion for His people.
The Lord Provides a Future (1–3)
The beneficial work of the suffering Servant found in Isaiah 53 is, in Isaiah 54, applied to the nation Israel and extended to individual believers. Isaiah 54 is a hymn of assurance for the exiles in Babylon. It celebrates God’s gathering again of His chosen people and their settlement in the land of Palestine. Although Israel was in exile, God did not give up on His people, but He will, with love and compassion, bring them out of exile. And furthermore, beyond the exile, in the future kingdom of God on earth, He will, by His grace, restore them to fruitful fellowship with Himself. Although they encountered judgment because of their sins, God will give them a glorious future.
God said the nation will experience a burgeoning growth in population. This is pictured in three ways: (1) a woman who has had no children rejoices when God enables her to bear children, (2) a Bedouin enlarges his tent to accommodate his children and (3) Israelites settle in the Gentiles’ cities because there is not enough room for them in their homeland.
The application of this truth sees God’s power at work in restoring believers today to fellowship with Him and service for Him.
The Lord Forgives the Past (4–5)
The Lord will regather His people the way a loving husband would call back to himself his erring wife (Jer. 31:31–34; Hos. 2:16). When His people repent, God erases their past sins (Ps. 103:12; Mic. 7:19) and grants a new start.
God possesses a unique relationship with Israel. He is Israel’s Maker, Husband and Redeemer. The great God who has this special relationship with Israel is “God of all the earth.” God has made national promises to Israel that He has not made to any other nation.
When we repent of our sins and seek God’s forgiveness, we can leave our moral and spiritual failures behind us. The past is forgiven and removed from our account.
The Lord Loves Everlastingly (6–8)
Although it is not mentioned in this passage, Isaiah had on several occasions given the reason for God sending Israel into exile. It was because of the nation’s sins (Isa. 50:1). But because of His compassion and loyal love, He will restore the nation to Himself and its land. A partial fulfillment of this restoration occurred in the return of the Jews from Babylonian captivity and the resettlement in the land of Palestine in 539 B.C. But the complete and final fulfillment will occur in the millennial age following the return of Christ.
God’s everlasting love for His people extends across the centuries to bring us into fellowship with Him. We respond properly to God’s compassion and love by determining to live for Him.
The Lord Honors His Covenant (9–10)
The Lord promises that He will never take away His love for His ancient people Israel. God’s covenant of peace (mentioned in Ezekiel 34:25, 37:26) refers to this promise He announced through Isaiah. God will give His people lasting peace (Isa. 9:7; 32:17–18; Jer. 30:10). His covenant of peace will endure.
Believers today can live in the assurance that the Lord’s love and compassion for us will never fail; our relationship with Him rests on what Jesus Christ did on the cross and through the resurrection.