Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Isaiah, Chapter 54

It has been an intriguing journey this week. Of the past few chapters of Isaiah, we have seen the suffering and glory of Christ foretold. We have seen why there was a need for this suffering, and why this suffering occurred as a voluntary act of God reaching out to a lost and broken world. Many people do not attribute perseverance as a trait high on God's list of characteristics. When you look at the past few chapter of Isaiah, however, it is easy to see that perseverance may be one of God's greatest traits. Through these past chapters, indeed through this entire book, we have seen how God is ultimately patient. Even as he disciplines, He still knocks on the door of our hearts. There is not one time as long as we draw breath that He turns away from us. Not once does He say, "I am done with you. You're on your own."

Here in chapter 54, we begin to see some of the reward for that perseverance. We know that it must go both ways as we must do our part to meet him and open that door He is knocking on. We see the reward for persistence on both ends, our own as well as God's end, in chapter 54 as the author speaks about the future glory of Zion. Here God promises that even in a time of great trouble there is hope because God will deliver us. At the time this was written the time of great trouble was interpreted as the Babylonian exile. Currently, this time of great trouble could be happening now, or individually it could be any number of things. Trouble is different for each person, but in the end we will be delivered.

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. – Isaiah 54:5-8

God's promises are ever-enduring. If He says something, it WILL come to pass. Even in His anger He is righteous and just as he shows here. We also see His patience and perseverance in His anger here because He promises that He will come back for us after we have been punished. It is because we have free will that we are allowed to make our own mistakes, but like a loving parent he does not completely abandon us in these mistakes. We have the free choice to follow Him, so it is up to us to make that choice.


  1. Does God allow bad things to happen for a reason?
  2. How has this promise been fulfilled in your life?
  3. What do you do when you feel abandoned?

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