Monday, March 31, 2008

Isaiah, Chapter 62

In Revelation 2:17, there is a promise about receiving a new name if we are able to overcome that ways of the world. It comes from the letter to the church at Pergamum, and it is God’s promise of endurance. The people of Pergamum lived in a place where false gods were common. They practiced their Christian faith, yet they allowed these other practices to go on around them. God was asking them to endure this temptation for His sake, and if they would endure it He would bless them and give them a new, holy name that only they would know.

Names are quite important in the Bible. Abram had his name changed at God’s request, as did Saul. That is why here, in chapter 62 of Isaiah, we see this tradition continued when God offers a new name for Zion. During biblical times names revealed many things about people. When a name was changed, it was a way of expressing a change in that person’s character. With the two famous examples of Saul and Abram becoming Paul and Abraham, respectively, we see that this was true. When those changes occurred it was a huge change in circumstances for both men.

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 maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. – Isaiah 62:4-5

This is not merely a prophecy for Israel. In these verses I see a prophesy and a promise for all who believe. If you believe that the Bible is indeed the living, breathing Word of God you know it is interlinked. I see one of those links here in this verse with the promise in Revelation 2. This is a metaphor for our hearts, which are desolate and deserted if we do not have Christ. When we do accept Him, we know that God rejoices over each and every one of us like we are the first to find him.

As we know, life does not instantly become easy once we accept Him. That is why the vision of Zion throughout the book of Isaiah is presented as a promise, rather than a physical place. The promises here serve a dual purpose as both a promise to deliver Jerusalem from the hands of the Babylonians and the future Zion for all of God’s people. These people are not just the Jews, but God’s people who are saved by grace through faith. We are all God’s people if we believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Once we believe that and ask for Him to take our sins from us we are promised that new name mentioned in Revelation.


1. How does your life in Christ compare to your life before Christ?
2. What do you see as the significance of having a new name?
3. Are there still times you feel desolate and deserted?

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