The Book of Isaiah Bible Study Chapter 54 Part 1

Isaiah

We now look at Isaiah 54:1-8

G-d is not finished with Israel – neither the people nor the land of Israel. One of the purposes for G-d’s faithfulness to Israel is for a testimony. Those within the nations, who have entered into the New Covenant through faith in Yeshua, will witness G-d’s faithfulness in keeping His (Old) Covenant promises to Israel and they will be assured that if G-d is faithful to keep His Old Covenant, He will be faithful to keep His New one. In the past 75 years (after a 2000-year exile) the Jewish people have been returning to the land that G-d promised to them thousands of years ago. This return has been prophesied throughout the prophets and we are seeing the fulfilment of these prophesies in our day. The fact that there is a nation of Israel today is miraculous in itself, and it says much about G-d’s faithfulness. There is no question about it: Israel – the land and the people – play a very important role in the last days. It is going to be the epicentre (ground zero) for what G-d will do in establishing His Kingdom (first the Millennial Kingdom and then the New Jerusalem).

In this passage G-d reveals Himself as Redeemer. Redemption is a foundational theological principle. Redemption involves G-d doing His work to bring those who have a covenantal relationship with Him to faith and to establish them as His Kingdom people.

v1: Sing: This is a (shout) of joy and gladness, an exclaiming of joyful praise to the Living G-d.  

  • Barren: Infertile. She cannot conceive or give birth to children. Biblically, giving birth to children is seen as a blessing – a fulfilment of the call that G-d has given to women (Gen 1:28).
  • Sing…Break forth: Parallelism. This is speaking of rejoicing. 
  • Cry (rejoice) aloud: This rejoicing and praising is done in a very public manner. 
  • Have not travailed: She has not had to go through the labour of birthing a child.

Note: There seems to be a conflict here. If giving birth to children, the fruit of the womb, is a blessing why is this one commanded to praise G-d (rejoice and shout with joy) when she is barren? The answer to this is that G-d is going to do something supernatural in her life. He is going to bring about a miraculous change in her status (a change that the world cannot understand or even imagine). 

  • More: This is a word that speaks of an overwhelming majority. 

v2: Note: The Jewish people have suffered devastation over the centuries (holocaust, pogroms etc), but the land of Israel itself has also been devastated throughout the centuries. The hatred against the people and the land of Israel is, first and foremost, a hatred against G-d – His plans and His purposes, against what He sees as precious and important. In Isaiah 54:1 we read about G-d restoring the people. In this verse we read about G-d restoring the land. The desolate people become fruitful, and, at the same time, the desolate land becomes fertile and fruitful too. 

  • Enlarge…stretch out: There is a need for expansion. The world wants to shrink Israel – always wanting Israel to give up some of its land in exchange for “peace”. This giving up of Israel’s land is not G-d’s will. Giving up land places Israel at a disadvantage. G-d does not want Israel’s borders to shrink – He wants them to expand (Gen 15:17-20 – Israel has not yet lived within the fullness of these boundaries that G-d promised to Abraham). Israel will not do anything to merit this inheritance (they have not earned the right to the land), but G-d is going to graciously give it to them, based on His promises that He gave to their fathers. 
  • Do not spare: Do not hold back.
  • Lengthen: Make longer.
  • Cords: Guy ropes. 
  • Stakes: Tent pegs. The ropes and the pegs stabilise and secure the tent. They help to pull the tent taut so that water doesn’t pool on the canvas but rolls off the canvas, keeping the tent dry on the inside. 
  • Enlarge…stretch out…Lengthen…strengthen: Everything has to be stronger, larger, bigger and more expansive. Why? Because in Isaiah 54:1 G-d promises that the desolate woman will experience a great expansion in population. 

v3: Note: This verse is tied to Genesis 28:14-15

  • Expand: Spread out. Burst forth
  • Your descendants: Jacob’s seed – the Jewish people. 
  • Inherit the nations: This means that the borders of Israel are going to spread. This is going to happen in the Millennial Kingdom. Israel is going to be the ruling nation for these 1000 years (Isaiah 2:2). 
  • Make the desolate cities inhabited: In Israel today there is a group of people who are especially hated by the world and by the liberals. These people are called the “settlers”. These settlers live in the heart of Judea and Samaria (what the world refers to as the ‘West Bank’ – areas which are predominantly Palestinian). Although it is dangerous for them, the settlers live in these areas in order to build up the places that were desolate. 

v4: Do not fear: Israel has the potential to be fearful as, in the last days, in their current spiritual condition, they are far from G-d. This is going to change. In the last days their eyes are going to be opened. 

  • The shame of your youth: Their failures, their faithlessness, all their disobedience is going to be forgotten.
  • Widowhood: Their old age.

Note: Their history, from their youth to their old age, is not going to be remembered anymore. 

v5: Note: This verse emphasises that G-d is the One who does the work. He is the One who takes away shame and disgrace. G-d is the only One who can redeem us – which He does through His Son, Messiah Yeshua. 

  • Called: This means that He will be recognized as G-d Almighty – the G-d who rules over all creation, the G-d who is Sovereign and who has all authority.

v6: The L-RD has called you: The L-rd is bringing about a change. Her current state will not be her latter state. G-d is calling her (Israel) to Himself again. 

  • Refused: Rejected. Loathed. 

v7: A mere moment: A little while.

  • But: A word that shows a contrast. 
  • With great mercies I will gather you: This gathering up is so significant. It is a promise from G-d. G-d is going to call again the one who has been rejected and downcast (ie Israel). With great mercy He is going gather up His people (Matt 24:30-31. These verses are referring to the children of Israel and are not referring to the church. Within the context, Yeshua is NOT speaking about the rapture – which would have already taken place at this point – but about His Second Coming – Zech 12:10-12). 

v8: Wrath: Fury. Anger. G-d was angry with His people and for a period of time He hid His face (His Presence) from them. 

  • With everlasting (eternal) kindness (grace) I will have mercy on you: This is G-d’s promise to Israel, and we can be assured that G-d’s promises come to pass. 
  • Your Redeemer: This concept of redemption features again! G-d is going to redeem Israel. He is going to bring Israel back into a thriving and glorious covenantal relationship with Himself. He is not going to do this because Israel has done something to deserve this – they have not – but He does it because of His mercy. The fact that G-d is going to fulfil all of His promises in the last days to Israel should fill us with exceedingly, abundant joy. If G-d keeps His Old Covenant promises it should give us assurance that He will be faithful to His New Covenant promises. 

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