Today’s Bible reading passage in the plan I am using is Isaiah 54, or at least I thought it was… until I looked later and found I jumped ahead a chapter. Perhaps I was subconsciously eager because it is one of my many favorites in Isaiah. It is right on the heels of another favorite, Isaiah 53 which is the prophecy of the coming Suffering Servant, Jesus Christ. There are great promises for Israel in this chapter, I personally believe there are lessons for the Christian also in these words and perhaps some of the promises apply to us as also. Based on Galatians 3: 13-14 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree ”) in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles, so that we could receive the promise of the Spirit by faith. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female – for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:13, 14, 27-29 NET).
The first attention getter for me was verse two. It says to enlarge your tents, spread out the wall, stretch your boundaries. Then one translations says don’t hold back; another says spare no effort; and lastly another says spare no expense. It goes on to say lengthen your ropes and pound your steaks deep. Many commentaries agree that this refers to the time after Christ when the gospel would be shared with both Jews and Gentile. As I considered the passage this morning I felt impressed that it could also be very applicable in my life and the lives of others. Maybe for our day, it is saying make room for God and all that He desires to do in our lives. Make space for Him, for the assignment He has for our life, and for the blessings He wants to give us. Be diligent and prepare even when it may seem nothing is actually happening right now. Keep trusting God and being expectant of what He has planned for it will come to pass in His timing. His timing is always perfect and right on time. His plans for us are good, believe and trust He is for us!
Don’t be afraid, for you will not be put to shame! Don’t be intimidated, for you will not be humiliated! You will forget about the shame you experienced in your youth; you will no longer remember the disgrace of your abandonment. (Isaiah 54:4 NET). Trials, troubles from the past that cause shame will no longer haunt you, they will be forgotten was my next big take away. We all have an experience or two in our lives that haunts us, one we want to forget. That is exactly why Jesus came (Isaiah 53 & 61:1-4) to bear our sickness, disease, sin and shame. Also He came to encourage the poor, heal the broken hearted, bring liberty to captives, freedom to prisoners, and relief and joy to those who mourn! We are neither limited nor do we have to be defined by our past, we can move past the things that shamed, intimidated, humiliated and held us back in the past!
Though the mountains move and the hills shake, My love will not be removed from you and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” says your compassionate Lord. (Isaiah 54:10 HCSB) Our Heavenly Father loves us and nothing can change that. Those In Christ have been given right standing with Him. His love is unwavering and His covenant of peace will not be shaken!
I also love verses thirteen and fourteen, that our children will be taught of The Lord and prosper and that we can live oppression free and far from terror. Followed up by: ‘No weapon forged to be used against you will succeed; you will refute everyone who tries to accuse you. This is what the Lord will do for his servants – I will vindicate them,” says the Lord’.(Isaiah 54:17 NET) I certainly am no theologian, just a simple follower of Jesus. One who, based on many experiences in my own life, has witnessed the goodness of God and His promises in even the toughest of times and the loss of some of the people dearest to me. I can attest to His great love, His mercy and grace in the hard places in life even in the times He seems absent or silent, He is there working, loving and watching over you. May you be blessed this day and may His goodness and mercy follow you!