Isaiah 54:1-10 (ESV)
The Eternal Covenant of Peace
54 “Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord. 2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. 3 For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities. 4 “Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. 5 For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.
6 For the Lord has called you like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit, like a wife of youth when she is cast off, says your God. 7 For a brief moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you. 8 In overflowing anger for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord, your Redeemer.
9 “This is like the days of Noah to me: as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, and will not rebuke you. 10 For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Last Sunday’s Gospel lesson (John 2:1-11) showed Jesus doing a miracle at a wedding. The images of marriage are very common in the Bible. Today and tomorrow we will look at two of them. Today we read in Isaiah two beautiful promises from God. In chapter 54, God compares salvation to various earthly joys. It is like a childless woman who receives many children (54:1), or like moving from a small home into a large one (54:2-3). When we are saved, it is like a woman getting a new, and much better husband (54:5). Notice how God’s promise in 54:9-10 previews God’s promise in Romans 8:38-39.