Isaiah 54:1-10 |
The exiles must have been asking themselves: What happened to prosperity?  Why are we still in captivity?  How much longer will God abandon us in Babylon?

Those questions are still with us today:  Can believers expect prosperity in this life?  What happened to the promises of prosperity in the Old Covenant?  Is there prosperity for the believer today?

Isaiah 54 addresses those questions.  When the Servant finished his work of atonement, a new age will be born which promises a prosperity which far surpasses the prosperity of this age.

When is the New Age?

The Old Testament Jews believes these promises of a New Age would be fulfilled immediately following the coming of the Messiah.  They saw a this age/next age version of history.

In the New Testament under the Lord’s teaching, the apostles teach that these prophecies were indeed fulfilled at the coming of Christ, but they were not fully consummated.  The New Age was realized in principle at Christ’s resurrection, but still awaits its final consummation at the second coming of Christ.

This kind of separation between a promise realized and a promise ultimately fulfilled is common in Scripture.

A New Prosperity: new seed, new inheritance  (54:1-3)

54:1 “Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child;
Break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed;
For the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous
Than the sons of the married woman,” says the LORD.
2″Enlarge the place of your tent;
Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not;
Lengthen your cords And strengthen your pegs.
3″For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left.
And your descendants will possess nations
And will resettle the desolate cities. – Isaiah 54:1-3 NASB
  • The “barren” (believers under the Old Covenant) now have a reason for joy because the children of the “desolate one” (the Servant) will surpass the “married woman” (the nation of Israel under the Old Covenant).
  • Believers have a greater cause for joy because the New Covenant brought by the Servant will surpass the Old Covenant.
  • The reason for joy: the new seed is a work of God and will far outnumber the physical seed.
  • The new seed will have a new land (inheritance) whose boundaries far surpass the old land.
  • Compare with John 1:12-13; Ephesians2:1-10; Galatians 4:26-28.
  • The new land has no geographical or ethnic boundaries.

A New Covenant: a restored relationship (54:4-10)

4″Fear not, for you will not be put to shame;
And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced;
But you will forget the shame of your youth,
And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
5″For your husband is your Maker,
Whose name is the LORD of hosts;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel,
Who is called the God of all the earth.
6″For the LORD has called you,
Like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
Even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,” Says your God.
7″For a brief moment I forsook you,
But with great compassion I will gather you.
8″In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment,
But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,” Says the LORD your Redeemer.
9″For this is like the days of Noah to Me,
When I swore that the waters of Noah
Would not flood the earth again;
So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you
Nor will I rebuke you.
10″For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake,
But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you,
And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” Says the LORD who has compassion on you. – Isaiah 54:4-10 NASB

The New Covenant surpasses the Old Covenant:

  • The New Covenant restores our relationship with God, bringing cleansing for past sins and confidence for the future.
  • The New Covenant is based on the Lord’s resources, not people’s.
  • The New Covenant is initiated by God, not people.
  • The New Covenant is based on a love greater than God’s judgment and God’s loyal-love will outlast history itself.

For more detail and explanation, please listen to the podcast.

Next: 10 Isaiah 54:11-17 Birth of a New City

Previous: 08 Isaiah 53:7-12 Work of the Servant 2

Series: Isaiah: Servant Songs

Study Resources: Isaiah Bible Study Resources

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