Sunday, August 10, 2008

Isaiah 54:1-8

I never dare to attempt Isaiah. When I read it several years ago when I was attempting to read through the whole of Scriptures, I remember feeling so lost and dismayed at my lack of understanding.

As I attended my family church today, which is celebrating its 41st anniversary and Grace Notes was to give the anthem, CAC President Rev Boh Chee Suan spoke from Isaiah 54:2-6.

Now that I read it, Isaiah 54:1-8, I found it such a spectacular and beautiful hymn.

Isaiah 54:1-8 (NASB)
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.

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.

The Israelites were termed as barren woman and saddled with widowhood - the lowliest one can be at that time: a woman, barren and widowed. But here she is told to shout for joy (v.1) for while for a moment, God has hidden his face in anger - now for everlasting God has shown his lovingkindness in compassion (v.8).

In the same way, we who were once far from the presence of God, now in eternity, live in the saving grace of Christ Jesus, and in the Day to come, in eternity, we will live in the very presence of God, loving, kind and compassionate.



  1. I sympathise, I am similarly intimidated by Isaiah! I did go use some Scripture Union notes to get read through most of it devotionally at the end of last year, but I still can't really find my way around its mazy streets. I think my grasp of the prophetic genre is weak in general. Still, I hope to return to Isaiah sooner than later.

  2. Hi BK :)
    Good to know I am not alone!
    Maybe we can do it together ;)

  3. of course it is a wonderful passage because that is a fear not oracle!!

    others include Isa 41:8-13, 14-16; 43;1-4, 5-7; 44:1-5 (and 2 more in Isa 1-39 given to king Ahaz and Hezekiah).

    well, this is my speciality, having spent 6 years studying them for my thesis!!