Isaiah Chapter 54
Verses 1-4: This chapter portrays the results of the atoning work of the Servant and its universal extent to all nations. The Gentiles are depicted as a “barren” and “desolate” woman who breaks forth into songs of praise. The imagery depicts the Israelites as the “married wife” and the Gentiles as estranged from God.
Isaiah 54:1 “Sing, O barren, thou [that] didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou [that] didst not travail with child: for more [are] the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.”
“Barren … didst not bear … didst not travail with child”: In her exile and dispersion, Israel has been destitute, disgraced as a woman who had borne no children (49:21). The prophet calls for singing, however, because of the Lord’s promise of future fruitfulness for the nation (49:19-20).
The New Testament supplies an additional application of the principle in this verse, citing it as evidence that the Jerusalem above, mother of the children of promise through Sarah, will enjoy great fruitfulness (Gal. 4:21-29).
The “married wife of God” is speaking of physical Israel. They are spoken of over and over as the “wife of God”. In the book of Hosea, they are spoken of as the “unfaithful wife”. The “desolate” are the unsaved from all nations.
When the gospel is presented to the Gentile world, there are many more who come to Christ, than from the physical house of Israel. There were a few Jews who came to Christ in the beginning, but they were in the minority. The apostles were primarily Jews, but they were not Jews with authority in the temple in Jerusalem.
As a whole, the leaders of the Jews did not accept Christ. There are more Christian Jews today, than ever in history before. The apostles (Jews), were the founders of the early church, but that soon was changed and the majority was Gentiles.
Isaiah 54:2 “Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;”
“Enlarge … stretch forth … lengthen”: The prophet commanded barren Israel to prepare for the day when her numerous inhabitants will require larger space to dwell in (26:15; 49:19-20).
Christianity was not just for a handful of people in the holy land, but was available to all mankind everywhere. The church would grow rapidly. Just after the filling of the 120 with the Holy Ghost at Pentecost, Peter preached and 3000 received the Lord.
Acts 2:41 “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls.”
This is just one example of the large multitude of people who came to Christ after hearing the gospel preached. The “lengthening the cords” and “strengthening the stakes” is another way of saying how the church would expand.
Isaiah 54:3 “For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.”
“Break forth … be inhabited”: The Messiah’s future kingdom is to be worldwide, far greater in extent than the former kingdoms of David and Solomon.
There was a remnant of Jews who was at the earliest the founders of the church. Their seed (few numbers), would grow before their very eyes. The Jews, who had thought themselves better than the Gentiles, suddenly wanted them to join them in the work.
God showed Peter that he was not to call any man unclean, or unworthy of salvation. Salvation is for whosoever will. The missionary trips of Paul enabled him to set up churches in these spiritually desolate cities spoken of here.
Isaiah 54:4 “Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.”
“Shame of thy youth … reproach of thy widowhood”: Israel’s sins brought on the Egyptian captivity, the Babylonian exile, and her current dispersion, but the glories of the future kingdom will be so great that they will overshadow past failures.
Israel had committed spiritual adultery and God had, in a sense, given them a bill of divorcement. He, like Hosea, kept forgiving them and taking them back as His wife. Their times away from God were during their captivity, but He would always come and rescue them, and take them back.
This is just saying that they are back in right standing with God, and they are not to remember the bad times. Now that they are free, they will forget the times of bondage.
Verses 5-17: God is now pictured as both the “Maker” and “husband” of the Gentiles. He is the “Redeemer” of all men and yet the same One who is the “Holy One of Israel.” Thus He is called the “God of the whole earth.” The reference to the cessation of the “waters of Noah” (the Noachian flood), is used as an illustration of the cessation of God’s universal judgment on the Gentiles.
Isaiah 54:5 “For thy Maker [is] thine husband; the LORD of hosts [is] his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.”
“Husband … Redeemer”: The basis for forgetting past failures is Israel’s relationship to the Lord as her husband (62:4-5), and Redeemer (41:14).
We know that Jesus Christ is the “Groom of the bride of Christ”. The church is His bride. God of the whole earth means God of the Gentiles, the same as of the Jews. All of the names Maker, Redeemer, LORD of hosts, and Holy One of Israel are speaking of the One we know as Jesus.
Verses 6-8: “Forsaken … grieved … refused”: Israel in exile and dispersion has been like a wife whose husband has rejected her. But this is only for a brief time compared to the everlasting kindness she will enjoy when the Messiah returns to gather the woeful wife (26:20).
Isaiah 54:6 “For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.”
They had been cast off of God, because of their unfaithfulness. Their relationship with God is likened to the wife of a man’s youth. They had been saddened, because they felt that God had given up on them, but now they are restored.
He has forgiven them, and they are again His wife.
Isaiah 54:7 “For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.”
God does not count time the way we do. He thinks of the few years of their captivity as a very short time. He shows mercy to them, because He loves them.
Isaiah 54:8 “In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.”
God allowed them to be captured and stay in captivity to teach them to seek Him. God does not stay angry with His people.
He is so forgiving and kind, that He sets a plan in motion where they will be forgiven while they are yet in sin. They are not sinless, just forgiven. The Redeemer is Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 54:9 “For this [is as] the waters of Noah unto me: for [as] I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.”
“Waters of Noah”: Just as God swore He would never again judge the whole earth with a flood (Gen. 8:21; 9:11), so He has taken an oath never to be angry with His people again. He will fulfill this promise after their final restoration.
God set the rainbow in the sky to remind them of the covenant God had made with man to never flood the entire world again. God’s Word is good. He does what He says. If He says He forgives, He does.
Isaiah 54:10 “For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.”
“Mountains … hills … my kindness … my peace”: In the Millennium (48:6-7; 51:6, 16), topography will change (see Ezekiel 38:20; Mica 1:4; Zech. 14:4, 10), but not God’s pledge of well being for Israel as a result of the New Covenant (55:3; 59:21; 61:8).
We know that God does exactly what He says. He regards His Word above His name even.
Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
This is just saying that God’s Word is absolute. He is a merciful God.
Hebrews 8:12 “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”
Verses 11-14: “Fair colors … sapphires … agates … carbuncles … pleasant stone”: The elaborate ornamentation will outfit Jerusalem to be the center of the future, eternal messianic reign following the Millennium (Rev. 21:18-21). As magnificent as this is, it is not as important as the spiritual richness of the kingdom, when truth and peace (verse 13), prevail along with righteousness (verse 14).
The Lord Himself will teach everyone during the messianic kingdom, so everyone will know His righteousness (11:9; Jer. 31:34). Jesus gave this verse an additional focus, applying it to those with spiritual insight to come to Him during His first advent (John 6:45).
Isaiah 54:11-12 “O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, [and] not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.” “And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.”
This is speaking of that holy city New Jerusalem, which comes down from God out of heaven. The following Scriptures mention some of the stones used in the New Jerusalem.
Revelation 21:19-21 “And the foundations of the wall of the city [were] garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation [was] jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;” “The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.” “And the twelve gates [were] twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city [was] pure gold, as it were transparent glass.”
Isaiah 54:13 And all thy children [shall be] taught of the LORD; and great [shall be] the peace of thy children.”
Hebrews 8:10-12 “For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:” “And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.” “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”
Isaiah 54:14 “In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.”
Where there is righteousness, there is perfect peace also. In the New Jerusalem there will be no danger and nothing to fear. Even death itself has been defeated. There is no temptation to sin. Bear with me, and I will give you some Scriptures on New Jerusalem.
Revelation 21:1-4 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God.” “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
Verses 15-17: “Whosoever shall gather against thee shall fall”: In the millennial kingdom this will occur, as prophesied by John (in Rev. 20:7-9). The Lord will burn up all Israel’s enemies.
The heritage of the Lord’s servants in the Messiah’s kingdom will include His protection from would be conquerors. It should be noted that after the Servant-song of Isaiah 53, Israel is always referred to as God’s “servants” (plural), rather than His servant (54:17; 56:6; 63:17; 65:8-9, 13-15; 66:14).
Isaiah 54:15 “Behold, they shall surely gather together, [but] not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.”
God is the very present help of all His people. Those who are opposed to God’s people are actually against God. They will not win, because God will take up the battle.
Isaiah 54:16 “Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.”
God is the Creator of all, even Lucifer. Everything God created is under His command. Nothing can do you harm, because it has to obey God, whatever it is. Satan (Lucifer), has to get God’s permission to do anything. If God will not allow it, he cannot do it.
Everything is at peace in New Jerusalem, because of the presence of God. There will be no darkness at all, because the Light of the world is there.
1 John 1:5 “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”
Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue [that] shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This [is] the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness [is] of me, saith the LORD.”
God is the protector of all of Israel. He protects His family. Though they come against us, they will not prosper. This promise is for all who believe in Jesus our Savior. We have been given power and authority to use the name of Jesus against the enemy. At that name, every knee must bow.
Philippians 2:10 “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;”
Isaiah Chapter 54 Questions
- Who is the “married wife of God”?
- In the book of Hosea, they are spoken of as what?
- When the gospel of Christ is presented to them there are more of whom that receive the message?
- Who is the desolate of verse 1?
- The apostles were primarily _________.
- Who founded the early church?
- How many were saved when Peter preached after Pentecost?
- What is “lengthening the cords and strengthening the stakes” really saying?
- Thy seed shall inherit the ___________.
- Who did God show (of the apostles), that Gentiles were to be accepted?
- What had Israel done that angered God?
- He had, in a sense, given them a bill of ______________.
- Who is the Groom of the bride of Christ?
- Why had they been cast off of God?
- What short period of time does He mention in verse 7?
- What does God call Himself in verse 8?
- What did God do for a reminder of the covenant with man after the Noah flood?
- He promised to lay the foundations with what?
- Describe New Jerusalem from Revelation chapter 21.
- Who will teach the children?
- Where will God put His laws?
- Why will they not teach each other of God?
- What happened to the first heaven and earth?
- What was unusual about the new earth?
- The tabernacle of God is with _______.