from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD
Read Isaiah 54:1-10
The Old Testament prophets frequently talk about God’s relationship with His people as a marriage. Out of love, each makes promises to the other. They make a covenant, a contract, an agreement – not only a legal contract, but a contract of two hearts. They promise to honor, love, and be forever faithful. But Israel made promises that she could not keep and did not keep. What happened to the marriage then?
One of the most striking things about the Old Testament prophecies is their frequent pairing of horrific judgment with wonderful renewal. Israel sinned, repeatedly, grievously, over a long period of time, with total indifference toward their God. As a result, God was forced to let her reap what she had sown. But He would no more get the fierce words of judgment out of His mouth than He would be forgiving her, comforting her, wooing her to Himself.
He is a lover, a husband, whose love for His unfaithful wife simply will not die.
Love is as strong as death…
Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor will rivers overflow it. (Song of Solomon 8:6-7, NASB)
Read Isaiah 54:1-10. Israel’s sin and God’s judgment have been deep and severe. Israel has flaunted her prolonged unfaithfulness to her Husband. For a time, she has been so devastated that she seemed like a widow, left completely and helplessly alone. But now how does God speak to her?
- He cannot stay angry with her (v.9).
- He shows her compassion, though she deserves none. Though she has wronged Him, His concern is for her (v.7).
- He reaffirms His everlasting, never-dying love for her (vv.8, 10).
- He takes away all her shame, all her disgrace. Imagine the deep shame of having been unfaithful to your spouse, then imagine the spouse removing it, completely and forever. What forgiveness! What renewal! (vv.4, 6)
- He tells her again that He, the Creator of all, the Lord of all the heavenly armies, the Redeemer, is her loving husband (v.5).
- He joyfully says she should make more room in their tent, for children are coming – lots of children! New life will be born from their love (vv.1-3).
Father, thank You for Your passionate, undying, life-giving love for us!