October 17th Isaiah 54 The Lord loves Israel
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. 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; 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. 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. 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. 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. 7: For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. 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. 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. 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.
Jerusalem to come
11: O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. 12: And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. 13: And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children. 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. 15: Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. 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. 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.
Isaiah 55 The Lord offers mercy
1: Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2: Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. 3: Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. 4: Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. 5: Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee. 6: Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9: For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10: For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. 12: For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13: Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
Today we are reading Isaiah 54 & 56. A new section begins in Ch 54 that continues to 56 v8 In which Isaiah bring 7 exhortations to draw near and know Gods blessing. First be says Come near to sing. The Lord says get ready lengthen the cords and strengthen the stakes because I am going to bless you and you will be exceedingly fruitful. Then he says don’t be afraid anymore because the Lord will be your protector and provider. The LORD of hosts will be your husband. The Lord says for a very short time you were forsaken but in great mercy I will gather you again. And just as I promised never the flood the earth again to Noah, so I will never be cross with you again or rebuke you. The mountains may be removed but my kindness to you will never be removed. Thirdly he says be comforted because I will build your walls with beautiful colours and lay the foundations with precious stones. The city will be made beautiful with windows of agate, gates of carbuncle etc. All the children will be taught of God and they will know perfect peace. The city will be established in righteousness and there will be no oppression. There will be no fear or terror there. Anyone that gathers to oppose them will be destroyed. No weapon that is made will be allowed to prosper and every person that speaks against them will be condemned. This is what the inheritance of the Lord will be like. They will know the righteousness of the LORD. In chapter 55 Isaiah continues with the invitation to the thirsty. COME to the waters and he that his poor let him come and have plenty of wine and milk that will cost him nothing. The Lord says, why are you spending your money on the things that do not satisfy your longing soul? Listen to me eat at my table and become full with plenty. Listen to me – Come to me and you life will continue. And I will make an everlasting covenant with you. It will even be the very mercy that I promised to David. I have made David a witness to the people and a leader and commander of the people. You will invite a nation that you have never heard of to draw near to the LORD your God the Holy One of Israel. Then we have the famous invitation. It is an invitation under law to the nations of the world it’s a call to righteousness and forgiveness. Come and seek the LORD while he may be found, you must call upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his wicked way and the unrighteous man his evil thoughts and let him return to the LORD, because he will have mercy on him. Let him return to our God because he will abundantly pardon. Then the Lord explains a few things... He says, my thoughts are not like your thoughts and my ways are not like your ways. My thoughts are about as far away from your thoughts as the heaven is above the earth. And just like the rain comes down bringing fruitfulness everywhere so I will make my word to prosper you. You will go out of the city with joy and peace and even the mountains and hills will break into singing and all the trees will give you a standing ovation. Even the curse of the ground will be repealed and this will be an everlasting sign.