Pleased by what the Cross has done
Isaiah gives us an unequalled picture of grace in this passage. No other literature among the great religions of the world comes near such a description of a holy God. Israel, as a nation, turned its back upon God and His calling for them. This is in spite of God originally taking the twelve tribes of Israel out of slavery in Egypt, to make them His mouthpiece to the world. To do this He gave them every natural and supernatural resource necessary to fulfill his unique calling. Yet, before long they sought to have the blessing of God without pursuing the purpose of God for their existence as a nation. They sought to be like the nations they were to enlighten. This unrelenting rejection of God and His ordained purpose for them resulted in the eventual loss of everything. They eventually became slaves again under the Babylonian empire.
God gave the children born into this Babylonian captivity His word of renewed blessing. He explained that in light of eternity, this time of necessary chastening was just a brief moment when compared to His everlasting kindness and mercy. In these two chapters their great loss due to sin is likened to a woman unable to have children, and a woman rejected by men. In contrast, God, by His grace, promises great abundance. It is a picture of an enlarged and prosperous life, full of love and renewal.
This limitless, free grace applied to the Jews during Isaiah's time as well as those the time of Christ's second coming. The overwhelming beauty and abundance at Christ's return is likened to having a jeweled palace for a home (54:11-12). No longer will war be a threat. God will render the weapons used against His people powerless. Provisions will be given without cost or limit (54:16-55:2).
God asks one thing as a response to this promise of grace. He asks them to sincerely seek Him. This pursuit of God is to be guided by His word. His words are so full of life that they produce spiritual fruit in abundance (55:8-13). God has not changed. He still seeks a people who heed His voice, to be His light in the world. In Christ God gives us everything we need to fulfill this call. By grace God will enable and prosper us for this calling. But let us be forewarned. It will all be lost if we seek to have His blessing but not His purpose. God help us to never separate the two. Only those who seek first Him and His kingdom will reap His promise and benefit from "everything else that will be added to them.
-Calvary Church Boise
Created almost 2 years ago