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How can the hopeful promises of Isaiah become a reality for God’s people?
How can fear and discouragement be erased from life?
How can disgrace be turned into a blessing?
Only God can turn these painful experiences into gain and advantage for humans.
Who is Our Helper?
Isaiah layered one promise upon another, but the question was how God’s people could experience the transformation of their lives?
The answer was in God’s character of love and availability for his people.
For your Maker is your husband,
the Lord of hosts is his name;
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
the God of the whole earth he is called. (Isaiah 54.5)
Just as Isaiah piled promise upon a promise, he used several words to highlight God’s love and power.
— Lord of hosts – God is the Lord over the heavenly hosts. There is no angel or other created being that does not recognize God’s absolute power and authority.
Paul was right, “If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8.31).
— Holy One of Israel – This phrase describes Isaiah’s experience of God on the day he was called into ministry. Isaiah received a glimmer of God’s majestic character and nature. His encounter with God affected the totality of his life.
The Holy One, who establishes a relationship with humans, is the One who promised to transform defeat into victory.
— Your Maker, Your Husband – The Creator of the universe is also related to his people in a dramatic love relationship.
Paul gave this admonition to husbands. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5.25).
Again, he wrote, “In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies” (Ephesians 5.28).
Our Creator will transform despair into joy because he is a “husband” who loves his spiritual “spouse” as he loves his self. He gives himself to humans in self-giving love.
— Redeemer – As Redeemer, God rescues people from a difficult position and transfers them to a place of freedom and fruitfulness.
— God of the Whole Earth – Isaiah’s final description of the One who is for us is that there is no power on earth that is God’s equal.
Paul understood the reality of this truth and wrote, “He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else?” (Romans 8.32).
Toni and I have two grandsons. They both love bugs, worms, and animals. Suppose they were about to pick up a black widow spider.
I would most certainly shout, “No!” Then, with as much speed I could muster would end the life of that spider.
I expect my actions may cause two children whom I greatly love to cry and be disturbed by my behavior. I’d rather them be frightened by me than bitten by a spider.
When we are living in pride, unbelief, and rebellion, we may think God is angry with us over what we have done. His actions are closer to my behavior with my grandchildren than we may think.
Isaiah wrote about this with insight into God’s character.
For a brief moment I abandoned you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing wrath for a moment
I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,
says the Lord, your Redeemer. (Isaiah 54.7-8)
When humans attempt to mingle a relationship with God and prideful self-sufficiency into some sort of unholy mix, God must abandon us. Our behavior is a dangerous as a child playing with a black widow spider, whether we know it or not.
I am a “pushover” grandfather, but God is not. He resists allowing his children to play with what is destructive.
At the same time, God is defined by the words, “everlasting love” and “compassion.” Tomorrow’s blog article will explore the meaning of “steadfast love.”
What about compassion? The Hebrew word for compassion sounds like the noise a mother camel makes in sympathy for her child who is crying out in the weaning process.
God cares for us with emotions that stretch the ability of language to describe.
Let’s add “compassion” to our list of characteristics concerning the One who is for us.
Everyone will go through hard times at some time in their lives. Sometimes, we earn hard times because of irresponsible behavior.
No matter what, God is available to us as a compassionate Heavenly Father who desires the very best for us. As we turn to him, we will discover all of the qualities of his character that Isaiah highlighted in Isaiah 54.
About This Blog
On the Bob Spradling YouTube channel, Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage today.
I am indebted to John Oswalt for two informative commentaries on Isaiah. They have greatly expanded my understanding of this great book.
Please email your prayer request to firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The prayer team at Maywood Baptist Church is honored to pray for you.