‘You will not be ashamed’: Isaiah 54 (21 June 2020)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.

Pray

Pray

Lord, prepare me to receive your word. Clear my mind and warm my heart. Assure me of your loving purposes for me, and speak into my life today.

Reflect

Daily reflection: Isaiah 54

This is another passage full of hope for a devastated people.

The prophet is speaking to a woman, but the context of the surrounding chapters suggests that the woman stands for the whole nation of God’s chosen people, or perhaps the city of Jerusalem. He uses the image of childlessness, something that was a source of great shame and sorrow in the culture of biblical times (verse 4). God speaks with loving compassion to this ‘woman’ and promises her a lasting legacy in the world, beyond anything she could have dreamt of. Instead of shrinking under the weight of her grief, she needs to enlarge her tent as if to make room for a growing family (verse 2).

As the chapter moves on, so does the encouragement from God. Instead of a tent, even a family-sized one, he promises a much more permanent dwelling-place, made of precious stones and jewels (verses 11–12). God vows to bring the nation out of grief, shame and disgrace to be strong, confident and beautiful, unafraid of any kind of attack.

Perhaps the most striking thing about this chapter is the extreme tenderness of the language. It reveals the true heart of God towards everyone who feels a deep disappointment in life. In our time and culture, we still see children as a valuable legacy, but we might also hope to make a lasting impact through our other relationships, through our work or through our creative expressions. However, when everything we do seems to have failed and we can find no comfort, Isaiah 54 tells us that our compassionate God does not leave us in the dust.

Pray

Pray

Heavenly Father, we thank you that your love for us is everlasting. Help us to place our confidence in you at the times when we feel there is no other hope. Amen

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