Journey Through The Scriptures
Lesson 4: A Joyous Song of Salvation
(Scripture to Read: Isaiah 54:1–56:12)
Whenever the Bible invites God’s people to sing, there is good reason! Here, the occasion for song is the prophet Isaiah’s picture of Israel’s restoration after her captivity had ended. The city of Jerusalem will teem with so many people that they will have to enlarge their dwellings. God is called the husband of Israel, who takes her back the way a man would take back the wife he loves. The length of the nation’s exile in Babylon, which was seventy years, is referred to as a “brief moment” in contrast to God’s “everlasting kindness” to His people” (54:7–8). Israel will be secure, peaceful, and beyond defeat—a prophecy that ultimately looks ahead to the Messianic age.
In light of God’s provision, the invitation goes out to the thirsty to drink their fill of His salvation, and to the poor to enjoy the finest of His delights. This salvation is available to all who will heed the call of God and turn from their wicked ways. God’s invitation to salvation would be effective, for His Word always accomplishes His purposes. The universal nature of Israel’s blessing to all the earth is the subject of Isaiah 56, where the benefits of Messiah’s reign will extend to all the nations of the earth.
- Why was the “barren woman” in particular invited to sing of the Lord’s goodness in Israel’s restoration?
- God’s “unfailing love” (54:10) is the Hebrew word hesed, referring to His loyal, covenant love for Israel. How is the permanence of this love illustrated in this verse?
- Why did the prophet introduce the concept of the greatness of God’s thoughts (55:89) in the middle of the invitation to salvation?
- What future is announced for those who refuse God’s offer of salvation (56:912)?
Something to Think About
The promise to Israel, “No weapon forged against you will prevail” (Isaiah 54:17), expresses the hope of all those who love the people and the land of Israel as the nation faces deadly foes who plot her destruction. Let us stand firm in prayer and support for Israel no matter what trials may be in store in the days ahead.