The Book of Isaiah-Is.54- “Everlasting Kindness”

Prophet Isaiah is now predicting the everlasting kindness of God that is to come over people. This is graded into different categories. In the usage of the prophet the God of the whole earth is shown as husband, as redeemer and as the Holy One. “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(v.8)”.

Broadly speaking the prophet introduces the concept of the church, the nation of Israel and the Gentile nations in order to illustrate his everlasting kindness. Like everlasting salvation his kindness is not merely concerning children of the married wife (v.1) but also children of the desolate. Their desolation is not on account of widowhood alone but desolation caused by barrenness and of shame. Of the last whoredom of Israel is to be understood spiritually.

In the book of Hosea we have the relationship God had in mind to illustrate everlasting kindness.

When Israel went whoring after strange gods He commanded Prophet Hosea to marry a whore. Why would God require such a strange alliance? He was a sign to the nation. A sign is exception to the rule. Marriage bed is meant to be chaste and every man is enjoined to live honorably before God and man. Israel was betrothed to the Holy One but  in running off to Assyria instead to God explains it.

In the time of Hosea what had they become? ‘They are all adulterers, as an oven heated by the baker(Ho.7:4)” . In so many ways they ‘transgressed against my law (Ho 8:1).’ In dealing treacherously against the Lord they have begotten strange children (Ho 5:7). It is to them the following verses refer: “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./ For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee./ 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.(54:6-8). 

Everlasting salvation refers to divine nature in which both the Father- Son relationship is is demonstrated. Everlasting kindness is what applies to a nation set as a symbol (whoredom of Israel) and to any specific situation. Jesus on the cross showed it to the malefactor who besought him (Lk.23:42-43) as God did take back Israel with great mercies.

In order to understand this distinction we can also see an incident in the life of Judah the son of Patriarch Jacob.. The Tamar episode (Ge.38) carries how God reveals his kindness. Lineage of our Savior Lord connects through Pharez (Matt.1:3) to Judah from whom the Patriarch predicted the coming of a lawgiver (Ge.49:10). Having said this let us make the distinction between everlasting kindness and everlasting salvation:

In Abraham all families on the earth are to be blessed  Both gentiles and Israel are equally from him So Zarah and Pharez as twins can claim their lineage to him. “And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah(38:30)”. Kindness is demonstrated by the scarlet thread and it refers the Gentile nations. This is further development on union of male and female in the creation account. It is the creation of Eve the Spirit instructs us the shape and form of the Church in eternity. As Eve was fashioned from the deep sleep of Adam eternal kindness shown to Zarah was a forerunner of Gentiles being included in the Church. Scarlet thread is a symbol. So what Prophet Israel is predicting is not merely of Israel but also of the Gentile nations. In the vision of the Woman clothed with the sun the man-child indicates Christ and the Church(Re.12).     

Eternal salvation is the “heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me (v.17),

Benny

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.

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;

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.

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.

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.

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.

For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.

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.

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.

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.

 

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About bennythomas

I am a Dutch citizen. An architect by profession I am married and have six grandchildren. I am still keen on expressing myself and each day is new and an occasion where I might bring out from within something worthwhile.
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