The Song of a Barren Wife
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

From the very first chapter in our study of the book of Isaiah, we have discovered that the book is divided primarily into two sections, and we find ourselves in the last section of the book, beginning with chapter 40.

We pointed out to you that the 27 chapters which comprise the last portion are divided into three sections of nine chapters each. If you do a bit of numerical reasoning, you realize that we are in the latter part of the second section of the second main division of the book. That may not make a great deal of difference to you, but if you are doing any thinking about these things, other than when we are gathered together, it will help guide your thinking along the right lines.

We have been thinking together about what we have referred to as the Servant songs , four songs in the book of Isaiah that describe the Lord Jesus Christ from various standpoints. We completed the last song in our last study, as it concluded with verse 12 of chapter 53.

As you glance at chapter 54, you will notice that it begins with the word sing . If you were reading this in the original text, you would be able to recognize that it too is a song of three stanzas. It is not related to the Lord Jesus Christ, but to the people for whom He died. In other words, the story of the Cross is described in Isaiah, chapter 53, and the application of the story is presented in Isaiah, chapter 54.

It will be wise for you to keep in mind that the primary interpretation of this chapter is related to the nation of Israel, remembering what I have said to you many times—every passage of Scripture has one interpretation, but as many applications as is consistent with the entire revelation of God's Word.

In order to be accurate in our understanding, we must keep in mind that it is the nation of Israel which is the subject of this particular chapter. We will see before we are through that there are some precious truths for believers for this particular day.

The second section of the book of Isaiah is a section of comfort. It began in chapter 40 with the words, “Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God.” We reminded you when we looked at that chapter that it was a message addressed to you and to me. It is a message that is addressed to every Christian. It is the occupation of the redeemed, the business of the Christian, to give a message of comfort to the nation of Israel.

Even though it may be difficult for some of us to accept, though it may be rather irritating, I would remind you that God is not through with the nation of Israel. He has a plan and we should learn what that plan is and be able to speak comfort to those Israelites whom we have the privilege of knowing. It is only when they know that we have a correct understanding of God's plan and purpose for them that they will be willing to listen to anything that we have to say about the Lord Jesus Christ.

With those words of introduction firmly fixed in your mind, may I suggest that you follow in your Bible as we read the entire chapter with you, and then go back and talk about it in the manner in which the Lord directs. We read the first stanza of this song as it is comprised by the first three verses of Isaiah, chapter 54:

Isaiah 54

1Sing, 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.
2Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;
3For 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.

The second stanza of the song begins with verse 4 and concludes with verse 10. We read:

Isaiah 54

4Fear 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.
5For 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.
6For 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.
7For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.
8In 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.
9For 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.
10For 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.

The third and last stanza of the song begins with verse 11, where we read:

Isaiah 54

11O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.
12And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.
13And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
14In 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.
15Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.
16Behold, 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.
17No 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.

Israel Addressed as the Wife of Jehovah

As we examine this chapter, fix firmly in your mind that the primary subject of the chapter is the nation of Israel, and the time is the future. Then recognize that God is addressing the nation of Israel in one of His favorite metaphors. He is addressing the nation of Israel as His wife. Does that seem a bit strange to you? It doesn't need to, because you are familiar with the fact that the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the New Testament, is referred to as the Bride of Christ . If it does not seem strange for a group of people called the Church to be the bride of the Lord Jesus Christ , why should it seem strange for a group of people called the nation of Israel to be the Wife of Jehovah ?

Whether it seems strange or not, that is exactly what the Bible declares. If you keep that in mind,you will be able to understand this particular passage of Scripture, because in the first stanza of the song,God is speaking to a wife of His youth who was rejected because she was not able to bear any children. You say, “I didn't know that God put His stamp of approval upon polygamy.” He doesn't. The Bible takes its illustrations from the situation in which the things occur, not necessarily with God's putting His stamp of approval upon the thing in question.

For example, the Bible says that wine makes the face of man to shine. It says that it makes your nose red, but that doesn't say that you ought to drink it. It simply uses it for an illustration.

He is not putting His stamp of approval upon polygamy, but the people to whom He was addressing these words were familiar with the habit among all the men of that day of marrying more than one woman. If the wife of their youth was not able to bear children, she was set aside. It doesn't mean that she was no longer a wife, but she was set aside and her condition was considered a desolate one. It was a heartbreaking thing indeed.

You have illustrations of that in the Word. You remember Hannah. Hannah was deeply loved by her husband, but she was barren, so children had to come through other wives. Hannah went up before the LORD and cried out to God because of her desolation. You remember Sarah, the wife of Abraham. She was barren, so the children who became Abraham's seed, in the early days, came through Hagar, his second wife.

Israel Became a Barren Wife

It was a common, ordinary experience, and that is what God had in mind when He is addressing the nation of Israel because God, looking at the past and looking forward to the future, says, relatively speaking, “You haven't produced what I intended for you to produce.” You see, when God took the nation of Israel and set her geographically, literally speaking, in the middle of the earth, He did so in order that she might evangelize the entire world and produce many children. She failed. She became barren. She became desolate. He set her aside and turned the work over to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of this hour.

Paul says, in Romans, chapters 9-11, that the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ doesn't need to get big-headed and brag and say, “Look what we are able to do,” because God is going to set her aside one of these days. When He does, He is going to put the nation of Israel back on the job. That is what this first verse is talking about. Notice verse 1 again:

Isaiah 54

1Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child…

Israel Encouraged to Sing

That sums up everything that I have said to you up to this point about Israel passing though a phase in her history where she was a barren wife, but notice the last part of the verse. He gives us the reason she is encouraged to sing:

Isaiah 54

1…for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.

The married wife was the wife who had the official position because she was able to bear the children. The desolate wife was the one who was not able to bear children. What is God saying here? He is saying, “Sing, because the desolate wife, the wife who did not bear the children who were expected, is going to bear more children than anybody ever thought possible.” Of course, this is a reference to spiritual children.

Our men who are interested in ethnic relations are greatly concerned about the so-called population explosion that is expected. It is because they are leaving God out of their thinking and planning and are ignoring the Word of God. They assume that if there is such a population explosion, it will be one way of destroying the world. They say that the best thing to do is to prevent the population explosion.

There is going to be a population explosion. I don't know if there is going to be a population explosion in the sense that those men are considering. I rather doubt it. I don't think that we will be here by the time they think there will be too many people on this earth. I believe that the Lord will have come by that time, but whether He has or whether He hasn't, this I know from the Word of God: There is going to be a spiritual population explosion because God is going to use the nation of Israel in such a fashion in the future that more will be the children of the desolate than of the married wife.

He continues with His figure of speech in verse 2, by saying:

Isaiah 54

2Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;

Israel to Evangelize the Whole World

“Make your tent bigger. You are going to have more people in it than you have ever had before.” That is what God is saying. When He says, “Enlarge the place of thy tent and let them stretch forth the curtains.”, He is talking about the square tents that were used by the Arab nomadic tribes. The curtains hung down to the sides, but when they were going to have a big gathering, they would lift up the side curtains. They would stretch them out and put two stakes in the ground, secured with ropes, and on all four sides they would have a large space. God is saying, “Make the tent bigger.” In verse 3, He gives the reason:

Isaiah 54

3For 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.

“Thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles.” What in the world does that mean? It simply means that God is going to use the Jewish nation for the evangelization of the world in a way that we Gentiles have never been able to do.

Turn to the book of Revelation, as I remind you that we have been preaching the Gospel for something like 2,000 years, and the world is still unevangelized. Notice what I said. I didn't say the world was still unconverted. I don't think the Bible teaches that we will ever convert the world, but I say that the world is still unevangelized. That is, there are still tribes and tongues and nations that have never yet heard the name of Jesus Christ, and we have been at it for 2,000 years.

The Wycliffe translators tell us that there are 2,000 tribes yet remaining who do not have even a smidgen of the Bible in their own language, and we have been at it for 2,000 years.

God is saying that there is a time coming when the nation of Israel will evangelize the whole world, and the desolate cities will become their inheritance, and the Gentiles shall become the seed of Abraham, spiritually speaking.

In Revelation, chapter 7, you read the story of how this is going to come about, for in this chapter God selects 144,000 people out of the Jewish nation who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. There will be 144,000 Christian Jews, if you want to use the term that we would use today, and God is going to turn them loose on the world to preach the Gospel.

If you are familiar with the book of Revelation, you know that they are only going to have three and one-half years to do it in. It is beside the point as to when the three and one-half years will begin as far as our present discussion is concerned, but that is all the time that they are going to have. Are they going to succeed? Look down at verse 9. The first part of this chapter represents the selection. In verse 9, John says:

Revelation 7

9After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
10And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
11And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
12Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
13And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?

Some of us who are more impetuous than John would say, “I know who they are and where they came from. They represent everybody that has been saved since the Cross.” But John wasn't that impetuous. In verse 14, he said:

Revelation 7

14And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, [notice carefully now] These are they which came out of great tribulation [more accurately, according to the original text, the great Tribulation] , and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
16They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
17For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

The God of the Second Chance

This is God's promise to the nation of Israel related to the future. What application does it have for our hearts? It is good for us to know what the future holds. You ought to know what God's plan is, but there is a blessing in this for me as I read it. I like to think of my God as the God of the second chance. Now don't jump to conclusions. I'm not talking about a second chance after death. Whatever decision you make about the Lord Jesus Christ, you make here and now. When the breath has left the body, it is too late to change your mind. I say that my God is a God of the second chance, and I am glad of that when I fail, and I do fail.

Maybe you can sit there in perfect peace and say, “Well, I never have.” Congratulations, but I have failed. But I am so glad that when I have failed, God does not throw me on the trash heap and say, “I'll never have any more use for you.” I am glad that He gives me another chance. He gives all of us another chance, and that is so beautifully portrayed in what He has to say to the nation of Israel.

The first three verses tell of the second chance that He is going to give, but she was like a lot of us. Have you ever sinned and then asked God to forgive you and then wondered if He did? The Word of God says, “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” You know that, but do you have a hard time believing it sometimes? Do you find yourself wondering if He has really forgiven you? Could He really forgive me for something like this? I suspect that a good many of us have felt that way at times, and when God gives this message to the nation of Israel, it is difficult for Israel to believe that God is going to do this, so He comforts her. That is the purpose, remember, for this section of Isaiah. Look at verse 4, where He says:

Isaiah 54

4Fear 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.

Of course, the shame that is being referred to in verse 4, keeping in mind our metaphor, was the shame of being barren, the shame of not being able to have any children. He said, “Now, don't you worry. That is not going to be held over your head. You are not going to be faced with it. It is not going to be thrown up to you every time you turn around.”

Have you ever had some things thrown up to you that you wished you could have forgotten? Have you ever had people say to you, “Well, I will forgive you.”? You don't feel too good about it, because you know that every time they get a chance, they say, “Now I have forgiven you of that…” then they throw it up to you again.

God says to Israel, “Don't you worry. Nobody is going to bring up your shame. Nobody is going to remember the reproach any more.” Do you know that what God has done for Israel, He does for every one of us? I wish Christians could remember that. I wish that Christians could remember that when they confess their sin, God forgives it and forgets it. It is dishonoring to Him to keep on reminding yourself of it. Notice verse 5:

Isaiah 54

5For 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.

It was as though Israel said, “How can I be sure that this will never be brought up?” God said, “Because I am going to publicly reinstate you as My Wife, and nobody will dare say anything against you.”

He does the same thing for us as believers. Remember what Paul said in his letter to the Ephesians—you and I are made accepted in the Beloved. Somebody might say, “You know that Joe Temple. I don't see how God could stand him.” He can't. “You know that Joe Temple, If I was God I wouldn't keep him around at all.” He is not keeping me around. You see, He accepts me in the Lord Jesus Christ. I mean this reverently—it is just like if you love me, you have to love my dog. That is all there is to it. You may not like my dog. You may not like the way he looks or the way he smells, but I've got a dog, and if you love me, you have to love my dog. I might tie him up when you come to see me, but if you love me, you have to love my dog.

I say this reverently, and I want to emphasize that Jesus Christ says to God, concerning you and me, “God, if you love Me, you've got to love My dog. Joe Temple is an old dog, but I love him, and if you love Me, you have to love him.” That is the reason there is no shame. That is the reason that I am accepted in the Beloved.

God Assures Israel

Look at verse 6, where God assures the nation of Israel. He says:

Isaiah 54

6For 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.

What in the world does He mean? He is saying to Israel, “What do you have to be ashamed of? There isn't anything about you that I don't know. I chose you as the wife of My youth, and I was with you all that time when you were not able to bear any children, so what are you ashamed of in My presence?”

I wonder sometimes who we are trying to fool. I wonder sometimes how ignorant we think God must be, according to the amount of instruction we give Him related to ourselves. He knows all about us. There is no need for us to be ashamed in His presence. He knows all there is to know, and there is no use for us to keep up a front. He knows, and He used that to reassure the nation of Israel as He would use it to reassure our wondering hearts.

Look at verse 7. He said:

Isaiah 54

7For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.
8In 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.

That is precious, Beloved. He said, “For a small moment, I have forsaken thee.” You know, sometimes it is necessary for God to turn His back on us like He turned His back upon the Savior. I don't mean you lose your salvation. Don't miss the blessing by getting in a theological argument. I said that there was a time when God turned His back on Jesus because He bore the sin of the world, and I would remind you that when you and I let a wall of sin build up between us and God, it is necessary for God to turn His back on us. But, He said, “Only for a small moment have I forsaken thee.”

How long can a small moment be? For the nation of Israel it has been nearly 2,000 years. The Lord Jesus Christ marched into the city of Jerusalem just about 2,000 years ago. They would have nothing to do with Him. They turned their backs on Him, and that night He sat on a hill outside the city of Jerusalem and tears coursed down His face. He said, “Oh, Jerusalem, oh, Jerusalem, how often would I have taken you to Myself as a hen gathereth her chicks under her wings, but you would not. Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”

God forsook the nation of Israel right then. Some thirty years later, Titus, with a Roman army, marched into the city of Jerusalem and in 70 A.D. completely laid it waste. The nation of Israel has been scattered to the four corners of the world from that day till this. I repeat, nearly 2,000 years, and yet God says in this passage of Scripture, “It is but for a small moment that I have forsaken you.” But He said, “With great mercies will I gather you.” That is the message that you need to deliver to any Jew whom you know, who God has forsaken temporarily but is going to bless him later. In a little wrath God hid His face but for a moment. “But with everlasting kindness,” God said, “will I have mercy on you.”

God's Promise to Israel

In verse 9, He reiterates a promise related to the covenant that He made to Noah, where He promised Noah that never again would waters destroy the earth. He never did say that the earth wouldn't be destroyed, He simply said that never again would the earth be destroyed by water. He says to the nation of Israel, “Just as certainly as I made that promise to Noah, so will I make a promise to you. I'm not going to be mad at you any more.”

The last part of verse 9 is related to the future and that is going to be a great source of comfort to the people who are living in the day when this passage of Scripture is fulfilled, for will you keep in mind the Bible wasn't just written for you folk who live here in Abilene, Texas; it wasn't just written for you. Though it is applicable to you, it wasn't just written for you. If the Lord tarries, you will be long dead, and other folk will be occupying this earth. God has to have a message for them, and the message for the people who will be living at the time of the coming of the Lord is found right here in this passage of Scripture.

God's Anger to Be Made Known

He says to the nation of Israel, “I have been angry with you for 2,000 years, but I am going to gather you back to your own land, and I promise you that I will not be mad again.” Then in the next verse He emphasizes it, because the anger of God is going to be made known. In verse 10, we read:

Isaiah 54

10For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed…

This means exactly what it says. You read the book of Revelation and find that at the end of this age, there are going to be great physical upheavals in this universe so that the heavens will be rolled back like a scroll. Mountains will be overturned. Great tidal waves will be set up that will rock this old world as it has never been rocked before, and God said to them, “When all of this begins to come to pass, you remember:

Isaiah 54

10…my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.

Have you dealt very much with children? Have you ever had a group of children in your home and it was necessary for you to exercise discipline, and you sounded rather firm? Children have a way of thinking that when you sound firm, you are mad, and they say, “He sure got mad.” Sometimes it is just firmness. Anyway, you have a group of children there and you have to exercise discipline. Maybe there is only one child whom you need to discipline, but everybody is scared to death. You say something like this to them: “Look, I'm not mad with anybody but Johnny. I'm not displeased with anybody but Johnny, and he is the one to whom I have to talk.” Everybody breathes a sigh of relief and listens while Johnny gets a talking to. Well, that is what God is saying here. He is saying to the nation of Israel, “I'm angry with the world, and when the mountains begin to move and the heavens begin to part, and this old earth begins to rock and roll, you remember that I am not mad with you. You remember that My peace shall not be removed.”

God to Build Israel a City

Then, following the same trend of comfort, but with a little different dress, in verse 11, He says:

Isaiah 54

11O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted…

Have you ever pictured the Jew that way? Most people don't. Most people picture the Jew with an anti-Semetic attitude even though they preface every statement they make with the statement, “I'm not anti-Semetic, but…” And it is a pretty unlovely picture they paint. In many instances, it is justifiable because, personally, I think that is part of God's chastening hand upon them. They make themselves so unlovely and unattractive, and they create so many situations that demand persecution that God's chastening hand, it seems, is never lifted from them.

But, Beloved, look at it from God's sight just once. He looks down upon them and says, “Oh thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted.” That is their condition. Then He gives them a promise, and the promise is that He is going to build them a city. You would think as you were reading this paragraph that you were reading a condensation of the book of Revelation, chapters 21-22, because He said:

Isaiah 54

11…behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.
12And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, [Old Testament word for pearls ] and all thy borders [the walls around the city] of pleasant stones.

When you have time, I suggest you turn to the book of Revelation and read what is recorded there about the New Jerusalem and see how accurate God's Word is. Here is Isaiah, long before the Jews were ever scattered in the dispersion to which I referred a moment ago, describing how God is going to make them a city to which they can return. A lot of other things will be true then.

Great Shall Be the Peace of Thy Children

In verse 13, He says:

Isaiah 54

13And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

That is the interpretation, but may I make an application? “All thy children shall be taught of the LORD.” There is a very definite result when your children are taught of the LORD: “Great shall be the peace of thy children.”

What are you doing to equip your children to live in a world which I do not believe will ever again know a day of complete peace? I do not believe that we will ever know what it is to have a nation that does not have a standing army that has to go to war at a moment's notice. What are you doing to equip your children to live in a world like that? What are you doing to equip your children to live in a world that knows so little about peace that one brief ring of the telephone could dash this world into destruction? What are you doing to equip your children to live in a world like that?

Beloved, you let them get taught of God, and what He said here is true, for great shall be the peace of thy children. Individuals who have their roots in the Word of God will be able to stand even though the mountains depart, and the hills be removed, for in verse 14:

Isaiah 54

14In 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.

Individuals who are grounded in the Word of God are free from fear, free from terror.

No Weapons Formed Against Thee Shall Prosper

In verses 15-16, Isaiah describes what John refers to in the book of Revelation as the Battle of Armageddon , when the nations of the world are gathered against the city of Jerusalem to do battle against her. The situation is hopeless, and God offers this word of comfort. You see, they will be reading their Bibles then just like we are reading ours now. God said, “I want you to know that when that crowd of people gathers against you, I didn't gather them. I'm on your side. They are going to fall, and if you wonder about it, you just remember what is going on.”

They might say, “Oh, but God, You don't have any idea what secret weapon they have, and if they unleash it, that will be the end of all of us.” God says, “Wait just a minute. I created the smith who blew the coals that made the weapon. I created the man who created the weapon, so the weapon is not too big for Me. I can take care of it.” Then verse 17:

Isaiah 54

17No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn…

He is saying, “Don't be afraid. I made the man who made the weapon, and I can give you the assurance that no weapon formed against thee shall prosper.” Once again we are talking about the nation of Israel.

As I close will you notice the last statement of verse 17, which gives you the right to make any sensible application of any truth in this entire chapter to your own heart from a spiritual standpoint:

Isaiah 54

17…This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

“This is what I have promised the servants of the LORD, whether they be Jew or Gentile, whether they are living in the year 1967 or the year 2000. Regardless of when they are living, the servants of the LORD can rest upon the promise that I'm giving you. I made the smith that made the weapon and no weapon formed against thee shall prosper. No matter how thick the battle gets, don't give up. No matter how hot the battle rages, you remember in the spiritual battle that is constantly going on, no weapon formed against thee shall prosper.”

A Question of Examination or a Proverb of Comfort

Notice the last statement of verse 17, and use it as a question of examination or a proverb of comfort, as you may see fit. Verse 17 again:

Isaiah 54

17…This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, [notice closely] and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

I ask you to use that as a question. Is your righteousness of the LORD? Is it? The Apostle Paul gave testimony to this one day when he said, “My deepest desire is to be found in Christ, not having a righteousness which is my own, but the righteousness which is of God, for my righteousness is as filthy rags and not acceptable in the sight of God, and I want the righteousness of Christ.”

I ask you to examine your heart. Is the righteousness which you profess to have the righteousness of Christ or your own? Then I suggest that you take this as a proverb of comfort because if you take a good look at your own life, you will know that there is nothing about you to recommend you to God. I hope you are not among the number who thinks that by any little thing you are doing, you are gaining acceptability in God's sight, the soul who thinks so highly of himself that anything that he could do would make him acceptable to God.

I say accept this as a proverb of comfort because God says to those who are His heritage, “Your righteousness is what I gave you, and that righteousness is acceptable in My sight.” If you want that righteousness, may I remind you that God has said in His Word that the Lord Jesus Christ has been made unto us wisdom, righteousness and redemption. If you have Christ, you have righteousness.


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