Isaiah 54 Commentary

Isaiah 54 Commentary

What a sequel to a very important piece of news! The story of the Servant who gladly offers Himself as a sin offering is sobering. No mortal reads chapter 53 without reflecting on their own response to the generosity of the Creator God. And when one has responded to the call of salvation, chapter 54 results.

“Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,” says the LORD. Heavy words indeed.

This chapter celebrates the restoration of the history-long blessing on humanity – the triad: Multiply or Increase in number, Dominate or Rule, and Prosper or be Fruitful. Genesis 1 verse 28.

The birth of a child is celebrated as an important point of hope for posterity. We shall live and not die out. It points to the importance of life – yes, dear life. Hidden behind this celebration is the cancellation of death. It does no one any good if the factory is producing dead children or children who don’t live long, or whose lives are cut short. Who wouldn’t want to reflect on the words of the LORD Jesus Christ: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Yes. Yes, because of what the Servant did in chapter 53!

“Your descendants will dispossess nations.” Verse 3b. It is a direct reference to dominion. Back in the Book of Genesis and immediately after the fall, we saw how Cain lost dominion of self and instead sin sought to master him. It ruled over him and the rest is history. Genesis 4 verse 7. The Servant brings back the lost dominion. Saints can now say no to sin and live holy lives by the grace of God.

And why not? Indeed, why not? The LORD God, your Maker, is your husband! You can always increase in number; you can have life! You can have dominion. You are saved!

The mention of Noah has deeply rooted in the same history-long blessing that the LORD repeated to Noah: “Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.” Genesis 9 verse 1.

“I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with lapis lazuli.” Read it together with Exodus 24 verse 10: “Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky.” The LORD God becomes your foundation. Your decisions, ambitions, and aspiration are all shaped by this foundation. It is an entirely new world!

It is a world of new possibilities. The Creator God comes in and everything is new once again. Hallelujah!

“No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.” Or, “though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed.” Is it not just wonderful, splendidly wonderful, and actually sweet of the LORD’s generosity! Exactly the way life should be! We all agree.

See what chapter 53 opens into! Chapter 54 is the completeness of what the LORD has meant all along.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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