Sing, oh barren
Jerusalem: barren, then fruitful
The direct address refers to Jerusalem, which resembled Sarah in its early barrenness and later fruitfulness. Isaiah 51:1-3).
(F. Delitzsch, D.D.)
The relationship between Isaiah 53:1-12; Isaiah 54:1-17
From Calvin to Ewald to Dillman, critics have all felt a close connection between Isaiah 52:13 –
53. and ch. 54. “After having spoken of the death of Christ,” says Calvin, “the prophet rightly passed over to the Church: so that we might feel more deeply in ourselves what is the value and efficacy of his death.” Similar in substance, if not in language, is the opinion of later critics, who understand that in ch. 54. the prophet tries to paint that full redemption that is the work of the Servant, culminating in chap. 53., could only perform. Two key words from ch. 53. had been “a seed” and “Many”. It is “the seed” and the “many” to whom ch. 54. reveals. (Prof. G.A. Smith, D.D.)
The two chapters treat the same subject from two different points of view. Regardless of one’s view of the personality of the Servant, there is no doubt that his exaltation implies the restoration of Israel, and that his work is the indispensable condition for that restoration to take place. restoration. So while chap. 53. describes the inner process of conversion by which the nation becomes just, ch. 54. describes the external liberation that is the result; and the impression is probably correct that the ardent hopes expressed here are ultimately sustained by the contemplation of the Servant’s mission described in ch. 53. (Prof. J. Skinner, D.D.)
Isaiah 54:1-17 it is peculiarly a missionary chapter. After the Savior’s death and resurrection have been foretold, the great results that would follow are appropriately described. In Isaiah 54:1-3, the one that was “barren” (whether referring to the Jews upon their return from captivity, or to the Gentiles to whom the Gospel began to reach on the day of Pentecost, or to the enlargement of the true Church by the gathering of souls from both Jews and Gentiles) is exhorted to rejoice in the increase of his offspring. God’s mercy is described in gathering this Church together and bestowing his favor upon them (Is 54,4-10); follows the attractiveness of this Church (Isaiah 54:11-12); and finally (Is 54,13-17) expose its establishment in justice and its permanence. (W.H. Barlow, B.D.)
The Church of the future:
The prophecy of this chapter naturally follows and is a continuation of the fifty-third. The first predicts “the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that will follow.” The latter speaks of the Church, whose foundation the Savior died to lay, whose superstructure He lives to build.
Me. WE HAVE AN IMAGE OF THE CHURCH IN ITS SADNESS. The figures used by the prophet, although quite easy to apply in general, present some points of difficulty when we deal with the details.
1. At first sight of the first verses of the chapter we see that the figures are drawn from the closest bond that nature knows, even that of the marriage relationship. This figure, so used in the Old Testament, is based on a profound truth. The truth on which it is based is this: that just as man and woman are incomplete without each other, so God’s happiness is incomplete without the love of the creature He has made to love him, and man’s happiness it is incomplete. without an object above him on which his love can rest. Such a figure served a sacred educational purpose for Israel, and must still serve us. In one direction it shows us how holy and tender is the relation between man and God, and how loving is the heart of God towards man; in another direction it lifts the sacred bond of marriage into a higher and more divine light, and enables us to see it in the light of the divine idea, not only as a union of bodies but also of spirits, in a bond that can never be broken. without a breach of God’s laws!
two. Another truth found at the foundation of the chapter is this, that the Church, in God’s eyes, sees herself at a glance, through all the vicissitudes of her checkered career, to its culmination in the fullness of time. That Church, chosen in Christ “before the foundation of the world, is one in Him. He sees that Church go from darkness to glory! And truly, quite sad is the picture of the pain of the Church that is presented here. She is like someone whose husband has abandoned her. She is barren, desolate, rejected, despised; and consequently she is sad, afflicted, storm-tossed, and not comforted. The main question is, in what period was the Church of God like this, and what Church was ever in such darkness?
(1) The Hebrew Church was primarily thought. His captivity in Egypt was “the shame of his youth, his captivity in Babylon was “the reproach of his widowhood”.
(two) The figures would apply, to some extent, to that idea! Gentile Church that the Savior saw in vision when He said, “I have other sheep, etc. ., including all those in the east and west and north and south who longed for God, but to whom the Lord had not yet revealed his love, and who had not yet been brought to rest in the infinite heart of God.
(3) The description will also apply to the whole Church of God now: which, during the transitional period we are now passing through, while the great problem of sin and its treatment is being worked out, is often in the shadows, often mourning the scarcity of those who join their ranks, often the object of the world’s ridicule and contempt!
(4) The passage will also suit the individual believer, in whose checkered experience of pain, temptation, and care all the various phases of the Church’s problems are presented in miniature. .
II. WE HAVE A SECOND IMAGE AS BRIGHT AS THE FIRST IS DARK. The second is given because of the darkness of the first, for the special purpose of cheering the saints of God, throughout the period of shadow. In the image given with this view, use is made of a completely different set of figures; even those pertaining to the erection of a building. And there are, scattered throughout this chapter, no fewer than nine main features that make up the outline of this beauty and glory that, despite present sadness, the prophet sees far away. As for the Church of the future, then, under the figure of a building, let us observe–
1. God Himself is the Founder of it. The foundation is Jesus Christ.
two. Men will gather in it from all the nations under heaven. “The God of all the earth will be called.” The restrictions of the past will be removed.
3. Justice will be your base (Isaiah 54:14).
Four. The close and intimate relationship with God will be your privilege (is 54.5). “Your Maker is your Husband.” He who formed by the hand of his power, will make himself known to you in the most tender love.
5. Light will be your inheritance. “All your children will be taught by the Lord” (Isaiah 54:13).
6. Peace will be your possession. “Great will be the peace of your children” (Isaiah 54:13).
7. Beauty will be your adornment. “Behold, I will put your stones in stibium” (Isaiah 54:11). Stibium was a peculiar dye with which the Hebrew women dyed their eyelashes, so that, being surrounded by this dye, the beauty of the eyes could shine more intensely. So the stones with which this edifice of God was to be erected were to be set, as it were, in cement of such a rich tint as to bring out its brilliance in richer beauty. and your battlements of rubies, your gates of shining gems, and all your borders of precious stones.” Thus the mineral world is made to render its meid of enlightenment; its choicest gems are used as a symbol of the glory and beauty of the Church. Why? For all the beauty and glory of the jasper, the amethyst, the ruby, the sapphire and the pearl, when placed in such a way that their splendor shines more brilliantly, are but a reflection of that superior spiritual beauty of the One who created all.
8. Divine protection will be your safeguard (Isaiah 54:14-15). “You will be far from oppression; because you will not fear: and of terror; because he won’t come near you. Behold, they (your enemies) will certainly gather together, but not by Me (not by My consent): whoever gathers against you will fall because of you” (rather, he will fall on you). “Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken.” The opposing weapons will be dull. Adverse tongues will be condemned, both by the force of a powerful argument and by the most powerful demonstration of a holy life (Isaiah 54:16) . “I have created the desolator to destroy”, the same power that builds the Church, has created all her enemies; therefore, the inference is unavoidable, God will not allow those who oppose him to use his power to destroy the part of his work that he values most.
9. Perpetuity shall be his eternal law (Isaiah 54:7-10). This is expressed in various forms of antithesis. Everything is wrapped in this glory nine! (C. Clemance, D.D.)
“Sing, oh barren!”
In previous chapters we have heard the exiles called out of Babylon, and watched the Divine Servant become the sin-bearer for them and for the world. Here our attention is surprisingly called to the desolate city of Jerusalem. “Sterile;” “Abandoned; “Desolate”: such are the terms that He who cannot err applies to it. And they are corroborated by the testimony of a contemporary (Neh 1:3; Neh 2:3; Neh 2:13-17). But how is this? Have we not learned that the Mediator has removed sin at the cost of wounds and bruises, whipping and death? Is redemption complete that does not address all the results and consequences of wrongdoing? This opens a great topic, and one that touches us all. Although our sin is forgiven, certain consequences remain, of which the ruined city is a type. We cannot undo the past; God Himself cannot undo it. It can never be as if it never was. The seventy years of captivity, the shame, the pain, the anguish of God, the lost opportunities, attended by a multitude of hypocrites, and his courts were full of formalists, but the genuine children of Israel were sadly few; and when the Lord, the Bridegroom of the Church, came, the Church was not in a happy condition. After the Lords were laid in the grave and rose and ascended and left the Church, then were the days of refreshing, and the times of the visitation of the Spirit. In all the ages when the Church has been desolate and barren, God has appeared to her.
II. I now intend to use the text in reference to ANY CHURCH.
1. There are some separated churches which are in a very sad condition, and may truly be said to be barren and desolate.
two. The brothers me…