Monday, January 26, 2009
A Reason to Sing for the Barren Woman
Please read Isaiah 54:1-10 before reading this post.
The people of God were in a state of distress. The Power of Babylon overwhelmed them. They were taken as captives; they were exiles- away from their homeland. The whole nation was under humiliation.
The Jerusalem they used to know was full of beauty and prosperity. But the last time they saw it, it was burning with merciless fire. The magnificent structures: houses, the king’s palace and even the temple of YHWH were being consumed by flames right before their eyes. But they were powerless- unable to do anything. They looked around, but there were no Moseses; no Joshuas; no Gideons; no Davids; to usher them into victory. They were likened to a shameful woman- Barren and separated from her husband. Every soul is downcast.
In Psalm 137, we find the Babylonians demanding the captives to sing songs of joy.
They asked: “SING FOR US ONE OF THE SONGS OF ZION”
But the musicians hang their instruments.
They replied:“HOW CAN WE SING THE SONGS OF THE LORD WHILE IN A FOREIGN LAND?”
So by the rivers of Babylon, God’s people sat and wept as they remembered Zion.
But here in Isa. 54, it is not the Babylonians who are asking them to sing. Isaiah is a prophet of God. This is God’s Word to them.
SING, O BARREN WOMAN! / BURST INTO SONG! / SHOUT FOR JOY!
For you are not really a widow. Your Creator- God Almighty is still your husband. He has not divorced you. You will not remain childless forever. In place of sorrow, He brings joy. In place of disgrace, He brings honor. For a while, because of your sins, God has hidden his face from you. But this brief moment is nothing compared to the coming glorious redemption. Halleluiah! Praise the Lord!
Yet this redemption is not without cost. Notice the 15 verses before Isa. 54. The preceding section is the memorable Song of the Suffering Servant.
Our sins demand punishment, but the punishment was not upon us, it was upon someone else.
In order to redeem God’s people, the appearance of God’s Son must be disfigured; his form must be marred beyond human likeness.
He who is perfect in beauty appeared on earth with no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
To the barren woman, He wants to bring joy; so he became a man of sorrows.
He was despised, oppressed, afflicted, wounded and rejected by men. He was pierced and crushed for the transgressions and iniquities of the barren woman.
ISA 53:10- “Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer”
EPH. 5:25- Christ loves us that he gave himself up for us
So People of God, do you feel like you are in an agonizing and disgraceful condition? Is your soul downcast? Do you feel like abandoned by God? Never forget that:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious; slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him (Psalm 103:8-13)
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32)
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD (Psalm 40:3)