Isaiah 54:1-10 The Message (MSG)
Spread Out! Think Big!
54 1-6 “Sing, barren woman, who has never had a baby.
Fill the air with song, you who’ve never experienced childbirth!
You’re ending up with far more children
than all those childbearing women.” God says so!
“Clear lots of ground for your tents!
Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big!
Use plenty of rope,
drive the tent pegs deep.
You’re going to need lots of elbow room
for your growing family.
You’re going to take over whole nations;
you’re going to resettle abandoned cities.
Don’t be afraid—you’re not going to be embarrassed.
Don’t hold back—you’re not going to come up short.
You’ll forget all about the humiliations of your youth,
and the indignities of being a widow will fade from memory.
For your Maker is your bridegroom,
his name, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
Your Redeemer is The Holy of Israel,
known as God of the whole earth.
You were like an abandoned wife, devastated with grief,
and God welcomed you back,
Like a woman married young
and then left,” says your God.
7-8 Your Redeemer God says:
“I left you, but only for a moment.
Now, with enormous compassion, I’m bringing you back.
In an outburst of anger I turned my back on you—
but only for a moment.
It’s with lasting love
that I’m tenderly caring for you.
9-10 “This exile is just like the days of Noah for me:
I promised then that the waters of Noah
would never again flood the earth.
I’m promising now no more anger,
no more dressing you down.
For even if the mountains walk away
and the hills fall to pieces,
My love won’t walk away from you,
my covenant commitment of peace won’t fall apart.”
The God who has compassion on you says so.
For those of us who have fallen, failed, felt forgotten and feeble, this passage from Isaiah feels hopeful. Isaiah is writing to God’s people scattered by exile and isolation from all that they had known. Many were removed from their homeland, resettled in other parts of the world. Others were left to fend for themselves, homes and fields destroyed, futures left uncertain. Many of us can relate to these feelings of destruction though we may not have faced the exact situation of Isaiah’s first readers.
We hear, too, Isaiah’s words of hope and restoration. Isaiah is telling the people to look past the what has been to what can be. Don’t be afraid to dream big. Embrace the previously unthinkable. Times of failure are inevitable but need not be fatal. The only real failure is failing to get up when we fall. God is making promises of restoration to his people in Isaiah, and we can rest assured those promises still hold for us today. Are you ready to make the move from failure to fearless?