You Will not Miss Out
In God’s Kingdom there is a place for every one! No one misses out! No one is overlooked! In the Old Testament of the Bible, God often used analogy to speak to His people. There is an analogy in Isaiah 54 – Where God speaks through the prophet Isaiah about the spiritual state of the Jews. In this passage of Scripture He speaks prophetically to three types of people, representing three different spiritual states. These states are the spiritually barren, the “widowed” and the “wife” who feels deserted and distressed. God powerfully declares to them through Isaiah, the miracle of fruitfulness He is going to perform in their lives.
God Speaks to the Spiritually Barren
Just as God spoke through the prophet Isaiah to the people of Zion, the same message is true for us as believers of Christ today. There are areas in our lives, too, where we have been barren, or have never seen good “spiritual fruit” produced. This may be because we are brand new Christians, or believers in Christ who have just begun our journey in following Him. Or it may be that there are certain areas in our lives that God needs to change. When we are bearing good spiritual fruit, the truth of God’s Word that we know and believe to be true, is also made manifest, or practically outworked in our lives. Up until now, something may have prevented the fruitfulness of God in certain areas of our lives, and the fruit we may have been producing, may not have been good.
Those areas of our lives that have not yet born good spiritual fruit can be likened to a barren woman who has been unable to give birth. Yet God tells this “woman” to “burst into song,” or to “shout for joy” in anticipation of what He is about to do.
“Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labour; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,” says the Lord”.(Isaiah 54:1)
The Hebrew word for desolate is Shamem (Strong’s): The outline of its biblical usage is to stupefy, be deflowered, deserted, appalled, awestruck, stunned, causing horror, devastate, ravage, astounded.
Prepare for Increase
God’s expectation for us as His people is to begin by getting excited and to make a loud noise!
He then instructs us to make preparation for the increase!
Much like a mother would make preparations for the birth of a baby, or for guests that she knows are about to arrive, God wants us to have such an expectation of Him fulfilling His Word in our lives, that we begin to act in such a way that makes preparation for what He is about to do!
- God wants us to prepare for increase.
- Making preparation is an act of faith!
“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes” (Isaiah 54:2).
God “Speaks” to Our Future
God not only speaks to us concerning those things that affect us now, but He speaks to the future generations as well. Those negative spiritual things that have passed down through the generations that have been harmful, will no longer cause harm. They will be removed from their place and God’s rule will be set up to inhabit those places instead.
“For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities”.(Isaiah 54:3)
- God speaks to the fruitfulness of future generations.
- The enemy will be dispossessed.
- God’s rule will be set–up in the enemy’s place.
God “Speaks” to Our Fear of Shame
Regardless of what our background or past has been, when we come to Christ, we begin to identify with Him. God tells us that the mistakes we have made in our past (or our youth) will be forgotten, as God brings us a new focus and a new life to walk in.
“Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth”.(Isaiah 54:4)
The Hebrew word for shame is Bosheth (Strong’s): Meaning confusion, ashamed or shameful thing.
Christ wants us to learn to identify ourselves with Him.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”.(2 Corinthians 5:17)
“For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers”.(Romans 8:29)
God Speaks to the “Widow”
God also speaks to the pain and grief of being a “widow.” This may represent a literal widow or widower – when someone whose husband or wife they have shared their lives with has died. But it may also represent the loss of a spouse through divorce; a husband or wife who no longer walks with the Lord; a broken relationship; the loss of a work or ministry colleague; or a particular church fellowship or ministry name – it can represent the loss of anything or anyone we used to bear spiritual fruit with.
A widow in Biblical times was dependent on the grace and generosity of others if she did not have an income of her own. And without a husband she could no longer bear children. Although God often works through others and uses others to help us, our fruitfulness does not depend on our circumstances or on any one particular person. God Himself redeems our situation. He draws our attention to Himself as the source of all we need. He then qualifies His ability to be our source, with His authority – He is the God of all the earth.
“You will…..remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband–The Lord Almighty is his name–the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth”.(Isaiah 54:4 & 5)
The Hebrew word for reproach is Cherpah (Strong’s): Meaning reproach (resting upon a condition of shame or disgrace), shame or rebuke. The outline of its biblical usage is to scorn or taunt (upon an enemy).
- The loss of a person or situation does not stop our ability to produce fruit for God.
- Nothing alters the Lord Almighty’s plan for our lives.
- Our fruitfulness depends only on the faithfulness of God and our obedience to Him.
- God is our source for everything.
God Speaks to the “Wife Deserted”
There can be times in our lives when we may feel like a “wife deserted.” We can start out well in our Christian walk, be productive in ministry and believe whole–heartedly the Word of God. But sometimes things happen to us, and our ability to produce the fruit of God in our lives is affected. We no longer “do the work of the ministry” or believe as we did before. We may have perceived or experienced a rejection by others. We may even feel deserted in our faith by God. In the Israelite’s case, because God is holy; He had briefly hidden His face from them because of their disobedience, but His kindness and compassion overruled.
God wants to bring what has been a place of distress in our spirit, to a place of restoration, healing and completion in Him.
“The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit – a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God. For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer”.(Isaiah 54:6–8)
Though the distressing circumstances we experience are not always the result of our disobedience, it may be that God wants to use those things that have happened to bring us to a place of deeper understanding, integrity, righteousness and holiness in Him. Our response to God in our distress is vitally important, in order for Him to bring the healing and restoration to us that He desires.
“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons….but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it”.(Hebrews 12:7–1)
God Wants Us to Come
God’s grace towards us is such, that He ‘remembers our sins no more’ (Isaiah 43:25). When we come to Him for help whatever our situation, He will not be angry with us or rebuke us for coming.
“To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again”.(Isaiah 54:9)
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need”.(Hebrews 4:16)
But God will speak to us concerning those things that have “tripped us up” in our walk. The things that happen to us often represent what God calls a “shaking” in our lives. Isaiah speaks of mountains being shaken and of hills being removed. The “mountains” Isaiah speaks of may represent wrong strongholds in our thinking – our own understanding of the things that have taken place in our lives, rather than God’s understanding. We can also be shaken or tested in areas of our trust in others, or our faith in God. Some of those things we once took for granted, once tested, God will strengthen and restore. But the things we have believed or relied on that were wrong; like the “hills” in Isaiah, God will remove. Despite our distress, we learn to let go of those people or things that we have wrongly looked to for security. God’s love for us and His purposes for our lives are the things that will never be shaken, and His covenant of peace with us (made possible through the cross of Christ) will never be removed.
“Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The word “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken–that is, created things – so that what cannot be shaken may remain”.(Hebrews 12:26 & 27)
“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,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you”.(Isaiah 54:10)
- We need to be constantly looking to God in the midst of difficult situations.
- People give well–meant advice, but God sees the things that man does not see.
- God will restore
God is a loving God. His heart towards us is not harsh. For our own sake He wants us to be healed and restored. God’s desire for us is to allow Him to work in our hearts and lives in those situations where we have been barren, distressed or grieved. God’s undying love and faithfulness towards us is steadfast and strong. When we are healed, the things that have “tripped us up” in the past will bother us no more. Those things that were weak within us will have gained new strength. Like a healthy tree, we will begin to produce much good fruit, and know a sense of purpose, that we didn’t have before.
“Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed”.(Hebrews 12:12 & 13)
“This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples”.(John 15:8)