In chapters 54-57, Isaiah examines several essential truths accompanying Messiah’s atonement for all humanity. These wonderful revelations enable us to rightly grasp the extent to which the Lord calls each believer into an ever-deepening relationship of covenant love.
ISRAEL ELEVATED TO THE PLACE OF WORLDWIDE BLESSING – ISAIAH 54
Messiah’s redemption, accomplished in Isaiah 53, now has application, first, to the nation of Israel, then to the individual believer. God’s relationship with Israel is unique; no other nation has experienced a similar covenantal relationship with God. Israel’s dwelling is compared to a tent that is being enlarged (Isa. 54:2).
Living in a tent signifies Israel’s pilgrim journey on earth. God’s severe judgment on Israel is viewed as “but for a moment” (Isa. 54:7), compared to the glory that is to come afterward. Many Gentiles will be surprised to discover that Israel will occupy a leading role among the nations of the world according to Isaiah’s predictions (Isa. 54:3).
AN APPEAL TO ALL PEOPLE TO COME TO GOD FOR SALVATION – ISAIAH 55
God’s word is full of gracious appeals. The only requisite is a burning thirst (Isa. 55:1; Jn. 7:37; Rev. 22:17). Here is a general appeal to the entire earth (Isa. 55:1-7). Messiah promised that the one who drinks the water He gives will never thirst again (Jn. 4:14).
The appeal stresses the truth that salvation cannot be purchased, but received only by God’s grace (Isa. 55:1-2; Eph. 2:8-9). Many people are not aware of God’s grace, seeking to earn or pay for that which will never satisfy (Isa. 55:1-2). Such are exhorted to “listen carefully” to God’s promise of a “new, everlasting covenant” presented in Isaiah 55:3 and stressed by the writer of Hebrews (Heb. 10:16-18).
MORAL OBLIGATIONS IN THE LIGHT OF GOD’S REDEMPTION – ISAIAH 56
Whether the person is Jewish or Gentile, the exhortations of chapter 56 toward justice and morality apply to all who seek to serve the one true God. Salvation always brings with it the obligation of godly living.
The calling of the Gentiles (Isa. 56:6) in that future day emphasizes a note of universality. While there is no Temple today, one is reminded that the Lord cleansed the Temple twice in His ministry on earth. Isaiah 56 tells of a universal worship center to be called, “…a house of prayer for all people” (Isa. 56:7; Mt. 21:13).
A CONTRAST OF THE WICKED AND JUST MAN – ISAIAH 57
“The wicked are like the troubled sea…there is no peace, says my God, to the wicked” (Isa 57:20-21). Terrestrial kings and rulers are frequently susceptible to pride and arrogance, but the great Sovereign of heaven dwells with the humble believer (Isa. 57:15).
The contrite and lowly spirit of God’s children stands in antithesis to the apostate and proud attitude of the wicked, who must repent to avoid facing an eternity of separation from our loving Creator.
The pronouncement of peace
by Isaiah to those far and near (Isa. 57:19) sounds identical to the teaching of Ephesians 2:14 concerning the fact that Messiah made peace by His atoning work. He preached peace to the near (Israel) and the far (Gentiles) and broke down the “dividing wall” between them (Eph. 2:14).
Have you found peace with God?