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. “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. 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 54:8-10
This passage “remembers” when God sent rain on His people to get their attention, “the waters of Noah”. In this passage God is making an oath not to be angry or rebuke the people of Israel again. This could be taken two ways, God will stop caring for the people enough to rebuke or be angry with them, or He will love them despite his anger and frustration. I think the rest of the passage makes it clear that God means the latter.
God is basically affirming that He is “all in” for the people of Israel and for us. He says “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” God is promising to provide peace like a river in the middle of our earthly conflict and calamity.
God then goes on to talk directly to what seems to be the city of Jerusalem, City of David when he says “Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted”. I think God is probably referring to the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem from the north, but it could be a multi-layered reference that is outside of this time and even outside of the specific location we call Jerusalem. If the reference is taken metaphorically it could actually refer to all those who God is reaching out to with his “arm“. We are all buffeted by wave upon wave while we toil here in this land of oblivion here on earth.
God is basically saying that He is the one who “created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc.” God created both the means of rescue and the destroyer who is wreaking the havoc. This is rather deep water philosophically. Why would god create the destroyer in the first place? I think it comes down to the kind of creation God desires.
He wants children who choose Him rather than slaves required to do so. If we have the freedom to choose we also have the freedom to choose to be separate from God and destroy what He has made (thus the destroyer). To put it in the words from this passage “This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord , and this is their vindication from me.” So we are in fact God’s “heritage” (property that is or may be inherited). Those who seek after Him and volunteer to be called His children will be vindicated (proven right) in the end, because in the end God wins. C.S. Lewis in the book the Great Divorce put it this way:
“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened.” – C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce
Prayer: God Thank You for making us Your children and proving us right in following You.
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