What do we picture when we think about peace? The opening to Isaiah 54 presents the image of space, in many ways congruent with concepts of peace the Israelites would have understood—a geographic peace. The recurrent theme throughout latter Isaiah is brought also to bear here. Here is the proclamation of redemptive peace:
“For your Maker is your husband,
the Lord of hosts is his name;
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
the God of the whole earth he is called.”
~Isaiah 54:5 (NRSV)
Do Not Fear – Do Not Be Ashamed – Do Not Be Discouraged
What is the central, underpinning note of the fourth verse is also the classic hinge for this Psalm of peace from Isaiah.
Comfort and reassurance is the resounding mood as we reflect over verses 4-10. Like the people of God in ancient times, we may have felt cast off, forgotten by God, left in spiritual squalor, but that was not how it ended. Perhaps for a brief moment we were abandoned—it felt that way. But like the dutiful parent, the Lord looked away for but an instant. His disgust was fleeting, as was our shame.
As we ponder these verses, taking our time, mulling over them in reflective thought, allowing the Lord to seep again into our souls, refreshing us, we’re healed... again.
Blessed assurance, and an eternity of peace; these are ours. Never again are we to be subsumed in conflict without the Lord, present, by our side.
The Grandeur Of Hope
Verse 11 takes us from reassurance to the wondrousness of hope; in the grandness of enveloping styles, whatever past we lamented is blown away for a future too good to perceive. This, we know, is of the Lord. This redemption is sealed in precious stones. Prosperity is now to be the theme of everything we know; a spiritual and pervading prosperity.
In the Lord’s righteousness we’re established and the product is peace.
Any issues of present or future conflict we now decouple from Divine hand. The Lord has our good at heart, always. And though he may still use wickedness, it is destined to drive us back, now, into the bosom of God. Conflict commends us to draw near to the Almighty. And when we do, we experience instant and prevailing protection.
Neither weapon nor vicious tactic will prosper against us; those who call the Lord their God. Not even things said against us will have founding basis as we trust the Almighty. This covenant of spiritual peace we enjoy is eternal.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.
Graphic Credit: Eternal Light.