1 [a] Shout for joy, O barren one, she who has not given birth;
Break forth into joyful shouting and rejoice, she who has not gone into labor [with child]!
For the [spiritual] sons of the desolate one will be more numerous
Than the sons of the married woman, says the Lord.
2 Enlarge the site of your tent [to make room for more children];
Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, do not spare them;
Lengthen your tent ropes
And make your pegs (stakes) firm [in the ground].
3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
And your descendants will take possession of nations
And will inhabit deserted cities.
4 Do not fear, for you will not be put to shame,
And do not feel humiliated or ashamed, for you will not be disgraced.
For you will forget the shame of your youth,
And you will no longer remember the disgrace of your widowhood.
5 For your husband is your Maker,
The Lord of hosts is His name;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel,
Who is called the God of the whole earth.
6 For the Lord has called you,
Like a wife who has been abandoned, grieved in spirit,
And like a wife [married] in her youth when she is [later] rejected and scorned,
Says your God.
7 For a brief moment I abandoned you,
But with great compassion and mercy I will gather you [to Myself again].
8 In an outburst of wrath
I hid My face from you for a moment,
But with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,
Says the Lord your Redeemer.
9 For this is like the waters of Noah to Me,
As I swore [an oath] that the waters of Noah
Would not flood the earth again;
In the same way I have sworn that I will not be angry with you
Nor will I rebuke you.
10 For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake,
But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you,
Nor will My covenant of peace be shaken,
Says the Lord who has compassion on you.
11 O you afflicted [city], storm-tossed, and not comforted,
Listen carefully, I will set your [precious] stones in mortar,
And lay your foundations with sapphires.
12 And I will make your battlements of rubies,
And your gates of [shining] beryl stones,
And all your [barrier] walls of precious stones.
13 And all your [spiritual] sons will be disciples [of the Lord],
And great will be the [b]well-being of your sons.
14 You will be firmly established in righteousness:
You will be far from [even the thought of] oppression, for you will not fear,
And from terror, for it will not come near you.
15 If anyone fiercely attacks you it will not be from Me.
Whoever attacks you will fall because of you.
16 Listen carefully, I have created the smith who blows on the fire of coals
And who produces a weapon for its purpose;
And I have created the destroyer to inflict ruin.
17 No weapon that is formed against you will succeed;
And every tongue that rises against you in judgment you will condemn.
This [peace, righteousness, security, and triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from Me, says the Lord.
a. Isaiah 54:1 Although this chapter is primarily intended to express Zion’s joy over redemption, it has also a very personal, long-neglected, and often overlooked message for women—the lonely, the disappointed, the childless, the widow. It has all the glorious confidence and assurance, the incentive and understanding, for which feminine hearts have longed throughout the ages! Every woman who will read it every week for a year with receptive heart and mind will find herself not only spiritually prepared for her own childlessness or widowhood, should it come, but also supplied with rich treasure with which to address the similar needs of countless other aching hearts to whom the Holy Spirit is here speaking.
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