(Unlike other chapters of Isaiah, referenced elsewhere in the Book of Mormon, I have not made a detailed study of chapter 54 yet.)
This chapter starts with this premise: “more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife.” The meaning that I give to this is that greater in number (and spiritual power) are the children of Christ by adoption than those that were prepared through the house of Israel.
Unexpected growth is a theme here at the beginning of the chapter. We see growth from places and in ways that were not anticipated. Enlarging the tents borders, spreading forth the curtains, extending the stake further out, inheritances being claimed that once belonged to the Gentiles, and desolate cities being occupied.
There is a comparing and contrasting of scope between Israel and the world. The Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He shall also be called the God of the whole earth.
My wife, through the commentary of others, has presented to me this truth: God is not a transactional God. Yes, justice must be satisfied. But blessings, kindness, long-suffering, mercy, peace, these are all constant realities, or characteristics of our God.
Verses 6-10 talk about God’s wrath for “a small moment” and then his kindness as “everlasting”. His mercy, contrasted to his wrath, is anything but balanced!
There are promises found in this chapter. Some are easier to believe than others:
- thou shalt be far from oppression;
- terror… shall not come near thee.
- All thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children.
This last promise is harder for me to fathom than others, but perhaps easier to believe now than a few years ago, because of what I have experienced.
The chapter ends with additional promises:
- No weapon formed against thee shall prosper.
- Every tongue that shall against thee in judgment shall thou condemn.
As I conclude this chapter, memories of years past in service to the kingdom of God have come back to my mind. Is now the time to return, to recommit myself and do better?