June 7, 2021
"I will not keep silent because of Zion, and I will not keep still because of Jerusalem until her righteousness shines like a bright light..."
"I will not keep silent because of Zion, and I will not keep still because of Jerusalem until her righteousness shines like a bright light, and her salvation like a flaming torch. Nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You will be called by a new name that the Lord’s mouth will announce. You will be a glorious crown in the Lord’s hand, and a royal diadem in the palm of your God. You will no longer be called ‘Deserted’, and your land will not be called ‘Desolate’; instead, you will be called ‘My Delight is in Her’, and your land ‘Married’; for the Lord delights in you, and your land will be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, so your sons will marry you; and as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so your God will rejoice over you.” Isaiah 62:1-5
Chapter 62 opens with yet another poem in today’s passage in verses 1-5. Commentators are divided as to who the “I” is. Some think it may be Isaiah himself. If that were the case, it would mean that the prophet would not rest until the things predicted came to pass. Of course, we know that was not the case.
Others argue that it is the Lord who is speaking here, which is my belief. That means that God Himself will not rest until what He has promised is fulfilled. Having spoken, He is eager to bring it to pass. God is always like that; anxious to show us that He can be trusted. He is utterly dependable. He will not rest until the salvation that He promised for His people is accomplished.
The righteousness of Zion, alluded to in the last verse of chapter 61, will shine out like the dawn. This is what Jesus does for sinners: He makes them shine. (Ephesians 4:18; 5:8) The counterpart of this picture is Malachi’s description of the coming of Messiah.
“The sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.” Malachi 4:2
The Church-at-large is Messiah’s bride. The wedding gown and jewelry of 61:10 now make way for her change of name. We are familiar with the concept: new wives change their names. So, it is here in Isaiah’s prophecy. She will be called “Hephzibah.” (My delight is in her), as opposed to “Deserted,” and the land in which she lived will be called “Beulah” (married) as opposed to “Desolate.” Any wonder that faithful believers pray earnestly the Lord will bring forth the wedding day?
This whole “change of names” theme is very much like the story of the prophet Hosea.
“When the Lord first spoke to Hosea, He said this to him: Go and marry a promiscuous wife and have children of promiscuity, for the whole land has been promiscuous by abandoning the Lord.” Hosea 1:2
Two of Hosea’s children’s names were: “No Compassion” and “Not My People.” Of course, Hosea’s God-commanded adulterous marriage (and its subsequent offspring) was a greater metaphor for Israel’s spiritual adultery. Isaiah’s message is similar to Hosea’s: When we repent, our identities change. Hence, God changes our names.