This week's Haftarah reading is from Isaiah 54:1-55:5. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers, as he emphasizes the prosperity of the Servant, our Messiah, and the call for a response from His people, the Bride of YESHUA.
Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Haftarah:
Lion of Judah Speaks: Haftarah Portion – Isaiah 54:1-55:5
As we come to the last section of Isaiah 54-66 it contains more words of comfort designed especially for the Babylonian captives who would experience Adonai’s judgment foretold in the first half of the book. We see the focus on the future glory for Adonai’s people, yet with a reminder that their present shame (captivity) was due to their wickedness. Isaiah 54:7-8 says, “I deserted you for a brief moment, but I will take you back with great compassion. In a surge of anger, I hid Myself from you for a moment, but I will have compassion on you with everlasting love”, says Adonai your Redeemer. Isaiah 54 and 55, will emphasize the prosperity of the Servant and call for a response from His people. Though barren in her present condition of captivity, Adonai promises to show mercy and a covenant of shalom to the faithful remnant. So, an invitation is given to all who are thirsty, and they are encouraged to seek Adonai while He may be found if they desire joy and shalom. He offers us a future glory of Zion, a place in His House and in His Holy Mountain. The future glory pertains to the age of Messiah, inaugurated with the first coming of Yeshua and the proclamation of the gospel beginning in Jerusalem.
Israel is encouraged to burst into song because her punishment is over and Adonai, like a loving husband, is taking back His wayward bride and showering her with blessings. Her exile in Babylon was necessary yet temporary because Adonai is faithful to His promises. Just as Yah honored His covenant with Noah, He will honor His “covenant of shalom” with Israel. These verses await their complete fulfillment in the Messianic Kingdom.
So, Adonai calls for a response from His people. In Isaiah 54 and 55 He sends His call out! In Isaiah 54:1: “sing”; in verse 2: “Enlarge the place of your tent”; in verse 4: “fear not”; in Isaiah 55:1: “Come”; in verse 2: “listen diligently”; in verse 6: “Seek Adonai while He may be found”. What has Adonai done? He has removed every obstacle for man to seek Him and find Him. There is absolutely no reason for man to fear or to believe that Abba will not accept him. So, in Isaiah 54:4-17, He sends out a message of comfort, not one of wrath or judgment. He wants them to “sing” because of the victory that has been accomplished, to “Come” and enjoy a feast that someone else paid for, because He has brought restoration…HalleluYah!
The imagery throughout this haftorah is that of Adonai, the faithful Husband, forgiving Israel, the unfaithful wife, restoring her to her home and giving her undeserved blessings. The restoration of His family, the restoration of the marriage, and the restoration of the city…now this barren woman is able to sing, her barrenness has ended, but not because of a natural occurrence. The Servant’s work has miraculously taken away her shame…our shame!
How did this happen? The Servant’s seed, or offspring, heals the barren state. What a great reminder that the true children of Adonai are only made His children by the power of the Ruach HaKodesh, by believing and following Yeshua HaMashiach, the Lamb of Yah. It is by the power of the Almighty Yah, nothing that we have done. This is why Adonai waits to give Sarah a child in her old age, beyond natural ability. This is why there is a contrast with Hagar and Ishmael who seem to mock Sarah and seem for the moment to be the heirs. In Galatians 4:21-31 Paul uses Hagar and Ishmael as allegorical examples of the physical nation. This is why Ezekiel 36:25-27 states that Adonai will cleanse, and give a heart of flesh instead of a heart of stone, why He gives a new spirit and will put His Spirit within us, causing us to be careful to obey His commandments. The reason is because “everything” is about Adonai giving the new life and new spirit and recreating us into His image.
We must be birthed by Adonai! This is why, like Nicodemus, we must be born again from above in order to be in the Kingdom of Adonai. This is why being born again is not perishable seed but imperishable through the living and abiding Word of Adonai. Israel is promised to be taken back, they will not be destroyed, the covenant will stand, they are not permanently abandoned, they will have the opportunity to be renewed, to be called back, wooed to Himself, and no longer a deserted wife.
Their shame is reversed, the disgrace of abandonment is lifted. They will no longer remember the days of desolation. This is true for us as well! The people no longer will fear oppression from without or corruption from within, for Adonai will protect them.
We understand this is a preview of the Millennium, during which no nation will be allowed to defeat Israel. Adonai will comfort them with these words, “No weapon formed against you will succeed, and you will refute any accusation raised against you in court. This is the heritage of Adonai’s servants, and their righteousness is from Me.” (Isaiah 57:17). It is the righteousness of Adonai that saves, not man’s own” filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).
We see this illustrated in Yeshua’s parable of the wedding banquet (Matt. 22:1-14), an invited guest is bound hand and foot and cast into outer darkness because he has refused to wear the wedding garment provided by the King. What does this show? It shows that no one’s own righteousness merits entrance into the Kingdom, only the righteousness of Yeshua. Revelation 7:9-17 reveals an innumerable host of people, robed in white, stands before the throne and the Lamb. Their robes are white because, “they washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb”.
Adonai throws a protective covering over His people so that they will be safe. Even though this is an eschatological covenant, it has present application to us. Adonai’s protective covering has been given to us as well. By the Ruach, we are guaranteed our inheritance until the redemption of those who are Adonai’s possession. The Servant has bought us with a price…we are His! We shall be joined to Him, eat at His feast, be blessed by Him, our Husband.
What an amazing work He did! Our Creator wrapped Himself in humanity and offered Himself as a sacrifice to save us. We would not return on our own, we could not return on our own, so He was crushed, bruised, and beaten for us, which penetrated our hearts so deeply that we run to Him; we are drawn by the cords of His love. So, because of that, we sing, enlarge our tent, fear not, come to Him, listen to His Word diligently and seek Him while He may be found! Won’t you join me in this search?
Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha,
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Have a great week and a blessed Sabbath. Seek Him while He may be found! Join the search this Sabbath!