Isaiah 54:9-10 (NIV 84) - "To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again. Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
If the punishment for all my sin and transgression has been borne by Jesus on the cross, then logically speaking, God has no more reason to be angry with me ever again. I believe this applies in the sense of my relationship with God being secure. Of course my fellowship with God is NOT secure, and should never be taken for granted. If I choose to ignore God, neglect my prayer time and let dust gather on my Bible, I am out of fellowship with God.
Imagine, not hearing the voice of God, being deaf and blind to the leading of the Spirit, while being weak in the inner man because of not feeding on the Word of God. That is a very dangerous state to be in these last days!
Isaiah 54:11-15 (NIV 84) - "O afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will build you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with sapphires. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones. All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children's peace. In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you. If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing; whoever attacks you will surrender to you.
So what or who is this afflicted city mentioned here?
On one level, it refers to the city of Jerusalem. We see the LORD speaking to Jerusalem in both Isaiah 51:17 and in Isaiah 52:1, and he does not address any other group of people until the start of Isaiah 55. That means that Isaiah 54:11 refers to Jerusalem.
For us this can refer to the physical city of Jerusalem, or also the New Testament church
Hebrews 12:22 (ESV) - But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect
One mistake to watch out for – do not let the spiritual meaning negate the physical meaning. There will be people who think that this prophecy can apply to the spiritual Jerusalem, therefore it does not apply anymore to the physical Jerusalem. That would be like saying because this verse: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh“ (Gen 2:24) applies to Christ and his church (Eph 5:33) it does not apply to our earthly marriages. And Eph 5:33 shows that idea is clearly not Scriptural.
Two thoughts from this passage:
1) Move beyond an individual-based faith to a community-based faith.
Our individual, personal faith-walk with the Lord is the foundation. We need to seek God for our own lives, to see his working in our day-to-day experience, to experience his promises fulfilled for us. If not we end up like some people I have seen, who spend more time praying for the church than for themselves, sound very spiritual and mature, and yet fight losing battles with their problems and addictions in their personal lives.
But after that foundation is laid, we must swiftly move on to praying for the community also. We can find many prophecies for Jerusalem in the Old Testament and prayers for the churches in the New Testament. If spiritual maturity is defined by how much the Bible reflects our lives, attention and priorities, then ignoring the community (Jerusalem or the church) is a clear sign of immaturity.
So pray! Pray for yourself, pray for your local church, and pray for the church at large. No one with a Bible and an internet connection can ever say “I don’t know what to pray about”, it’s handed to us on a silver platter by modern technology. We have no excuse!
2) Pray for Jerusalem
When I set out to regularly pray for Jerusalem, I soon realized that there were many Scripture passages I could use. The above passage from Isaiah 54 is only just one example. Just casually reading through the book of Isaiah yields many prophecies for Jerusalem (and Zion) for us to use in our private prayer time. But if you are wondering how to get started, here’s a simple answer.
Psalm 122:6-9 (NKJV) - Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:“May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls,Prosperity within your palaces.”For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say,“Peace be within you.” Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek your good.
Pray that Jerusalem will experience the shalom of God, the peace, prosperity and well-being of God. And pray that there will be justice in Jerusalem, because the purpose of shalom is to order and establish his kingdom, the nation of Israel, with judgment and justice. In other words, shalom, judgment and justice will show the world what the rule of Christ truly is.
Isaiah 9:7 (NKJV) - Of the increase of His government and peaceThere will be no end,Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,To order it and establish it with judgment and justiceFrom that time forward, even forever.The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
I’d better stop here before I get carried away by the Scriptures again. If so I’ll never stop writing. Chew on all this sharing for now, I need to go back to praying. Be blessed!