Text: Isaiah 62:1-12, Isaiah 63:1-14, Matthew 26:1-16
Isaiah 62 reveals God’s promise of restoration for His people. I could read this passage of Scripture 1000 times and never get sick of it.
The book of Isaiah as a whole is a tough read. The prophet tells of the coming destruction of Judah (3:8) and their captivity in Babylon (39:6). But think of this: the entire book of Isaiah is written before one Babylonian sword is drawn against Judah and Jerusalem. Before their destruction Isaiah tells the people of Judah of God’s promise to restore them.
Our God always tempers His righteous judgment with loving compassion (Psalm 145:8). He plans deliverance and restoration for His people even before He disciplines them. Even before God inflicts judgment, He plans to restore.
God promised to restore Jerusalem, and He sealed that promise when He gave her a new name. This is significant. Names are a core part of our identity—often the first thing we share about ourselves. Names embody who we are and what we are about.
When God changes a name, He also changes an identity.
Abram became Abraham (Genesis 17:5). From an “Exalted Father” to “The Father of Many Nations.” God changed Abram’s identity as a respected man with no son of his own, to one with many descendants, including the promised Messiah.
Jacob became Israel (Genesis 32:28). From “He Grasps the Heel” (or “Deceiver”) to “He Struggled with God.” Jacob’s identity changed from one marked by deceit and manipulation to the father of God’s chosen people.
Jerusalem was called “Deserted” and “Desolate,” but as God redeems, He promises to give Jerusalem a new name (Isaiah 62:2). She will be called:
My Delight Is in Her
The Lord’s Redeemed
The City No Longer Deserted
What an identity shift!
This is the character of our God: He redeems. He rebuilds. He renames. While He disciplines, He also restores (Hebrews 12:6; Joel 2:25). We are never too far gone for the reach of His restoration. No wonder Isaiah can’t help but shout and proclaim God’s promises for Judah:
“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” (Isaiah 62:1).
It is good to proclaim God’s faithful restoration within our own circumstances, regardless of what they may look like today. As we cling to the the truth of who He is, we can rest—because His restoration has already begun.