Isaiah – Chapter 54

God promised the Jewish church would explode in size, including many Gentiles. He would take her back like a loving husband and never reject her again. Prosperity and protection were guaranteed to her and to her children forever.




Theme:  The remnant church, shrunk and shamed in Babylon, would flourish by prosperity and protection.



1-3       Explosion of the Church to Include Gentiles

4-5       Marriage to God Jehovah Removed all Shame

6-8       God Would Restore Israel After Divorcing Her

9-10     His Promise Was Like the Rainbow and Hills

11-14   He Promised Beauty and Prosperity to Children

15-17   He Promised Protection from Conspiring Foes         


Preparatory ReadingIsaiah chapters 11, 25, 35, and 50.


Related Links:

  1. Exposition of Isaiah 11 (Root of David) …
  2. Exposition of Isaiah 25 (Israel restored) …
  3. Exposition of Isaiah 35 (Israel restored) …
  4. Exposition of Isaiah 50 (Israel divorced) …



  1. The previous chapter, Isaiah 53, detailed in fifteen glorious verses the work of redemption by Messiah.
    1. All religious and spiritual favor and goodness from God for His people requires Christ’s salvation.
    2. The next chapter prophesied of the redeemed church, Gentiles, and future prosperity and safety.
    3. The chapter now before you is very comforting of the gospel, Messiah, forgiveness, and prosperity.
  2. There are promises found here that should rejoice the heart of every person knowing the vanity of life.
    1. Americanism, or any version of nationalism, is nothing compared to the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
    2. God has a church and kingdom He put in the possession of His Son for ultimate and final victory.
    3. Promised expansion, confidence, certainty, beauty, knowledge, pleasure, and protection are great.
  3. While Isaiah’s 40s chapters have their own unique appeal and glorious content, the 50’s do as well.
    1. Isaiah chapters 50 and 52 give a great introduction to Isaiah 53 for those that love the Lord Jesus.
    2. Isaiah 54 is the church’s growth with Gentiles; the 50s last verses are in the N.T. (Is 59:20-21).
    3. While the 40s exalt God’s prophetic power and His use of Cyrus the Persian, the 50s are of Christ.
  4. We view this chapter and its prophecies from the perspective of the remnant still captive in Babylon.
    1. However, the prophecy extends far beyond Isaiah’s time and rescue from Babylon 160 years later.
    2. It extends to the times of Messiah and the gospel era of the New Testament and Jews of that time.
    3. When looking forward, the largest events would rise from the horizon to minimize minor events.
    4. Terms may be used, desolate cities, when literal cities are not in mind but rather kingdom growth.
  5. When reading or studying the chapters of Isaiah, remember prophetic similitudes and poetic grammar.
    1. Prophetic similitudes (stated in Hosea 12:10) are the figurative and metaphorical uses of language.
    2. Observe Isaiah’s frequent change in verb tenses, for it his perspective (Is 43:12,16-17; 45:13-14).
    3. Observe Isaiah’s frequent change in persons of pronouns like David in the Psalms (Is 52:14; etc.).



Explosion of the Church to Include Gentiles  –  Verses 1-3 



1  Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.

  1. Sing loudly! When God’s salvific blessings by Christ are known, this is the response.
    1. We had this same instruction after meeting the ensign of David (Is 11:1-5; 12:1-6).
    2. Similar instruction to sing is found in other places (Is 26:1-19; 35:1-10; 44:21-23).
    3. The expansion of the kingdom of God would be great in numbers and in geography.
    4. From persecuted obscurity at the present (Babylon), its growth would be very great.
  2. The elect, remnant church until Messiah was like unto a divorced wife without children.
    1. The church of God, and other cities and nations as well, were compared to women.
    2. Like with poetry in the Psalms and other poetic books in the Bible, accept metaphors.
    3. Like with parables and proverbs, do not read more into the language than the lesson.
    4. The elect within Israel, before and after Christ, was very small, like a tenth (Is 6:13).
    5. Israel was small to begin with, but then she was reduced by judgment to very small.
    6. The main form of growth would be Gentiles joining her as the third verse declares.
    7. The Jewish church would explode with growth as the N.T. era dawned upon them.
  3. Paul used this verse to comfort Galatians (Gentiles) of the church’s growth (Gal 4:27).
    1. Jewish legalists foolishly exalted their occupied nation’s rites against Christ’s truth.
    2. Barren Sarah ended up with a far greater seed than did Hagar, Abraham’s other wife.
    3. Barren Hannah ended up with more children than Peninnah, Elkanah’s other wife.
    4. The nation of Israel, considering itself married to God, was despised and destroyed.
    5. The church of Messiah, seen by Jews as divorced and barren, grew large worldwide.
  4. Virgin Daughter of Zion (slides)



2  Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;

  1. The metaphor – a prophetic similitude word picture – moved from a woman to a tent.
    1. The celebration justifying loud singing in the previous verse is further signified here.
    2. The church or kingdom of God that was obscure as Israel would explode in growth.
    3. As the next verse will direct us, this spectacular growth would mainly be Gentiles.
    4. Every Gentile should rejoice – and sing – because of his inclusion in God’s kingdom.
  2. Consider the descriptive terms here of significant growth in the church/kingdom of God.
    1. The tent needed to be enlarged, for it would house and hold many more occupants.
    2. The curtains that formed the home needed to be stretched to house many children.
    3. They should not spare material, effort, expense to make the home large as possible.
    4. They should lengthen all the cords and stays necessary to keep the tent in its place.
    5. They should strengthen the tent stakes holding the stays for the greater size of it.

3  For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

  1. Along with the metaphors, Isaiah gave an explanation of the growth the future promised.
  2. The woman and tent, pictures of the church/kingdom, would explode in every direction.
    1. Future generations of the Jews – the seed of Israel – would have Gentiles join them.
    2. Rather than Gentiles inheriting Israel (as in Babylon), the Jews would have Gentiles.
    3. The Gentiles would come to the Jews or be beholden to them for gospel blessings.
    4. Paul, a rude Jew as he confessed, traveled the world converting Gentiles to Messiah.
    5. The churches of Jesus Christ, combining Jews and Gentiles, would worship together.
  3. The desolate cities – their condition with the remnant in Babylon – would be inhabited.
    1. There is a literal fulfillment when Zerubbabel and other men brought the Jews home.
    2. However, the context and celebration here reaches far beyond to the times of Christ.
    3. There was no great expansion or inheritance with the Gentiles outside the N.T. era.
    4. The union of Jews and Gentiles was by Christ’s gospel, so cities is another metaphor.
    5. Looking forward, Isaiah saw the early, natural situation and the latter, spiritual one.



  Marriage to God Jehovah Removed all Shame  –  Verses 4-5 



4  Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

  1. Since it was hard for Israel to celebrate, given her exile in Babylon, God comforted her.
    1. The first three verses of the chapter were for celebration due to future great growth.
    2. She was to sing loudly on account of many children and a larger tent of the kingdom.
    3. If this were hard to hear for such troubled prisoners, God reminded her of Himself.
  2. Know that God knows, counts, and collects all our tears and wanderings (Psalm 56:8).
    1. He told the church not to fear, after telling her to sing, because He was her husband.
    2. She should get rid of all thoughts of shame, confusion, shame, shame, and
    3. The future would be different from the past, so she could and should forget shame.
  3. This is beautiful comfort, because Israel deserved everything that God had done to her.
    1. After all, she is the one that had deserted her husband and caused the painful divorce.
    2. She should be ashamed and confused due to her great sins and her pitiful condition.
    3. She should have been the object of reproach for forfeiting privileges under Jehovah.
  4. Never doubt God’s forgiveness and mercy to reject your shame, confusion, or reproach.
    1. God can fully forgive; God can fully restore prior prosperity; God can cause growth.
    2. The next chapter gloriously describes His ability and desire to forgive (Is 55:6-9).
    3. Sinners that hold guilt and shame deny God’s faithfulness and Christ’s sufficiency.
    4. The previous chapter exalted Christ’s sufficiency and the next one God’s integrity.
  5. There was a reason for Israel to forget her ugly past and totally celebrate the future.

5  For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

  1. With God Jehovah as her husband (again), Israel could celebrate without any shame.
    1. The call to celebrate future goodness with loud singing was due to divine certainty.
    2. The comfort to fear no shame, confusion, or reproach was based on divine affection.
  2. The LORD Jehovah was Israel’s Creator, Adoptive Father, and Affectionate Husband.
    1. Returning to the metaphor of a barren wife, Israel had the most potent Husband ever.
    2. God appealed often to His creative power, so He called Himself Israel’s Maker
    3. His name – an eligible husband needs a good name – is Jehovah, I AM THAT I AM.
    4. Not only was Israel’s God Jehovah, He was by office and position the Lord of angels.
    5. He redeemed (bought back) this woman from barren exile as the Holy One of Israel.
    6. If previous descriptions, names, and titles were not enough – God of the whole earth.
  3. Reader, consider and meditate on this sublime fact – the Almighty God is your husband.
    1. This is the cause for celebration, for your future is very good (Psalm 138:8; Phil 1:6).
    2. This is the cause for no fear, for God would protect and prosper (Isaiah 54:11-17).



  God Would Restore Israel After Divorcing Her  –  Verses 6-8



6  For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.

  1. When chastening ends, by God’s choice and appointment, it is time to move forward.
    1. The first lesson in the first three verses above was to celebrate based on this lesson.
    2. The second lesson in the next two verses was to not fear any shame due to this lesson.
    3. But let there be no doubt – chastening does bring certain grief of spirit (Heb 12:11).
    4. But once chastening is over and the lesson learned, go back to work (Heb 12:12-13).
  2. The LORD – Jehovah God of Israel named in the previous verse – was reclaiming Israel.
    1. The unfaithful wife here, without husband or children, had been rejected by God.
    2. Before she could have children, her husband had rejected her early in the marriage.
    3. She had truly been forsaken; she was grieved in spirit; she had indeed been refused.
    4. But now God was taking her back for the future blessings in this context (Jer 3:1,14).



7  For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.

  1. God described the 70-year captivity in Babylon as forsaking Judah for a small moment.
  2. How had He forsaken them? Not in the sense of election or relationship, but fellowship.
  3. In contrast to the punishment in Babylon, God had much greater plans for their future.
  4. There is far greater security by Jesus Christ as intercessor rather than David or Moses.

8  In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.

  1. God described the destruction of Jerusalem and Judah and captivity as a little wrath.
  2. He described the 70 years of captivity in pagan Babylon as hiding His face a moment.
  3. In contrast to His wrath and loss of fellowship for a moment, eternal glory was coming.
    1. The elect remnant of God, chosen in Christ, were part of His everlasting kingdom.
    2. The elect church did not have to worry about the future, God would take care of her.
    3. She would not be discarded, for she had a perpetual intercessor at God’s right hand.



  His Promise Was Like the Rainbow and Hills  –  Verses 9-10 



9  For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.

  1. God’s promise of restored fellowship and prosperity for Israel in Christ was very sure.
    1. One of the greatest and most sure promises is His guarantee of no worldwide flood.
    2. When you see a rainbow, as God directed Noah, it was a sure sign of His promise.
    3. When we see a rainbow, we should also remember this promise of good in Christ.
    4. An appeal to other laws of sky and weather is also used (Jer 31:35-36; 33:20-26).
  2. This promise is one of gospel matter, for it is the certainty of eternal life by Messiah.
    1. This promise cannot mean national Israel, for He destroyed them in fury in 70 A.D.
    2. This promise cannot mean fellowship with Him, for Israel lost it again by their sins.
    3. The previous chapter foretold justification by Jesus, the next chapter God’s integrity.
    4. Nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ as Paul wrote (Romans 8:32-39).



10  For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.

  1. God’s promise of restored fellowship and prosperity for Israel in Christ was very sure.
    1. The lesson in this and the previous verse is the certainty of future good for the elect.
    2. One of the surest and lasting things we know are earth’s mountains and her hills.
    3. Though they shall be altered, God’s promised covenant of blessings would not be.
    4. An appeal to alteration of the earth is common (Is 51:6-7; Ps 46:2; Matt 5:18; 24:35).
  2. This promise is one of gospel matter, for it is the certainty of eternal life by Messiah.
    1. This promise cannot mean national Israel, for He destroyed them in fury in 70 A.D.
    2. This promise cannot mean fellowship with Him, for Israel lost it again by their sins.
    3. The previous chapter foretold justification by Jesus, the next chapter God’s integrity.


  He Promised Beauty and Prosperity to Children  –  Verses 11-14



11  O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.

  1. Israel’s condition, situation, and experience under Chaldean cruelty had been terrible.
  2. After the Babylonians would come the Greeks and then the Romans to trouble her.
  3. But God’s promised restoration and explosive growth would also be very prosperous.
  4. Have you ever felt like these terms here – afflicted, tossed with tempest, not comforted?
  5. If you humble yourself and repent under chastening, there is joyful prosperity ahead.
  6. God would make His church beautiful with precious stones of all kinds as metaphors.



12  And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.

  1. The metaphors returned as God described the spiritual prosperity under terms of cities.
  2. Agate. A precious stone; a name applied to the semi-pellucid variegated chalcedonies, with the colors disposed in parallel stripes or bands, or blended in clouds, and often with curious markings due to the infiltration of other minerals.
  3. Carbuncle. A name variously applied to precious stones of a red or fiery color; the carbuncles of the ancients (of which Pliny describes twelve varieties) were probably sapphires, spinels or rubies, and garnets.
  4. As if named precious stones were not enough, the Spirit simply added precious stones.
  5. These are prophetic similitudes or metaphors, natural things to depict spiritual things.



13  And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

  1. Parents in trouble, as described here (Is 54:11), would fear for the welfare of children.
  2. God not only promised children, note seed also (Is 54:1-3), but He would care for them.
  3. By vital and practical phases of salvation, Israel’s future generations would be blessed.
    1. They would be regenerated just as Jesus used this text with a crowd (John 6:44-45).
    2. The gospel preachers and teachers were a great number (Ps 68:11,18; Eph 4:8-11).
    3. The knowledge of God filled the earth (Gentiles), but it began with the elect of Israel.
    4. Peter at Pentecost offered God’s gifts here to Israel and her children (Acts 2:38-39).
    5. The kingdom of God was righteousness, peace, joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom 14:17).
    6. By the power of the Spirit given their children, they had great peace (Rom 15:13).
    7. The kingdom of Jesus Christ, described earlier, easily explains this (Isaiah 11:1-9).
  4. If we were to reduce this to mere civil government of Israel, it breaks down very easily.
    1. Israel had very little peace as a nation, even under Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah.
    2. Local enemies, and then Greece and Antiochus IV, and then Rome oppressed them.
    3. If you resort to a natural and/or national application, you must in the verses before.
    4. Then we have cities/country built of precious stones, which never occurred in Israel.
    5. Why see the natural and national here with potent spiritual truth in adjacent chapters?



14  In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.

  1. This verse is for this lesson (prosperity), not the next (protection), due to the first clause.
  2. Righteousness, the perfect reign of David’s Son, would establish the kingdom in equity.
    1. The righteous reign of Messiah was introduced and defined earlier (Isaiah 11:1-5).
    2. The laws and enforcement in His kingdom would be right rather than by appearance.
    3. In Jesus Christ’s kingdom by repentance and baptism, there is a righteous Leader.
    4. The consequences of His reign are peace among the varied citizens (Isaiah 11:6-9).
    5. This glorious King would be an ensign for the Gentiles to flock to (Isaiah 11:10).
    6. Whether demons or men or whatever enemies, Jesus Christ the righteous would save.
  3. Righteousness, the gift of justification by Jesus Christ, established them with Jehovah.
    1. The Jews situation here and its attendant blessings is the gospel kingdom of Jesus.
    2. Compare the previous verse that describes spiritual truth of an inward, vital kind.
    3. The Jews and the Gentiles, converts to the gospel, were oppressed by many enemies.
    4. However, they were accepted and reconciled to God without works of any kind.
    5. Their legal redemption, vital regeneration, and the truth saved from Satan and lies.
    6. Seeing legal salvation here is not without cause by 15 verses (Is 52:13-15; 53:1-12).
    7. Seeing vital salvation here is not without cause by what went before (Isaiah 54:13).
    8. Seeing practical salvation here is not without cause by what follows (Isaiah 55:1-5).
    9. The kingdom of Jesus Christ, described earlier, emphasizes the practical (Is 11:1-9).
  4. The converted Jews and Gentiles were often oppressed and terribly so many times.
    1. However, in Christ Jesus legally, vitally, practically, they mocked Satan and foes.
    2. They did not fear even death, and with Paul mocked it and the grave as martyrs.
    3. They could not be hurt by Jewish stones or Roman sword; they were safe in Christ.



He Promised Protection from Conspiring Foes  –  Verses 15-17 



15  Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.

  1. Observe that the previous lesson denied oppression but this lesson admitted oppression.
    1. The text here clearly says enemies would gather together and conspire against Israel.
    2. By their standing in Christ and confidence by gospel promises, they feared no man.
    3. But they would have enemies to oppose them e.g. Jews and pagan and papal Rome.
    4. However, the foes would not be like Assyrian or Babylonian rods to chasten Israel.
    5. They would not have God’s approval and blessing like His chastening of the nation.
    6. No persecution could occur without God’s approval and use, but not for harm here.
  2. The enemies that would arise and conspire to eradicate the church would utterly fail.
    1. If we let the previous context lead us, we are in the N.T. era after Jesus and apostles.
    2. Why would conspiracies fail? Because God was against them to preserve His church.
    3. The remarkable history of Christianity under pagan and papal Rome fulfills it well.
    4. The churches of Jesus Christ were preserved through ten pagan Roman persecutions.
    5. The churches of Jesus Christ were preserved for 1260 years of papal persecutions.
    6. They united the power of kingdom and religion against the Christianity but failed.
    7. For all their success at killing millions, there were replacements to keep the kingdom.
    8. So far from destroying the Israel of God and gospel church, it flourished and grew.



16  Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.

  1. The protection of the Israel of God, or gospel church, was as sure as God’s sovereignty.
    1. The almighty God gave gifts and witty inventions for blacksmiths to create weapons.
    2. The almighty God also raised magistrates and soldiers to war against Jesus’ church.
  2. Pagan and papal Rome were both entirely under the sovereign government of our God.
    1. Every conceivable weapon and act of cruelty has been used against true Christians.
    2. Pagan Rome killed John the Baptist, Jesus, James, and then many others after them.
    3. The Roman Catholic Church was drunk with the blood of the saints (Rev 17:1-6).
    4. Daniel and John both prophesied of 1260 of papal Rome’s power to kill Christians.
  3. The promises of exploding growth, spiritual prosperity, and protection were very sure.
    1. His sovereign power included every weapon, every enemy, and their combination.
    2. They would only do what He ordained them to do and only do when He ordained.
    3. As He promised, the reign of terror by the Man of Sin would end for us to prosper.



17  No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

  1. This verse is a favorite of many who know their Bibles, but do they know the context?
    1. The context builds from a desolate church to a growing prosperous one with peace!
    2. This verse is third in a section and lesson giving God’s promise of earthly protection.
  2. Christians cannot be hurt by weapons of torture or war, for their kingdom is invisible.
    1. God is sovereign over all men and over all weapons as the previous verse described.
    2. The coliseum, the rack, hot pinchers, butchers’ scissors, and all others did not work.
    3. The martyrs of Jesus declared their King and His gospel with their very last breaths.
    4. The church did not shrink or go out of existence by their weapons, only out of sight!
  3. Christians cannot be hurt by lies, for they have the gospel of truth to confound heretics.
    1. In spite of the emperor of Rome and the popes and priests of papal Rome, truth grew.
    2. After ten successive persecutions, the Roman Empire had to convert to Christianity.
    3. This church has gloried in the testimonies of the martyrs we periodically review.
  4. What heritage do you hope to acquire? The one described here trumps all of this earth.
    1. Will you seek the fare of this world for a feast? The next chapter mocks the choice.
    2. Will you seek the things of this world for joy? And leave all behind at your death?
    3. The growth, beauty, knowledge, prosperity, and protection of Christians is promised.
    4. Though their enemies accused them of every kind of evil, they were perfect in Christ.
    5. Though outside the devil’s monstrosity of papal Rome, they had true righteousness.
    6. Though they died as heretics, condemned to hell, they were righteous in their Lord.