NOTE: This chapter kind of destroys Islam (in my opinion).
This chapter shows that God is compassionate (Exodus 34:6-7).
His anger is brief and REALLY provoked (look at the WHOLE of the Tanach and see just how compassionate and forgiving He was. Those who just see an angry God in the Tanach are pretty blind or stupid), but then God brings them back. It is all to bring them to Him, this is a huge act of compassion.
What emotions and experiences of the people in exile does this passage speak to?
Fear and shame – He will call Israel back, as His wife (loving, kindness, gentle).
Disgrace – because God was angry with them.
Rejection by God – because He through them out of Israel.
What is the significance of the imagery in vv. 1-8?
Images of widowhood (rejection by God), marriage, bringing wife back – loving, calling Israel home.
vv. 1-3: In exile Israel is not prosperous, when freed they will grow!
50:1-3 – Israel saw the abandonment as permanent.
54:7 - It was not.
Imagery. Abandonment is exile. Israel had abandoned the covenant – Faithlessness. The abandonment is the breaking of the relationship. The covenant is broken in exile. They are called back because of God’s mercy. He was faithful – punishment, but His mercy fulfils the covenant purpose ("I will be your God, and you will be My people." – Exodus 6:6-8, Jeremiah 7:22-24, Ezekiel 36:27-29).
What gives rise to the change in Israel’s fortunes in vv. 1-8?
God has compassion on them and calls them back. The deep compassion of a husband.
What grounds for trust do we find in vv. 9-10? What is the significance of the reference to Noah?
This is the same kind of promise as He made to Noah.
Just as God kept that promise, He’ll keep this one.
Close your eyes and have one person read vv. 11-13 aloud. What images spring to mind.
The New Jerusalem. Before – city covering rocky island, lashed by storms.
God will teach their children. Peace.
What is the significance of the promises in vv. 14-17?
Israel will never be attacked. If they are attacked the attackers will surrender. à God will never again send an army against them. No terror, no tyrants will rise up in the City. Righteousness will be their foundation.
v. 3: Settle in the foreigners/oppressors cities – v. 16: Will be protected – complete reversal of current situation of exile.
Fits with vv. 9-10 – Won’t let an army overtake them as Israel is His perfect people and they will be righteous. The Lord will do the destroying for Israel.
What does this mean for Israel in exile? For us?
It means that YHWH is forgiving and compassionate. He treats His people like a wife.
Rich imagery – Huge hope!
vv. 11-12: Long term fulfilment – New Jerusalem (Revelation 21, Hebrews 12:18-24)
Short Term? (Israel sinned after exile…)
Only: The city was rebuilt. City is an image of the People of God, they will be glorious, Jerusalem will be glorious – These have not yet been fulfilled.
Like the New Covenant which has also not yet been fulfilled yet completely
At the moment we are the afflicted city.
Yes and Amen: Fullness awaits the future of Jesus and His people.