Isaiah 54 A Perpetual Covenant Of Peace And Prosperity.
The covenant people will go from barrenness to an abundance of offspring or godly seed, and these children “will inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities inhabited” (vv. 1-3). Paul quotes verse 1 (Gal. 4:27) to show that there is a distinction within the covenant between those who were mere external members of the administration of the covenant of grace, and those who are true children of promise. The former make the covenant one of works or physical heredity, but the latter experience the covenant as a relationship based on grace, appropriated by faith in the promise of redemption (vv. 21-31). Those born only “according to the flesh” (Gal. 4:23), are destined to be at war with the children of promise, and it all goes back to the seed promise of Genesis 3:15-there is a spiritual enmity involved in the course of history.
The children of promise will expand until they inherit the whole earth (v. 2 Cf. 49:19-20). This includes inheriting the nations (v. 3 Cf. 14:2; 49:22-23; 60:9). The children of promise will no longer be, or be put to shame, in that their widowhood would be forgotten (v. 4 Cf. 41:10). Their Maker was and is their husband, and this because he is also their Redeemer. The “God of the whole earth,” is their covenant “LORD of hosts” (v. 5 Cf. Rom. 3:29). This is what separates the two seeds. It is indeed possible for the children of promise to be backsliders, but the LORD will bring these back, and it will not be based on mere physical membership in a family, for this work of redemption will separate families into the two seeds (Jer. 3:14). The marriage analogy is used to convey this covenantal idea (Hos. 2:19). “And the LORD shall be King over all the earth” (Zech. 14:9).
The children of promise are also called by the sovereign LORD (v. 6 Cf. 62:4), and though he disciplines, in this and their restoration, they experience his “great mercies” (v. 7 Cf. 26:20; 43:5; 56:8; 60:10; Prov. 3:11-12; II Cor. 4:17; Heb. 12:6). The exile was not permanent, he would restore the godly seed to inherit the whole inhabited earth, because of the mercy of their Redeemer (v. 8). It is love in an everlasting covenant of peace, which is another name for the new covenant (Cf. v. 10; 55:3; Jer. 31:3ff.). The mountains and hills are the nations great and small, including the apostate nation of Israel (Cf. 51:6; Ps. 46:2; Mt. 5:18). In fact, the LORD through Isaiah goes back to the promise of the Noahic covenant, that the waters would no longer cover the earth, the earth itself would be shown mercy through the mercy shown to the children of promise (v. 9 Cf. 12:1-2; Gen. 8:21; 9:11; Ezek. 39:29; Rom. 8:19).
The new temple or house of the LORD and the city of Jerusalem, will be built with gems, its foundation with sapphires, its pinnacles with rubies, its doors with crystal, and all the walls made of precious stones (vv. 11-12). The work of David and Solomon would approximate the promise here (I Chron. 29:2), but even it would be inferior to the greater house to come (Rev. 21:18-21 Cf. Heb. 3:1-6; 12:22-24). Children from every tongue and tribe and nation “shall be taught by the LORD” (v. 13a Cf. Jer. 31:34; I Cor. 2:10; I Th. 4:9; I Jn. 2:20). Jesus in fact quoted this verse in the context of the Father’s effectual call of his children from among all the peoples (Jn. 6:45). Great would be the peace of these children of the covenant of peace (v. 13b Cf. v. 10). It is the peace of those established in righteousness (v. 14 Cf. Ps. 119:165). They will not fear the oppressor, though they assemble together against them, they will fail (v. 15 Cf. 41:11-16).
The LORD creates the blacksmith, an example of God sovereignly predestinating in His providence, the people and the history they occupy, to serve as instruments for his work, even as the craftsman uses fashioned instruments for his work (v. 16). However, no weapon formed against his people would be allowed to prosper, including and primarily that of the words of those who assail the biblical worldview and the position of covenant blessing of his people (17:12-14). Drought physical and spiritual is the food of those who oppose Zion, the people of the LORD (v. 29:8). This is their heritage, that of the servants of the LORD. The reason that this is the case, is not because of their own righteousness, but because their righteousness comes by faith from the LORD (v. 17 Cf. 54:14). As has always been and forever shall be, they will all be justified by faith (45:24-25).