Isaiah 54:6 Part 7
In the past I have written of four methods of interpretation of the scripture.
1. Allegorical. 2. Instructive. 3. Prophetical. 4. The Law of Double Reference. Yet here in verses 6 through 8, there seems to be yet another method of interpret-tation which hopefully we will get around to discussing at greater length in the future. However for the moment let us concentrate on verse 6 only.
“You were like a wife who was deserted. And her heart was broken. You were like a wife who married young. And her husband sent her away. But now I am calling you to come back,” says your God.”
Verses 6 thorough 8 were preached in the context of a broken Jewish marriage with the nation of Israel playing the part of a young, unruly, immature, malcontent bride, while God is the husband, who once sent her away in an effort to induce some sense into her, but is now trying to get her back. To begin we must understand the importance of the Jewish wedding. To them it was Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentines’ Day, Fourth of July, Birthday, School Graduation, Palm Sunday and Easter and Prom Night all rolled into one.
The only other celebrations in the year were Holy days established by the Law, and by the time a young man or lady was 14 to 20 years old those days were undoubtedly ‘Old Hat’–Strictly 1950’ish–Like for the 142 time you had to go see your Aunt Mitilda, who smelled of rum, breath mints, old sweat and face powder, but always wanted to pinch your cheek and hold you in a sweaty bear-hug for most of your visit.
Even though a real human-to-human marriage contract, along with monetary compensation, might have been made between two fathers’ years in advance, the betrothal only started one year before the actual wedding. All of her life, since early childhood, the bride had been saving coins of various denominations as well as other items of monetary value. Upon reaching a certain age, probably as young as eight, she was allowed to wear these as a head-band at her front hairline to advertise her availability as a bride. This may seem extremely young, but keep in mind that girls were often married as young as twelve years old.
Yet even at that, the father was obliged to marry the oldest daughter first and proceed down the line of birth ages. Witness: Laban’s deceit in the marriage of Leah and Rachael to Jacob in Genesis chapter 29.
Once betrothed the groom begin construction of a room attached to his parent’s house that was to be the private quarters of he and his young bride. No date was set for the wedding, yet the bride’s maids had to be ever ready for the moment when the groom could come to ‘kidnap’ his bride. (Matt. 25:1-13)
On the night of the kidnapping the groom quietly gathered his closet friends and quietly sneaked up on the house of his ‘Beloved’. Then with a great clamor of shouting and beating of anything that would make noise, the groom would grab his bride and parade her through town with his co-harts banging on doors and making pandemonium in order to awaken the town and announce the marriage.
After rambling through the community he and his bride retreated to the private sanctuary of their bedroom while the assembly of friends might continue the celebra-tion throughout the night, and often for as long as a week or more afterwards.
Early the next morning the groom would rush out to show the blood stain on the sleeping pallet that proved not only was the marriage consummated, but that the bride was a virgin. Then the celebration started all over again. Of course without the presence of the bride and groom, who had by now, long returned to their sanctuary where they might stay for as long as a month.
Following the marriage the groom was released from serving any military service for one year. Additionally for the first year he was not to ‘resume any task that would interfere with his presence at home to cheer up his wife’.
Some materials have it that the women of Israel were more aggressive at promoting sexual activity than were the men. If true, this shows that the act of providing the male heir was the most important thing at that time. Several places in the Bible indicate that the act is a process to be enjoyed by both men and women equally. (After all, neither had TV or Smart Phones with which to occupy themselves.)
When all of these facts, or fantasies, are shaken together and tossed out, they point out the fact that a great amount of love and tenderness was held by each partner in the business of marriage.
In Isaiah’s prophecies it is doubtful that either the upper or the lower half of Israel knew what Isaiah was talking about when he preached verse 6:
“And her husband sent her away, But now I am calling you to come back, says your God.”
Here Isaiah is speaking of the fact that the majority of Israel had turned from God and were worshipping Baal and Ashtoreth.
This is allegorical, as well as prophetical inasmuch as: ‘That God has not yet, but is soon, going to send His chosen people away into captivity into Syria, Babylon and Persia for an extended period of time. After they begged, pleaded and prayed to be returned He would bring them back to their homeland, but only after many years of captivity’.
It would be 26 years following Isaiah’s first preaching before the first of the diaspora would begin. The ‘carrying away’ would begin in the northern portion of Israel which was Jeremiah’s prophetical portion. It would take another 126 years following that before the end of the diaspora with the dispersion of the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin.
Throughout this time God was beckoning and calling his people as if they were young, innocent, brides. Poorly trained, lost to their proper duties, and unable to make the proper decisions.
God had pity on his people and even before the fact, was warning them of the coming calamity and calling them back to himself.
God is a God of mercy and love. A God quick to forgive and forget.
We all have our weaknesses and failures. Sometimes we trip over our shortcomings. Are there currently things drawing us away from your fellowship with God? Are you more involved in community activities, sports, interaction with your friends, social media, more worried about your social status than your ‘God status’?
If you feel as if you are currently engaged in the long walk over the burning sands on your way to India, consider the following words:
‘I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake’. 1st John 2:12 KJV
‘If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’. 1st John 1:8-9 KJV
From that you see that it only takes a few words and a change in our thought process to enter into a new world.
TRY IT—YOU WILL LIKE IT!
TRIALS, TRIBULATIONS, AND . . . . . PATIENCE?
In our last visit we talked about the trials and temptations—(but not about patience)–through our times of trouble.