In Isaiah 62, God declares a glorious future for his people. He speaks of them as if they are the city, Zion or Jerusalem. But as a city is only a ghost town without people, so here the city represents the eternal people of God—all who through Jesus have come to Mt. Zion (see: Hebrews 12:18-24).
Of his people God says:
The nations shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her and your land Married, for the Lord delights in you and your land shall be married. ~Isaiah 62:2-4
Many, many years later Paul would call the church the Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5). This image displays both the great love God has for his people and the great things he has done for us in Jesus.
Desolate and forsaken picture something that has been ruined under the curse against sin through the judgment of God. Such imagery is even how Isaiah 24:3 describes the earth under judgment: “The earth shall be utterly empty and utterly plundered.”
Yet God says not so for his people.
Where sin trapped us in unrighteousness, Jesus made us righteous. Where sin brought spiritual ugliness and decay, Jesus brought beauty and glory. Where sin shut us outside of God’s kindness as his enemies, Jesus made us God’s delight.
These are powerful words to a Christian’s heart: “God delights in you.” These words lead us to delight ourselves in the majesty of God. We love because he first loved us. These words free us to desire more and more of God, his word, and his people. These words lead us to pursue righteousness instead of sin.
We don’t have to feel like we must obey God because it’s our duty. Instead we desire to obey because it’s our pleasure. The more we understand the greatness of God, what he has done for us, and how he feels about us, the more this leads us to live each day according to his righteousness.
This post is part of our ongoing journey through the Bible as a church.