Encouragement for those in exile

Isaiah 54:1-8   The author of the Book of Isaiah compares Israel to an abandoned wife. "You were like a woman whose husband left her, and you were very sad... God says, 'I left you for a short time, but with great kindness I will bring you back again." (Isaiah 54:6-7)

Isaiah 54:9-17   God will restore Jerusalem to its former glory. “You poor city. Storms have hurt you, and you have not been comforted. But I will rebuild you with turquoise stones, and I will rebuild your foundations with sapphires. I will use rubies to build your walls and shining jewels for the gates and precious jewels for all your outer walls." (Isaiah 54:11-12)

 

The walls of Jerusalem

"I will use rubies to build your walls and shining jewels for the gates" (Isaiah 54:12) 

 

In the New Testament, John compares the 'New Jerusalem' to "a bride dressed for her husband." (Revelation 21:2) 

He describes the city as "shining with the glory of God" and "bright like a very expensive jewel" (Revelation 21:11) "The foundation stones of the city walls were decorated with every kind of jewel... jasper... sapphire... emerald... The twelve gates were twelve pearls." (Revelation 21:19-21) 

Isaiah 55:1-11   The author invites all who are spiritually “thirsty” to “drink” from the water of life and to “eat” of God’s goodness. (Isaiah 55:1-2)

In the New Testament, Jesus similarly urges a Samaritan woman he meets at a well to "drink" the "living water" that will bring her everlasting spiritual life. Jesus’s offer is to give her the life-giving ‘water’ of the Holy Spirit that will never run out (See Jesus offers ‘living water’ & John 7:37-39).

 

Nahal Arugot (Arugot Stream) in the Judean Desert, Israel (Ester Inbar)

Water sustains life - Nahal Arugot in the Judean Desert, Israel   (Ester Inbar)

 

“So you should look for the LORD before it is too late; you should call to him while he is near. The wicked should stop doing wrong, and they should stop their evil thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:6-7)

Isaiah 55:12-13   Those who come to the LORD will be rewarded. “So you will go out (from Babylon) in joy and be led out in peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees in the fields will clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12)

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