According to the New Testament and under the New Covenant… NO!
I’m going to let you all in on a little study I did a few weeks ago regarding Isaiah 54. I had been asked if God still has wrath and this is one of the verses I came to. I have believed for a while that this chapter of the Old Testament was a prophetic chapter of what is happening right now and is for us today. I’ll go ahead and start breaking it down. (I will warn you, it is long… and I’m sorry about that! Go ahead and grab yourself a cup of coffee for the duration of this blog post!)
Timeline of Isaiah 54:
711 BC – Written after the Assyrian captivity but before the Babylonian captivity. Isaiah is telling of the judgment and restoration that is to come through Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 54:1 “Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord.”
I’m going to go ahead and cross-reference Galatians 4:23-27 so we can look ahead to the New Testament where this verse from Isaiah was referenced.
Galatians 4:23-28 “But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.”
So who is the barren woman? I believe that the barren woman is Sarah before the promise of a new Jerusalem had arrived. According to Galatians, Isaac represents the New Covenant/Jerusalem promise. Paul, in Galatians, is speaking of the time that is now, where children of Jesus/God who have been adopted in will outnumber the ones who are birthed in through ancestral rite. We (Gentiles= A person who is not Jewish) are birthed into our heavenly Jerusalem family when we accept Christ as Lord. Because of what Jesus fulfilled on the cross, He made it possible for the children of the desolate to outnumber the children of the married woman (Sarah) because now Gentiles can enter into relationship with the Father. We now are children of promise, just as Isaac was.
Isaiah 54:2-3 “Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.”
Isaiah is prophesying of the growth in the Christian faith. He is telling of the gentiles redemption. God has made the desolate (empty, bare, ruined) cities inhabitable. (As also prophesied in Ezekiel 36:10)
Isaiah 54:4-5 “Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.”
Because of Jesus’ blood, we are now clean; no more shame. We now have access to the Holy Spirit which is living and breathing inside of us, giving us a new heart. We are now declared clean through the blood of Jesus and can enter into fellowship with the Father with clear consciences. We are fully and freely forgiven, once and for all!
Ezekiel 11:19-20 “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.”
Hebrews 10:14-22 “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
See also: Jer. 31:33-34, Ezekiel 36:26-28, 2 Corin. 3:3, Jer. 24:7.
Isaiah 54:6-7 “For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.”
Just as the Israelites were forsaken for a time during their Babylonian captivity, the gentiles have been forsaken. But with great mercy (compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone when it is within one’s power to punish or harm) we are being gathered. In wrath, God hid His face relates to the captivity of Israel to Babylon. (Which was prophesied of God in Deut. 31:17-18 because of the Israelites turning to other gods.) But for us, it represents the final time God hid His face in wrath when Jesus was on the cross. On the cross, Jesus took on the sins of the world AS all of us. When all of human-kinds sin was placed on Him, God poured out His wrath on Jesus for a final payment of our sins. When Jesus, a perfect, spotless lamb, was sacrificed in place of our many faults and failures, God had to hide His face because sin separates us from the Father. Which is why, on the cross in Matthew 27:46, Jesus cries out “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me” instead of addressing Him as “Father” as He did all throughout the gospels. Sin takes away intimacy. Let’s go back to what happened before the cross to understand how Jesus took ALL of God’s wrath:
Wrath is referenced in the Bible as “a wine cup.” (“Wine cup of fury”Jer. 25:15, “cup of His fury” Isaiah 51:17, “wine of wrath” Revelation 14:9-10) In Matthew 26:39, before Jesus is to give His life on the cross, He prays, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” So we know that when Jesus was being forsaken on the cross, God was hiding His face while pouring His wrath out on the Son. Now today we drink from a cup (during communion) that represents what Jesus fulfilled on the cross. Even as the disciples took communion before Jesus’ death, Jesus didn’t partake because the cup they were drinking from represented the peace of the new covenant-no wrath. He wouldn’t be able to drink from that cup with them until He was re-united with them in Heaven, after He “drank from the cup of wrath.” (Matthew 26:28-29) They were drinking new wine (grace/mercy/forgiveness) while He still had to fulfill the old covenant of wrath as payment for sin. Now during communion, we can remember that, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corin. 5:21)
Romans 5:9 “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”
Isaiah 54:8 “In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.”
We are now under our Fathers “everlasting kindness and mercy.” In Ephesians 2:3-4, it shows that now, even though we SHOULD be subjected to wrath, God still loved us with such great love. He is so rich in compassion and mercy. Even when we were dead in our many sins, He united us into the very life of Christ and saved us by His wonderful grace! He raised us up with Christ the Exalted One and we ascended with Him into the glorious perfection and authority of the heavenly realm, for we are now co-seated as one with Christ!
Isaiah 54:9 “For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.”
As the days of Noah when God had poured out His wrath through flooding the world and promised us to never do it again, so is His Promise now to never have wrath (or rebuke us) again.
Isaiah 54:10 “For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.”
This may be far fetched, but I found it very interesting that in Matthew 27:51, after Jesus died on the cross, that the veil (what was keeping people from access to Holy of Holies and was part of the ritual of the old covenant through sacrifices) was torn apart where we could now have peace in a final blood sacrifice. The “earth did quake” (hills be removed) and the “rocks rent” or tore apart (mountains shall depart) goes on to testify of the truth and fulfillment of scripture!
Isaiah 54:11-12 “O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.”
When we are going through storms of life and find no comfort, we can know that God is preparing us a home that is not of this world. (Rev. 21:19) We have a promise to look forward to and will be fulfilled in Christ’s return!
John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
Isaiah 54:13 “And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.”
Isaiah is telling of a time that men will be “taught of the Lord” and in John 6:45, Jesus is referencing that the time has come. Only He knows God, and we learn from Him through the power of the Holy Spirit. We can trust His word.
Hebrews 8:10-11 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.”
See also: Hebrews 10:16 and Jeremiah 31:33-34.
Isaiah 54:14 “In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.”
In righteousness we are established through what Jesus accomplished on the cross. We are now counted as righteous before the Father.
2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
1 Peter 2:24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
See also: Romans 9:30 and 5:17-18.
We are far from oppression because Jesus came. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18-19
We need not fear, for our righteousness in Christ enables us to live a life of power and love.
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
Isaiah 54:15 “Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.”
Even when our enemies (fears/temptations) gather, we are promised, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31 “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
God does not cause these things (attacks from Satan) to come against us. (“Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me”)
James 1:13-17 “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
See also: 2 Thess. 3:3, Luke 10:19, and Romans 8:37.
Isaiah 54:16 “Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.”
God created the weapon maker and the one who brings the weapons against us. He even created the destroyer – He has ultimate authority! “The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” Psalms 24:1
Satans beginning was in Heaven. He was created by God. (Isaiah 14:12, Ezekiel 28:13-15)
Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.”
No weapon formed against us shall stand; we now have armor of God: truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, Holy Spirit, praying in the Spirit and the word of God. (Ephesians 6:11-18) Because of the power and righteousness that is living inside of us, we are able to live a life of love. We can be free from sin and when tongues arise to accuse us, (1 Peter 3:17) they can be condemned (put to death) because we are free from condemnation when we are walking in Gods freedom. (Rom. 8:1)
This is now our present day promise and was the promise to the Israelites during captivity for a future hope. They were given the encouragement of a brighter day to come, when their righteousness would be found in Christ, instead of their works. “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:3-4
Today is the day the Israelites were told to joyfully look forward to. A day when their righteousness would be found in Christ Jesus. We can remain in right standing with our Heavenly Father, whether we are doing “good” or doing “bad” because our righteousness on our own is as filthy rags! (Romans 8:27) Today we get to live in an era of “right believing” which leads to “right living” when you fully understand that you are the righteousness of Christ. Knowing and believing in your heart that God is GOOD, that He is FOR us, will NEVER leave us nor forsake us is key to overcoming any hardship or addiction you may face in this lifetime. Whatever you’re going through, God is not angry with you. He loves you and welcomes you into His loving embrace. If you’re His child and still struggling with sin, believe in His promise of righteousness. Even if you’re in the midst of “sinning,” declare that you ARE the righteousness of God. He created this covenant because He knew it would work. He knew that it would enable us to overcome sin. God wouldn’t have sent His precious Son to suffer a brutal death had He not loved us and knew there was a significant difference in how we would be able to operate under this new reign of grace!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. If there is anything I have learned in this lifetime, it’s the unfailing love of my Father. My constant prayer is for my eyes to be opened to who the Father truly is, and who He is truly calling His followers to be. May God bless you and lead you into the life of love He so desperately longs for you to have!