Tuesday, January 31, 2012

No longer desolate....

This was part of my Matthew Henry reading last week. I thought it was beautiful and it reminded me of some favorite passages in Hosea 2 and Isaiah 54 so I wanted to share it. I hope this word picture encourages you too.

As most of you all who read my blog probably know, I'm a single woman (for now) so much of what I share is related to the struggles of the single woman who is trying to figure out where she fits in, to follow the Lord and wait on Him in her calling. The Lord has given me a desire to share a lot of my heart and walk with Him on this blog. As I've said before it can be hard and scary to be so transparent, and I feel so unqualified to do this with so many struggles of my own, but I hope the Lord will use it to help someone. Because of all this I'm excited to share with you that my dear friend Jenny and I are planning to share several posts on singleness, on the role God has for us as single women. Please stop by her blog today to read the first post, and stay tuned:-) as tomorrow I'm sharing my very first guest post which will continue the series on her blog! Before I go I also want to thank all of my married readers - you all are very welcome here too:-). Thanks to everyone who reads, follows, leaves encouraging comments, and prays for me. Please know that you have a sister in the Lord who is praying for you too.

Source: images.google.com via Stefanie on Pinterest

"Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.  For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee."

Isaiah 62:4-5

"...He shall call her his spouse....this is a yet greater honour, especially considering what a forlorn condition she had been in. Her case had been very melancholy. She was called forsaken and her land desolate during the captivity, like a woman reproachfully divorced or left a disconsolate widow. Such as the state of religion in the world before the preaching of the gospel—it was in a manner forsaken and desolate, a thing that no man looked after nor had any real concern for.
 It should now be very pleasant, for God would return in mercy to her. Instead of those two names of reproach, she shall be called by two honourable names. First, She shall be called

Hephzi-bah, which signifies, My delight is in her.....a proper name for a wife, who ought to be her husband's delight.  And here it is the church's Maker that is her husband: The Lord delights in thee. God by his grace has wrought that in his church which makes her his delight, she being refined, and reformed, and brought home to him; and then by his providence he does that for her which makes it appear that she is his delight and that he delights to do her good.

Secondly, She shall be called Beulah, which signifies married, whereas she had been desolate, a condition opposed to that of the married wife, "Thy land shall be married, that is, it shall become fruitful again, and be replenished." Though she has long been barren, she shall again be peopled, shall again be made to keep house and to be a joyful mother of children.

She shall be married, for... as a young man marries a virgin that he takes great delight in, is extremely fond of, and is likely to have many children by.... Her God (which is much better) shall betroth her to himself in righteousness. He will take pleasure in his church: As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, is pleased with his relation to her and her affection to him, so shall thy God rejoice over thee: he shall rest in his love to thee; he shall take pleasure in thee, and shall delight to do thee good with his whole heart and his whole soul. This is very applicable to the love Christ has for his church and the complacency he takes in it, which appears so brightly in Solomon's Song, and which will be complete in heaven."
Matthew Henry

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"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1