Isaiah 54:1-7—Sing, O childless woman, you who have never given birth! Break into loud and joyful song, O Jerusalem, you who have never been in labor. For the desolate woman now has more children than the woman who lives with her husband,” says the LORD.
“Enlarge your house; build an addition. Spread out your home, and spare no expense! For you will soon be bursting at the seams. Your descendants will occupy other nations and resettle the ruined cities. 4ear not; you will no longer live in shame. Don’t be afraid; there is no more disgrace for you. You will no longer remember the shame of your youth and the sorrows of widowhood. For your Creator will be your husband; the LORD of Heaven’s Armies is his name! He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of all the earth. For the LORD has called you back from your grief— as though you were a young wife abandoned by her husband,” says your God. “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great compassion I will take you back.”
In the chapter before this, Isaiah 53, Isaiah had been prophesying about the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, and the pain that He was going to endure while here on Earth. It was full of sorrow, but then in Isaiah 54, there is great rejoicing. God wanted Israel to know that their leader and liberator was coming, and to get ready to start reproducing for His kingdom.
For many years, Israel had been in the bondage of Babylon because of the pride and idolatry that had been in their lives. They were oppressed and held back from their purpose. But God didn’t take them into Babylon to just leave them there and let them stay in captivity forever. He gave them the promise of a new season, one of freedom through Jesus and growth through His Church.
Like the Israelites, we can also let certain things lead us into oppression. But that’s not what God intends for us. He has a purpose for each and every one of us, something that He created us specifically to do. God told Israel about the Church He was going to build, but He didn’t intend for it to just stay among them, never growing larger. Jesus calls us the Church, His bride, and our purpose is to produce children—new believers—through spreading His message around the world. We can never grow to be too big—God’s house has room enough for everybody who will have faith in who He is.
Live large; don’t allow yourself to be ruled by oppression. This is 2016, the start of a new year and the perfect time to begin to live out your God-given purpose. Keep your purpose as a member of the Church, the bride of Christ, at the front of your mind. There will be things that threaten to oppress you and hold you back, but always remember who God says you are. God gives every person in His Church the Holy Spirit, who offers us the fuel, the power, that we need to do what He has called us to do.