Faithlife Sermons

Called by a New Name

Isaiah  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We are prone to falling to the temptation to view God's love as some sort of obligatory response to our pentitence. As if God has entrapped himself in a promise to redeem and save those who come to Him, but he really would rather us stay in our sins. Isaiah 62 gives us a picture of God's restless effort to redeem a people for himself, for he delights in them.

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In Isaiah 58 we spoke about the difference between duty and delight. If you remember, we said that Religious activity born from a heart of mixed devotion does not please God. We spoke about serving and loving God by truly delighting in Him. But what about God’s delight? What about God’s pleasure? What does God take joy in and set his affections upon? That’s a really deep question - because God has no mixed motives or emotional instability like we do as humans. So therefore, whatever God delights in, whatever God loves, whatever God set’s his affections on is a perfect act of his will - by nature, it involves not even the slightest hint of wrong motives or misguided desire.
We’re all familiar with the kind of relationships that hang on for years and years, they stick together because of sworn duty and devotion, but the desire and delight in one another hasn’t been around in decades. This is not an accurate representation of what our delight for God should be, nor is it an accurate representation of what God’s desire is for us.
Have you ever lived under the assumption that God is obligated to love you, and that while God offers his love, he would rather not have to actually love us? Isaiah 62 speaks of God rejoicing in His people, delighting in them, it speaks of God’s people as a crown, a diadem in his hands. It speaks of God looking at his people like a groom looks at his new bride. When you think of God’s love for his people, is this the imagery that comes to mind? If not, then you do not have a proper view of God’s love for his people. Think of it this way, as Paul illustrates so vividly in Ephesians 5
Ephesians 5:25–27 ESV
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
According to Paul’s illustration, Christ has set his love, his desire, upon his people - here called the church - and is working for their cleansing and purifying and beautification, that he might present them holy and without blemish to himself as a gift. That is not duty, that is not mere devotion or contractual agreement, that is God’s delight and his desire. We see that very imagery foreshadowed in Isaiah 62.
So as we look at this chapter quickly, note this:

In Isaiah 62, we see the Lord’s restless effort to redeem a people for Himself, for he delights in them.

1 - A Restless Effort - 1, 6-9

Now right off the bat, I have to qualify “restless effort.” We often give restless efforts which turn out to be futile, but as we saw at the end of chapter 61, The Lord’s efforts will produce results - fruit in the beautiful garden of God. But it is still interesting to note how the Lord is described as “not resting”.
In verse 1, the Lord says “I will not keep silent” and “I will not be quiet” until the salvation of Zion, God’s city, representing God’s people, is made known.
He expands this thought in verses 6-9, where he talks about setting watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem. These watchmen are there “all the day and all the night.” They are described as those who “put the LORD in remembrance.” These watchmen are the spiritual leaders, the proclaimers of God’s faithfulness, his message of redemption and peace. They stand at the ready constantly by the command of God.
He commands them to “take no rest, and give him no rest.” That is, They should not rest, because the Lord will not rest, until this work is accomplished. This idea of God being a worker for the redemption of a people is carried into the new testament. Last week we saw the image that Paul used of “some planting, some watering, but God giving the increase.” We are workers in God’s garden, but God is the chief gardener, as Jesus illustrated in John 15:1
John 15:1 ESV
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
Vinedresser, husbandman, farmer, whatever you want to call it, the Lord is pictured as being the overseer of a great effort, a monumental task. He will not rest until he sees it accomplished, and he calls his children to stand with him in the effort.

2 - A Redeeming Effort - 10-12

“A restless effort to redeem a people”
We see that this effort is not just any effort, but it is an effort, a work, of redemption. Look at verses 10-11 specifically. God is proclaiming to the daughter of Zion that her salvation is coming, and the reward of the savior is with Him. Now, here in this passage is a beautiful illustration of a theme I’ve been trying to bring out all along. When God is speaking to Zion, and to Jerusalem, He is not speaking of the physical cities as if they themselves are the attention of His work. He clarifies in verse 12 - he is speaking of people. “they shall be called the Holy People - the Redeemed of the Lord.”
This is the result of the restless effort, it is a holy people, a redeemed people. This language was used earlier in Isaiah, in chapter 40.
Isaiah 40:9–10 ESV
Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.
This idea of good news is that the savior is coming, and “his reward is with him, his recompense before him.” What is the reward of a warrior? It is the victory, but it is the spoils of battle. What is the spoils of battle for the savior, the Messiah? It is the people, the redeemed, the Holy Ones.
That is why, in verse 11, it says “his reward is with him, his recompense is before him, and they shall be called the holy people, the redeemed of the LORD.”
The restless effort of the Lord is the redeeming work of the Messiah, the anointed one, who proclaims the good news, and the reward for his work is the people that he redeems.

3 - A Rewarding Effort - 1-3

“A restless effort to redeem a people for himself”
We’ve seen already in verse 1 the beginning of this restless effort. We see that it is God’s plan that the nations will see the rightouesness and glory of Zion, see the wonderful work of the Lord in her. That has been repeated all throughout Isaiah, and all throughout the scriptures, that god is renewing and redeeming people and when he does so, it displays his glory.
Here he gives this great promise, where our sermon title comes from - “you shall be called by a new name.” Now, there are several things that these people are called, new names given by the Lord’s mouth, that we could point out. In the last portion of the chapter, we see they are called “The Holy People.” and “The Redeemed of the Lord.”
The redeemed “of the lord” - this signifies the redemption work, but it also signifies possession. Peter makes this point in His first epistle.
1 Peter 2:9 ESV
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
“A people for his own possession.” What a wonderful thought. God has chosen to display his Grace and kindness, a restless effort of redemption, and his reward is that we would be his people! And this does not just refer to God’s ethnic people Israel, but to all who are truly His children, children of the promise by faith.
Ephesians 3:6 ESV
This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
Ephesians 3:8–11 ESV
To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Dear ones, we are fellow heirs of these glorious promises. What was intended in part during the time of Isaiah is revealed fully and displayed fully in the Gospel of Christ for all people. And Paul tells us that this was part of God’s eternal purpose - not a plan b. If you are a child of God, you are intended to be his special possession, the reward of his effort.
Verse 3 calls us “a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.” This crown, this diadem, is said to be “in God’s hand.” Why would it be in God’s hand and not on his head? I say, it is because God has fashioned it. God has made it. The people he has called out for his own possession are the work of the master craftsman. His people are his possession, his reward, and his joy.
In revelation, John speaks of Jesus being worthy to open the scroll that no man is worthy to open, and he says this.
Revelation 5:8–9 ESV
And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,
This Lamb, Jesus, the Messiah, was slain to ransom a people for God from every tribe, every language, every people. The work of Christ is a rewarding effort, as he purchased his church, a people for God, a bride for himself, a crown and diadem of his own handiwork. And he rejoices in his reward.

4 - A Rejoicing Effort - 4-5

“A restless effort to redeem a people for himself, for he delights in them.”
In verse 2, it was promised that these would be called by a new name. Some of those names are “The Holy People.” and “The Redeemed of the Lord” in the end of the chapter, but here in verse 4-5 we get a picture of the name change. You see, in this culture, a name was everything. If you knew someone’s name, you knew their character. God often changed names to indicate a change in that person’s destiny or purpose, think of Abraham and Jacob. Here, this name change does the same thing - it indicates a change, not just of destiny and purpose, but a change of nature.
Verse 4, they were named “forsaken” and “Desolate”
Now named “Hephzibah” and “Beulah”.
You probably have a translation that gives the meanings of those words, but I wanted to give you the original because it is significant. The Lord says their names are changed. He doesn’t just say these things are true of them, but they are now identified by these things like its their very name.
Hephzibah means “My delight is in Her”
Beulah means “Married”
Imagine that, God’s people are named, identified, known as “the ones in whom God’s delight is in.”
This is the change God works in His people, the people for his possession, his reward and crown - they once were desolate and and forsaken, but now they are a special possession, the ones in whom he delights.
Verse 5 is the illustration of these names.
“The sons marrying you” is a picture of the future of the actual land, I believe pointing to the beauty and joy of the New Jerusalem.
“the bridegroom rejoicing over the bride,” though, we are told, is God rejoicing over them. The Lord delights in you, the Lord rejoices in you.
If you are a child of God, called out of darkness into light by the Gospel, then this is your story. God did not redeem you because he was obligated to. God did not save you because he made a contractual agreement. God does not save you begrudgingly or unwillingly, no, he does so because he delights in his people. He takes joy in them. So that means, he delights in you - he takes joy in you.
Psalm 149:4 ESV
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.
So if you are tempted to think that God’s view of you is less than desirous, less than loving, less than joyful, think again! For God delights in his people, he takes pleasure in them. The people he redeems are his reward, his crown, his joy. We are his chosen possession, like a groom rejoices in the beauty and love of his bride, so much more does the Lord rejoice in the love of His people.
And this pleasure goes beyond our mortal understanding. I give you the words of Romans 5.
Romans 5:6–8 ESV
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Do not view God’s love for you as a contractual agreement, or a dutiful effort. See it as He sees it: God exerting his effort in redeeming a people for Himself because he delights in them.

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