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3 Promises for Every Woman This Mother's Day

The Isaiah 54 Mother is given three precious promises, promises that are offered to each and every one of us regardless of our physical and maternal status.

Michelle Tepper, RZIM

Mother’s Day stirs up so many different emotions for us. Becoming a mother is one of the most gratifying aspects of life. Having children is a lifelong journey of laughter, tears, duty, and delight, with endless opportunities to learn something new each day. For many, though, Mother’s Day is a deeply painful holiday. My husband and I have two beautiful daughters, who bring more joy and wonder into our lives than we ever thought was possible. Yet, we also know the excruciating reality of living through ten years of infertility. Every woman’s story is different, and this is extremely important to remember as we dig into what the Bible has to say about mothers. This is also why the “Isaiah 54 Mother” is such a significant character to consider.

Who is the Isaiah 54 Mother? Isaiah 54:1 says, "Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor.” Further on in the chapter, she is described as a woman who "will forget the shame of [her] youth and the reproach of [her] widowhood” (verse 4), and "a wife deserted and distressed...married young, only to be rejected” (verse 6).

We know from the context of Scripture that this woman is a picture of the people of God who had given up their hope of a future because of the great suffering they had experienced. However, the Isaiah 54 Mother also represents women who have struggled with infertility and miscarriage—women who are grieving from the death of a spouse, women who will never get married, and women who have suffered through the agony of a broken marriage. The pain described is real and it is named, not ignored or explained away. In fact, it is the acknowledgment of this woman's sorrow that makes the image of her rejoicing so powerful.

The Isaiah 54 Mother is given three precious promises, promises that are offered to each and every one of us regardless of our physical and maternal status.

1. She is loved.

In verses 4 and 5, she is promised, "You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband—the LORD Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer.” The Lord Almighty commits Himself to her in marriage! This incredible act of divine choosing bestows upon this woman unquestionable value, honor, and love.

2. She has nothing to fear.

The beginning of verse 4 says, “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.” Further on, in verse 10, she is promised, "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed.” These promises are part of a much bigger prophetic promise of divine redemption. Isaiah 53 gives a prophecy of the “suffering servant,” who personally takes on the suffering and separation from God that our sin brought about, so that we can be whole and at peace. Jesus is that suffering servant, and the willing sacrifice of his perfect life brings us eternal rewards. This is precisely the reason the woman in Isaiah 54 has nothing to fear. I love how J. Alec Motyer puts it, "Fear can go forever because there is a husband who cannot die, who wants his wife back, and who pledges everlasting love."

3. She has a reason to celebrate.

The woman we see in Isaiah 54 is commanded to sing, burst into song, and shout for joy. Why? Because she becomes a mother! Verses 1-3 promise, “‘More are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,’ says the LORD… ‘For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.’” How can this be? Through the supernatural work of Jesus Christ, we have been adopted into the divine family of God. All throughout Scripture, the saving power of God is illustrated by new birth. Characters like Sarah, Hannah, Mary, and Elizabeth all testify to the supernatural ability of God to bring life, in the most unexpected situations. The same power is still at work today giving each and every one of us the opportunity to experience and celebrate the new birth that comes with salvation. This miracle of spiritual birth makes it possible for the number of spiritual children a woman may bear to easily outnumber any human capacity for physical birth.

The Isaiah 54 Mother is possibly the most important biblical example of what it means to be a mother because it includes everyone. This is one of the most beautiful aspects of the Christian faith; no one is forgotten or left out. The promises extended to the Isaiah 54 Mother are promises that are still available for us today as well! God knows your story and all of the joys and sorrows that you have experienced. He promises that you are loved, you have nothing to fear, and you have a reason to celebrate. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ make it possible for everyone to enter the family of God, an eternal family where every child has a parent, every only child has a sibling, every single person has a spouse, every man can be a father, and every woman can be a mother. Will you accept his invitation today?

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