I am so excited to share this Bible Study with you. We are starting the study over at Soli Deo Glori Sisterhood today. I will be posting a new lesson every Saturday for you to download. The first one is long, but it is worth it.

 

The Heart of A Woman Bible Study

There is something amazing and special about the heart of a woman.  It is uniquely made to reflect the heart of the Father. (Jeremiah 24:7)  And you, dear woman of God, are close to the heart of your Father.  He longs to pull you close and fill in those empty places that are causing you pain.

 

God is cultivating a heart of beauty in those who are called His own. Out of the abundance of the heart we spill forward into the lives of others.

 

Over the next 15 weeks, my goal is to encourage you, strengthen and equip you.  Ultimately, I hope to challenge you to step out in faith and spread out your arms of grace to share the fruit of God’s intimate restoration of your heart. We are going to focus specifically on the Book of Isaiah Chapter 54.  This chapter is very special to me.  I have read it often through the years. Sometimes I will read it once a week, and others maybe only once a month. Sometimes, when I am feeling truly depleted,  I will read it once a day.

I found the treasure trove of promises waiting for me here in Isaiah during an especially difficult time in my life.  I was stuck rooted in the brokenness and barrenness of the situations life and circumstances had presented. Just like the hero He is, God met me with His Word; it was the medicine my aching soul required.  As I began to read the story of deliverance that is relayed through Isaiah’s message, I came alive with the hope and promise waiting for me to find. It is here for you, too, if you’re willing to receive and accept God’s deliverance and abundance.

 

We all have broken places that need mending, don’t be afraid to come to the well of hope and drink deep from the water of blessing.

The reality is that we all have places where we are broken, barren, and full of fear.  Isaiah 54 is a song that was written for those moments in our lives when we need to be rescued, redeemed and restored.

The 1st 5 weeks of the study are going to be devoted to the first 4 verses of this chapter which deal specifically with the topic of barrenness.  Let’s take a quick walk through history, to give us insight to the story behind this chapter.

History Notes:

Isaiah was a prophet of God, much of the book which carries his namesake bears witness to Christ as the Messiah.  According to Matthew Henry’s commentary on the book of Isaiah, he is considered the Evangelical Prophet, because so much of what he writes points towards the coming of Jesus as the Savior of the world.  He was not the first of the prophets, but the volume of his text is so large, his book is given a place of prominence.

Isaiah,  who lived about the 8th Century BC, spent a lot of time at the royal court, probably related to King Uzziah, but most dominantly involved with King Hezekiah’s reign. When you read it,you can see depth, history, and writing of an educated man.

The chapter we will be looking at, specifically, comes after he reveals God’s salvation is meant to come through Christ, the Sacrificial Servant.  Isaiah 54 and 55 are both lyrical poems, which foretell God’s restoration of Israel along with all the blessings promised long ago. Of significant interest, to me, is the restoration of Israel as a bride.

Isaiah writes about the restoration of Israel after the Babylonian exile in 597 BC, however, many scholars believe that though this prophetic song was initiated with the Babylonian Exile, it was further fulfilled by Christ’s coming, finding full completion with His second coming.

 

Don’t let the Old Testament Story keep you from grabbing hold of the promise, it is applicable to you today as well!

 

The chapter holds truths which are both practical and applicable today, as well it was for ancient Israel. As we read it together, I hope you will see a pattern unfolding. Like much of scripture, we can see a paradigm that is constantly pointing to Christ and the love of God which is extended towards those who seek him with their whole heart.

Let’s start our study in Isaiah by looking at the 1st verse together:

 

1 – Sing, O barren one, you who did not break forth into singing and cry aloud you who did not travail with child. For the spiritual children of the desolate one will be more than the children of the married wife, says the Lord.

 

I love this quote by Charles Spurgeon. “Try and suck all the sweetness that you can out of this chapter while we read it.  The personal application of a promise to the heart by the Holy Spirit is that which is wanted. The honey in Jonathan’s wood never enlightened his eyes until he dipped the point of his rod into it and tasted it.  Try and do the same. This chapter is the wood wherein every bough doth drip with virgin honey. Sip, taste, and be satisfied. “

 

There is a command in this first verse.  We are called to SING! As I mentioned previously, this is a poem, but it was written with the intention that we would respond to the call intentionally with our voice in song.  God often calls us to act in faith, to speak in faith, and to live in faith contrary to what we see and feel.

 

 Look at the 2 Corinthians 4:18,  “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.“

 

What are we called to do?

The Prophet is speaking to the shame and the emptiness of the Jewish church. It was small and seemingly unproductive. In reality it had a small beginning.  This verse is speaking to the barren nature of the church, acknowledging the truth that it was not growing or producing. He is comparing the fruitless condition of Israel to a woman who cannot bear children.   These 1st four verses of this chapter are a call to faith by speaking to the barrenness. It is also a call to respond by believing in the rescuing power of God who will bring resolution to the problem.

The actions that are suggested are in direct opposition to the reality, or facts presented.

  • How can you sing for joy when you have none?
  • Why enlarge a tent when no one is there to fill it?
  • How can we escape fear when so much points to desolation?

What I love about scripture is that it ties everything together. Time for God is not limited to the physical boundaries we are confined to.  He is speaking to the church , you and I, on many levels, yet intimately coaxing us back to the realization that we are dear and precious to Him and that His promises never fail.(1 Kings 8:56)

God is speaking to Israel in the relational context of a wife. This verse is also applied to YOU as the believer. Isaiah is not only speaking prophetically to the enlargement of the church, on the context of the entrance of the gentiles to the body of Christ, but also to everyone who feels barren and unproductive in life.

Barrenness  is humiliating,  and for the Jewish woman,  it was especially so. She was ridiculed, burdened with shame and disgrace, and mocked.   The load upon her shoulders for her inability to produce was too heavy to bear. Often it was considered a direct result of some sin which added to her humiliation and shame.

Let’s define the word barren:

  • Unproductive
  • Too poor to produce
  • Showing no results or achievements
  • Bleak and lifeless
  • Empty, devoid of meaning or value

 

Have you ever felt unproductive?  Do you have barren places in your life? This chapter is for you.

 

 

Look for the Image of Hope

This passage of scripture is calling us to sing because we can believe in a better more consistent truth. God is the one who has the power to rescue, redeem, and restore and He wants us to activate our faith in the bleak and empty spaces in our lives.

Through history, and I believe that we all need to be aware of history as prime example and foretelling of what is to come because God’s Word tells us that History repeats itself, (Ecclesiastes 1:9), we see the example of God’s redemptive nature.  Though Isaiah is exegetically speaking of a time when Israel will be captive in Babylon, the message extends to the present.  Often we feel exiled and disgraced when things don’t go as we intended, or perhaps when God doesn’t answer our prayer as we want we feel neglected.   The nation of Israel felt forgotten and hopeless.

 

Let’s look again at what this first verse is saying to us:

Verse 1

  • (vs 1. Sing)- Specifically understand that the command to sing was a response to God’s ability to save us from our distresses, understanding that His deliverance is not restricted or withheld based on our standing or merit. He is GOD! The Creator of heaven and earth and is fully sovereign. We see that through the image of the barren woman with God all things are possible.

o   Interestingly something that we can also take from this, is that there is a spiritual barrenness which usually stems from unbelief and lack of faith. So if there is an area of your life where you are experiencing barrenness, can I encourage you to step out and believe in the power of His might?

 

 

David Guzik’s commentary on Isaiah 54 addresses this concept of hopelessness in a hurting woman.  The Hebrew word for shame, disgrace and humiliated, boshet, is synonymous with disappointed hope. He writes, “Through the centuries, many a hurting woman has taken the promise, (found in Isaiah 54), for themselves, finding beautiful comfort in its truth. … God will supply and meet our emotional needs and rescue us from disgrace and shame when all others forsake us.”

 

{So, friend, are you ready for this journey to restoration?} His plan is full of hope and blessing and it is waiting for you to reach out and grab  it. 

 

Praying for your heart to be filled with a hope that is no longer held back by empty faith!

With Love,

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This first week of each section may be a little longer than the weeks that follow, but this one was exceptionally long.  Stick with me, though, God has some amazing treasures waiting for you to find.

Here is a worksheet that goes along with the 1st week’s lesson. Take time to read through it and use it with your study.

Week 1 Worksheet

 

You can download the first 11 pages of  The Heart of a Woman Bible Study Guide 

 

Please feel free to send me a note at dawnboyer@journeysingrace.com if you have any questions or prayer requests, I am honored to pray for you.  Share your thoughts in the comments section below.   I am praying for each one of you.

 

 

Published on Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood