Isaiah 62 and the Woman caught in Adultery
I. Isaiah 62
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch. The nations shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will give. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. You who put the LORD in remembrance, take no rest, and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth. The LORD has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm: “I will not again give your grain to be food for your enemies, and foreigners shall not drink your wine for which you have labored; but those who garner it shall eat it and praise the LORD, and those who gather it shall drink it in the courts of my sanctuary.” Go through, go through the gates; prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway; clear it of stones; lift up a signal over the peoples. Behold, the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the earth: Say to the daughter of Zion, “Behold, your salvation comes; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.” And they shall be called The Holy People, The Redeemed of the LORD; and you shall be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken. (Isaiah 62:1-12)
A. A powerful prophecy of what God is going to do with Israel. It comes at the end of the prophecy concerning Messiah of which Jesus declared of himself in Luke 4. We know that symbolically we are also of that number mentioned in Isaiah 62 and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ and of the Kingdom of God is to all who would believe.
B. Great comfort and hope should spring up as we read this passage of scripture. Knowing that it is God’s will for the prophet as well as His own ministry of intercession to cry out for righteousness and salvation to shine through His chosen people. The descriptors of Forsaken and Desolate will no longer be used of His people, for the Lord will see to it that she will be called Hephzibah- “My Delight” and Beulah- “Married”. In addition, the message given to Isaiah is that God shall rejoice over you!
C. Later in the passage, the Lord declares that preparation should be made for the captive ones. A highway should be built and stones should be removed (stumbling blocks) and signals or banners should be lifted for Salvation is coming! This message is heralded throughout the earth!
II. The Woman caught in Adultery
But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”(John 8:1-11)
A. Fast forward 800 years, here the gospel writer records an event that many scholars have tried to dismiss from the pages of the scripture for centuries. The gospel of John was written differently than the other 3 Gospels. It was not written as a chronological account of Jesus life and ministry although it is laid out somewhat chronologically. It is a record of signs and miracles that John says “…these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31)
B. Looking at the account literally we see many different attributes of Jesus, the religious system, and the accused. First, the accused woman is guilty. She was caught in the very act of adultery. In my mind, I think her accusers threw her before the Lord in the most shameful way they could, for she was guilty and they wanted Him to know it. The scribes and Pharisees felt justified in their own behavior seeing as the apparent motive was to uphold the Law and to venerate Moses. This only masked their real motivation which was to test Jesus so they might accuse Him. Jesus who seemed unflappable simply did what was probably the kindest and most protective thing he could do, he simply lowered himself and looked to the ground. Many people have conjectured; “What was it that Jesus was writing?” In reality it was hidden from us. What we can see is that He was the only one who showed dignity for the woman and even her accusers. He bent down after he gave them His verdict to allow them to quietly slip away without the embarrassment of His public view. Lastly He gives the accused Salvation…”Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
III. The Prophetic Connection
A. We can all identify with both the passages in Isaiah 62 and John 8. We like the accused have been found guilty, forsaken and desolate. But Jesus our Salvation has come and released us from condemnation and enables us to be a Holy People and to go and sin no more!
B. It is interesting that John records that Jesus comes to the Mt. of Olives, and then He enters the Temple where people that think they are doing a service for God (the religious structure of man) brings a woman guilty of everything they have charged her with. She is a type of Israel. She is Forsaken and Desolate! They wanted to stone her. But instead on that day the stones will be removed and God will bring her a great deliverance in the midst of her accusers. (Zechariah 12:7-10) (Zechariah 14:4) She will be called Sought Out and A City Not Forsaken.
C. Let us be the watchmen that cry out day and night for her and messengers to the ends of the earth with this Good News!