What Does Isaiah 66:13 Mean?

"As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; And you will be comforted in Jerusalem."

Isaiah 66:13(NASB)

Verse of the Day

Isaiah means 'Yahweh Saves' and this beautiful book was written long before the Jewish people were exiled from their land, due to ongoing unbelief. This prophetic book is often described as a 'mini Bible' because the outline of its 66 chapters seems to mirror the same progression of God's unfolding plan of redemption through the entire 66 books of Scripture.

Isaiah gave many warnings to apostate Israel to repent of their spiritual rebellion and to turn back to the Lord their God. Isaiah not only prophesied of the coming Assyrian and Babylonian captivities, if they did not repent but even named king Cyrus of Persia, who would be instrumental in restoring a remnant of Jews back to the land of Israel. Isaiah named Cyrus a century before Cyrus was even born. However, Israel continued in unbelief, and the prophesied punishment came to pass.

Quite a large section of his writings pointed to the coming Messiah Who would be born of a virgin and called 'Immanuel'. Some of the most poignant prophecies of Christ's first advent are recorded by Isaiah. For instance, he wrote of John the Baptist who would come in the spirit and power of Elijah and proclaim that the promised Kingdom of God was imminent.

He prophesied that a rod would come forth out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch would grow out of his roots. He prophesied that the coming Messiah would be a suffering Servant-King Who would be wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, that our punishment would be upon Him, and by His stripes, we are healed.

Isaiah often contrasts the scandalous unfaithfulness of apostate Israel with the never-failing steadfastness of the Lord God of Israel. He gives many examples of Israel's infidelity toward the Lord and how they continually broke their covenant with Him. However, he also provides numerous examples of God's gracious compassion and mercy towards His covenant people, and many passages paint a precious picture of the Lord's faithfulness towards His people, which must have been so comforting for the tiny remnant of believers that remained steadfast.

Throughout the book, God's constancy was highlighted against a dark backdrop of Israel's carelessness, disinterest, and unfaithfulness, and Isaiah's writings make it clear that although fallen men cannot attain righteousness on their own, God understands our limitation and is able to make it available to us, by faith in the work of His Servant Messiah, Who would be born at God's appointed time.

Chapter 66 is the last chapter in Isaiah which reminds us of the vast magnificence of the never-ending glory of God. It tells us the Lord rebukes the hypocrite and those that are proud, promising good to the one who is humble of spirit, contrite of heart, and who reverences God's holy Word. It makes it clear that while Israel's covenant-breaking unfaithfulness will be punished, the Lord will surely fulfil the promises He made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David.

While Israel had to be punished for breaking their covenant with the Lord, His chastening rod will not last forever, and this final chapter ends with some of the most beautiful descriptions of God's grace toward His people and their eventual return the holy city of Jerusalem: "For thus says the Lord, 'Behold, I extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you will be nursed, you will be carried on the hip and fondled on the knees. And as one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.'"

A wonderful picture of Israel's restoration and the future glory of Jerusalem is foreseen in this passage. The promise of peace and prosperity is given to His chosen people, and verse 13 paints a most compassionate portrait of God giving comfort to His people in the same way that a mother would console and comfort her son - not only her nursing baby but also her dearly beloved grown-up son.

It was necessary for the Lord to punish Israel, whom He describes in Exodus as "My firstborn son", for the Lord chastens those He loves. But as we read in Psalm 30: "For God's anger is but for a moment but His favour is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning." When Israel's Messiah returns in power and great glory, the peace of Jerusalem will be established and God will comfort His wayward people and dry every tear from their eye.

Paul reminds us that God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, and He is the One Who comforts us in all our affliction. We who know the Lord as our God and Saviour are truly blessed because we not only have peace WITH God at the point of our salvation but was ah access to the peace OF God as we walk in spirit and truth. And a day is coming when every prophecy, as yet unfulfilled, will come to completion and Israel will be comforted in their homeland by Jesus, their Prince of Peace and promised King.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness and Your promise to restore Israel to her land. I pray that their eyes would be open to the truth of the gospel and their hearts would be ready to return to the God of their forefathers. Thank You, Lord, that Your anger is but for a moment and that a day is coming when Israel will call on the name of the Lord and Jesus, their Prince of Peace and promised King, will comfort them as a mother comforts her son. Thank You for Your never-failing faithfulness and Your compassionate love towards Your people. I ask that You would continue to be with them and bring many into fellowship with Jesus. This I pray in His precious name, AMEN. 

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