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 (Isaiah 62:4).
The beauty of the Gospel is perhaps nowhere more stunning than in these verses. To a rebellious, sin-weary nation, the Lord doesn’t just promise salvation. He asks for her hand in marriage.
More often than not, abortion follows sexual sin. Abortion also often follows abandonment, when a woman is either left to herself, or pressured into having the child killed. For many, forsaken and desolate are words that are hauntingly descriptive of many women who have given themselves completely to another, and then been abandoned precisely in their time of greatest need. The reason sexual sin is so devastating is that, in the end, it is about having been known, and then forsaken.
The beauty of the above verses is not just that the Gospel is what we need, but it is also what we want. The reason that we are so disordered and confused sexually in our culture is that, in the end, we want the kind of intimacy of which sex is an expression and a part. We want marriage. And behind the desire for marriage is a desire for God, who created us to live in intimacy with Him, to know and be known. This is exactly why, in the Gospel lesson for today, Jesus reveals his glory by taking the place of the bridegroom at a wedding. The lost and broken, the forsaken and desolate become Christ’s bride. This is the gospel.
Which is very good news to all, but perhaps in a very particular way to the woman who has been abandoned in her vulnerability. Having been known and forsaken, the Gospel says that the Lord who made her loves her, delights in her, and wants to marry her. Shame does not just go away, and the pain of rejection does not disappear on its own. It is healed when one is not only accepted, but wanted by the One who, knowing who we are, seeks her hand.