HEBREW WORD STUDY – NEW THING – CHADESH ח דשׁ
Isaiah 52:4: “Behold the former things have come to pass and new things do I declare, before they spring forth I tell you of them.”
In the literal meaning, Isaiah, who is speaking God’s words, is saying that now that His prophecies of the past have come to true, then what he is about to say should also come to pass. This is God speaking through Isaiah and He is saying something a little odd, that He will declare the new things, but before they actually come to pass he will tell us about them. They may sound a little contradictory. If he is going to declare the new things isn’t that the same as telling us of the new things.?
The word declare is negad and means to tell or speak out in clear and straightforward terms. The word is in a Hiphil participle form, so he is presently declaring a new thing and he is making it very clear as to what this new thing will be. The new thing is chadesh which means to restore, and renew. It is from an Akkadian word edesu for a city that was devastated by war until the Assyrians came in and rebuilt it and modeled it after their own culture. The fact that this word is in a Hiphil form suggest an excitement or anticipation on the part of God to restore us to His specifications. In this context God is restoring the former things to fit his plan and purpose, particularly in a new relationship with Him,
There is a picture being drawn here and it is a picture of a bridegroom anticipating the fulfillment of his relationship with his bride. Just as the bridegroom proposes or accepts the arrangement of marriage with his bride, he declares “I am taking a bride.” He makes it clear and plans for everyone. Everyone celebrates and preparations for the wedding begin.
The remaining chapter goes into detail about this new thing that God is going to do or the wedding plans and events that will unfold before the wedding actually takes place. Yet, it can all be summarized into the idea of God restoring chadeshhis relationship with man.
The thing that stands out in this is that it is not a picture of God pushing buttons and pulling levers to bring everything to a conclusion. It is more of a picture of a wonderful play that God has set up, with a beautiful storyline about the preparation for the wedding. There are a lot of villains, former lovers, and twists and turns in the plot. Yet all the time there is this growing anticipation for the final moment when the groom finally comes for his bride and their marriage is consummated. Half the fun of a wedding is the preparation, the problems that are resolved, like the caterers getting something wrong, or the setbacks like a member of the bridal party’s plane being late. Yet all become precious memories after the marriage is finally consummated.
Our time on earth is merely a time of preparation for the wedding. As with any preparation for a wedding, there are many difficulties, trials, mistakes, doubt, setbacks but as the day of the wedding grows closer, there is a growing intimacy in the exchanges between the bride and groom with the growing realization that their relationship will soon be consummated and they will live together for the rest of their lives. I just turned 68 and I know my time is closing in. As each day passes I am more aware of God’s presence, an intimacy with Him is growing stronger with each day. I feel that growing sense of excitement and anticipation when that veil is finally lifted and I will see the God I loved for all these years face to face.
Posted in DevotionalsTagged Isaiah 52:4