God has great concern for those who have been His beloved but have been overcome by a sudden storm of temptation. His promise is to those who are right now in great affliction. God is going to woo back to Himself a backslidden, forsaken people. “For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is His name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid My face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer” (Isaiah 54:5-8).
This is a prophecy to the last-days church—which He momentarily forsook.
Who is this He forsook for a while? And what would make Him hide His face? “Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). God has not divorced the present-day, compromised church, but He has had to hide His face. She has left Him, her Beloved. “Thus saith the Lord, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? Or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away” (Isaiah 50:1).
God said, “You walked out on Me. You committed adultery. I didn't leave you—you left Me! I had to refuse you because you sold yourself to prostitution.” The church ran off to Babylon, but it is not yet divorced. For God says, “Show Me the papers! Show Me the bill of sale where I sold you to the devil.” God is saying, “We are not living together at this time, but the divorce is not final. The marriage is not hopeless. I still love you! You left Me, yet I called and called, and you refused to listen.” “Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? When I called, was there none to answer?” (Isaiah 50:2).
To this sin-corrupted, backslidden, wandering wife, God swears, “I am going to call you back.” “For thus saith the Lord, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money” (Isaiah 52:3). And again, “For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit” (Isaiah 54:6). There is even now the sounding of this final recall: “With great mercies will I gather thee” (Isaiah 54:7).