Living in Beulah Land

Have you been to a worship service lately that featured older hymns? In addition to contemporary praise songs and Scripture choruses, don’t neglect the time-tested hymns of the faith. Some folks use a hymnal for personal reading to enhance their devotional life. One of the lesser known hymns is titled Beulah Land.

“Far away the noise and strife upon my ear is falling,
Then I know the sins of earth beset on every hand:
Doubt and fear and things of earth in vain to me are calling,
None of these shall move me from Beulah Land. [1]

What is the significance of “Beulah”? “Beulah” in Hebrew means “married.” The hymn alludes to Isaiah 62:2-4 which contains a prophecy of God’s blessing on Israel and her land:

“The Gentiles shall see your righteousness,
And all kings your glory.
You shall be called by a new name,
Which the mouth of the LORD will name.
You shall also be a crown of glory
In the hand of the LORD,
And a royal diadem In the hand of your God.
You shall no longer be termed Forsaken,
Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate;
But you shall be called Hephzibah,
And your land Beulah;
For the LORD delights in you,
And your land shall be married.”

Isaiah saw beyond the Assyrian invasion of 722 B.C. which dispersed the northern tribes of Israel, and beyond the Babylonian exile of the southern kingdom in 586 B.C. The people of God would repent of their idolatry and apostasy, turn back to the LORD and be restored. God showed the prophets that He would restore the remnant of Israel, drawing them back to the Promised Land. An initial fulfillment of this return took place following the 70 year exile in Babylon. (See the book of Ezra.)  Premillennialists believe that those events fell short of the scope of blessings which Isaiah’s prophecies anticipate. (See Isaiah 4:2;11:1-9;61:4.)  Following Christ’s return, much more land will be “married” to the LORD:

“For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD,
As the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).

In addition to being edified by studying God’s sovereignty and faithfulness in the Old Testament Scriptures, we can also appreciate the way Isaiah’s promises symbolize the believer’s blessings in the New Covenant. Looking again at Isaiah 62 we see some parallels. Believers in Christ:

  • have God’s righteousness credited to them by grace (2 Cor. 5:21),
  • have a new name (identity) based upon God’s salvation ( 1 Pet. 2:9,10; Rev. 2:17;3:13 ),
  • and are treasured by God (Eph. 2:10).
  • Instead of being forsaken by the Lord (unsaved – Rom. 5:8-10), God delights in us. [2] Matthew 12:18 states that the Father delights in His Son, and believers are in Him! (Eph. 1:3).
  • Instead of being spiritually desolate, God makes us fruitful (John 15:5).

Isaiah 62:5 continues this imagery of God’s people being “married”:

“For as a young man marries a virgin,
So shall your sons marry you; [the remnant will return to Jerusalem]
And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
So shall your God rejoice over you.”

In other words, as a husband should love and accept his wife, the restored people of God will gladly and permanently live in the Promised Land. We see this same symbolism of bride and bridegroom applied to the believer and Christ (Eph 5:31-33; Rev 22:17). So according to the hymn writer, the abundant Christian life is “living in Beulah Land” right here and now! The hymn continues,

“I’m living on the mountain,
Underneath the cloudless sky,
I’m drinking at the fountain that never shall run dry;
O yes I’m feasting on the manna from a bountiful supply,
for I am dwelling in Beulah land.”

Fellow Christian, reflect on your spiritual identity in Jesus. You are married to Christ; you are in covenant relationship with Him. Bask in the security of His protective love. Look forward to that day when you will see our heavenly bridegroom face to face and enjoy “the marriage supper of the Lamb.”[3]

[1] C. Austin Miles, “Beulah Land.” (Another hymn titled “Beulah Land” was written by Edgar Stites.)

[2] “Hephzibah” in Hebrew, means “My delight is in her” (Isaiah 62:4).

[3] “Then he said to me, ‘Write: “Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!”‘ And he said to me, ‘These are the true sayings of God.'” Revelation 19:9.

Copyright 1999 by John Woodward. Permission is granted to copy for non-commercial use. Biblical quotations are from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Posted in