October 12th Isaiah 41 The Lord’s message to Israel
1: Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment. 2: Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow. 3: He pursued them, and passed safely; even by the way that he had not gone with his feet. 4: Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he. 5: The isles saw it, and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came. 6: They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage. 7: So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the sodering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved. 8: But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. 9: Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. 10: Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 11: Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. 12: Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. 13: For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. 14: Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. 15: Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. 16: Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel. 17: When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. 18: I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. 19: I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together: 20: That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.
A challenge to talk with the Lord
21: Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. 22: Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. 23: Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. 24: Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you. 25: I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come: from the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name: and he shall come upon princes as upon morter, and as the potter treadeth clay. 26: Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, He is righteous? yea, there is none that sheweth, yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that heareth your words. 27: The first shall say to Zion, Behold, behold them: and I will give to Jerusalem one that bringeth good tidings. 28: For I beheld, and there was no man; even among them, and there was no counseller, that, when I asked of them, could answer a word. 29: Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing: their molten images are wind and confusion.
Isaiah, 42 The Lord’s Chosen Servant
1: Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. 2: He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. 3: A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. 4: He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law. 5: Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: 6: I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; 7: To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. 8: I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. 9: Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.
A new song to the Lord
10: Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. 11: Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. 12: Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands. 13: The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies. 14: I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once. 15: I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools. 16: And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. 17: They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods.
Israel is still stubborn
18: Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see. 19: Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the LORD's servant? 20: Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not. 21: The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable. 22: But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore. 23: Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come? 24: Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law. 25: Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.
1: But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. 2: When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. 3: For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 4: Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. 5: Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; 6: I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; 7: Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. 8: Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears. 9: Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth. 10: Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. 11: I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. 12: I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God. 13: Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it? 14: Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships. 15: I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King. 16: Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; 17: Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow. 18: Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 19: Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. 20: The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. 21: This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. 22: But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel. 23: Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings; neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense. 24: Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities. 25: I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. 26: Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified. 27: Thy first father hath sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me. 28: Therefore I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches.
Today we are reading Isaiah ch 41, 42 & 43. In ch 41v1 – 42v17 Isaiah describes Messiah’s mission. In ch 41v1-29 Messiah is seen in types and in ch 42v1-17 Messiah is seen in antitype. (A parable is a narrative in the past tense that is put alongside truth in order to illustrate it. A type is an object or person put alongside truth in order to illustrate it. An antitype is the real thing that the type illustrated. The furniture of the tabernacle are a type of Christ but he is the antitype - the real thing.) In ch 41 Isaiah gives us two types in v1-20, Abraham who was from the east and Israel who was from the west. The LORD says to the coastal Islands ‘be quite’ and let ‘the people’ renew their strength and come near to speak in the judgment. Then he speaks of Abraham who was raised up a righteous men from the east, the Lord made him ruler over kings. Who did all this? I the LORD – the first and the last, I am he. (Its interesting that this phrase is quoted in Revelation and applied to Christ) All the ends of the earth saw this and were afraid. Israel was chosen of the Lord. He said to Israel, Do not fear because I am with you. Do not be dismayed because I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes I will help you and I will hold you in my hand. All those who are incensed against you will be ashamed and confounded and brought to nothing. Those that strive against you will perish. You will look for them and not find them. You will be like a new threshing tool and you will thresh the mountains. You will winnow them and the wind will carry them away. You will rejoice in the LORD. When the poor and need seek for water I will hear them and I the God of Israel will not abandon them. I will open rivers in the high places and fountains in dry valleys, I will make the wilderness into a pool of water. I will plant the trees in the wilderness. Everyone will know and realise that I have done this. Then from v21-29 Isaiah speaks of the future and of Cyrus the King. The Lord will bring one from the north but he will be from the east. He will tread on the princes as a potter treading on clay. I will bring him on Israel because their will be no righteous man in Israel to discuss righteousness with. They have all become empty and idolatrous. In Isaiah 42 he changes to speak of the Messiah himself – the antitype. This opening passage v1-3 is quoted in Matt 12v17-21. It describes Christ’s earthly mission conducted in the days of his flesh. The LORD is speaking about Christ he says Look my servant the one that I have chosen and elect = appointed (Election is not about salvation but about appointment to office) He is the one whom God finds delight in his soul. Then he describes his baptism by John, he says I have put my Spirit upon him. And he says about his mission which is to bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He will be meek and not demonstrative. He will not destroy the ministry of the scribe or the priest. But he will bring forth judgment unto truth. Christ will bring the correct judgments of the Lord with regard to the true meaning of the law. This is the sermon on the mount. Where he corrected the faulty teaching of the scribes and gave Gods true judgments on the teaching of the Mosaic law. He will not fail or be discouraged inspite of the rejection of the religious leaders until he comes again bringing judgment and justice on the earth and the islands will wait patiently for his ruling. Christ’s rule is of course delayed today but Isaiah sees all this with an unbroken prophetic vision. He does not see the church age at all. It was a mystery hidden in God in his day. In v5-7 the Messiah is addressed by the Father God. He describes himself as creator of the heavens, the earth and the giver of breath to men and spirit to those who walk in the earth. (Is this referring to the Holy Spirit given to men to enable them to serve him?) Then the Lord says to Christ I the LORD have called you in righteousness and I will hold your hand and keep you and give you for a covenant to your people to be a light to the gentiles (Think of Simeon’s declaration) To open the eyes of the blind and to release the prisoners from their dark cells. Then the LORD says I am the LORD. That is my name and my glory I will not give to another (See John 17) Nor will I allow my praise to be given to images. Then the Lord declares new things, He says I will tell you about them before they happen. The New thing is a world revival or rather worldwide devotion to the LORD in which all men will sing to the Lord. Then he describes the Messiah saying The LORD will go forth to battle like a mighty warrior. He will cry against his enemies and he will conquer them. Then Christ speaks saying I have for a long time said nothing. But now I will cry out like woman in childbirth. I will destroy and devour all at once and then he describes his fierce anger in destroying mountains, vegetation, rivers, pools. He will bring the blind through strange paths. The darkness will become light to them. Idolaters will be greatly ashamed. Then from v18 – 45v15 he declares his controversy with Israel. He begins by remonstrating against their morality. The deaf will hear and the blind will see those that have spiritual blindness. He will greatly enlarge the law in the minds of men and make it an honour to keep it. They are a people that have forsaken the Lord. He says the Lord has delivered you to robbers and thieves because you did not walk in his ways or keep his law. So the Lord poured out his fury in anger against them and set them on fire. In Isaiah 43 the Lord gives encouragement to Israel saying, do not be afraid, because I have redeemed you, I have called you by my name and you are mine. When you walk through the waters I will be with you. You will never sink beneath the waves. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned nor shall a flame touch you. Because I am the LORD your God. The Holy One of Israel, Your Saviour. I have given all Egypt for your ransom, including Ethiopia and Seba. Because you were precious to me you are honourable and I have loved you and I will sacrifice all men to save your lives. Then the LORD describes a re-gathering from the east, west, north and south. (This is a greater gathering than the Babylonian return, when a few thousand returned from the east) They will return from the ends of the earth. Every single Israelite will return, the blind that have eyes, the deaf that have ears. These are the spiritually blind and deaf. Then from v8-13 The Lord challenges the whole earth to witness what he will do. The LORD will call on all nations to witness this. This will be proof that only God is God and only he is the Saviour. God alone will do this and non will stop him. Then from v14 to 28 he describes all the witnesses. The Lord will make a path in the sea for Israel to walk home. They will forget their deliverance from Egypt because this will be such a great deliverance that the crossing of the red sea (The gulf of Aqabar) will seem to be so little in comparison. The Lord will make a new road in the desert for those returning. He says I will blot out your sins and never bring them up again.