1: Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: 2: Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen. 3: For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: 4: And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses. 5: One shall say, I am the LORD's; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the LORD, and surname himself by the name of Israel. 6: Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. 7: And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them. 8: Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any. 9: They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed. 10: Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing? 11: Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together. 12: The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint. 13: The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house. 14: He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it. 15: Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto. 16: He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire: 17: And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god. 18: They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand. 19: And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree? 20: He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand? 21: Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. 22: I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. 23: Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel. 24: Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; 25: That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; 26: That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: 27: That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers: 28: That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.
1: Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; 2: I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: 3: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. 4: For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. 5: I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: 6: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. 7: I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. 8: Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it. 9: Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? 10: Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth? 11: Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. 12: I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. 13: I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts. 14: Thus saith the LORD, The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God. 15: Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour. 16: They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols. 17: But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end. 18: For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. 19: I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. 20: Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. 21: Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 22: Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. 23: I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 24: Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. 25: In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.
Today we are reading Isaiah ch 44 & 45. Chapter 44 speaks of further prophesies of the Day of the LORD. The Lord calls on Israel whom the LORD has chosen to hear. To not be afraid and he then makes a famous promise, I will pour water on him that is thirsty and floods upon dry ground. The Lord will pour out his spirit on all Israel and blessings on all the children. They will call themselves the LORD’s people and they will call themselves by the name of Jacob. They will own the Lord as their God and they will change their surname to Jacob. The LORD the redeemer of Israel will say I am the first and the last and there is no other God. The Lord speaks of the foolishness of Idolatry. He describes a man who cuts down a tree, half of which he carves into an idol and the other half he makes a fire to warm himself and cook his food. The Idol he worships saying you are my Saviour. The Lord blots out the sins of his people. Then he calls on all creation to sing to the LORD. In Ch 45 Isaiah speaks of the restored Jerusalem. Then the LORD speaks to Cyrus calling him ‘his anointed’. The Lord raised him up to subdue nations. And he did this to show to Cyrus that The Lord is the God of Israel. The message to Cyrus was that the Lord is God and there is no other God. The Lord is the creator of light and darkness, peace and war. The Lord will bring righteousness on the earth and woe to those who oppose him. Will the clay say to the potter why did you make me like this? The Lord says I am the creator and I direct all the acts of men. He will cause Cyrus to release Israel from slavery. Even Egypt will acknowledge that the Lord is God. From v16 onward the Lord explains his controversy with the nations. The main objection of God is their idolatry. The Idolatrous nations will be thrown into confusion and shame but Israel will be saved with an everlasting salvation. They will never be ashamed, world without end. God who made the world made it to be inhabited. Then we have the famous passage – Look unto me and be saved, all the ends of the earth. For I am God and there is none else. (This is not the same message that the church preaches today because the church will be long gone to heaven when this message goes out to the nations. It’s not so much an invitation as a command and it’s not to individual men but to nations as whole political groups.) It is an ultimatum - to come to kneel before the Lord Jesus Christ and confess him as Lord. Those who refuse to bow will be ashamed and disciplined hard. All Israel will be vindicated and they will glory in the LORD.