Scripture reading – Isaiah 43

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Review of Isaiah 41-42

Our study in the Book of Isaiah continues with Isaiah 43. The prophet foretold God’s judgment against Judah. The people had sinned against the LORD and worshipped idols (Isaiah 42:22-25). Therefore, the wrath of God would be poured out on the nation. Jerusalem would be destroyed, and the people would be taken captive. Nevertheless, the LORD promised He would not forsake His people. Isaiah predicted the LORD would use the Persians to deliver Israel out of their afflictions (Isaiah 41:1-20).

The LORD chose two servants to save His people. He determined to move on the heart of Cyrus, king of Persia, to liberate the Jews and encourage them to return to their homes and rebuild the Temple (Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 45:1; Ezra 1). The LORD also promised a Messiah would come in peace and tenderness (Isaiah 42:2-3). The Gospel of Matthew identified Jesus Christ as the One who fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy (Matthew 12:17-21).

I invite you to consider five significant truths that define the LORD’s unique relationship with His chosen people.

The LORD Identified Israel as His People (Isaiah 43:1)

Israel and Judah had forgotten they were “created” and formed” by the LORD for His purpose and glory. The people would suffer for their sins and rebellion. Nevertheless, the LORD reminded Israel that He was their redeemer and said that He had “called [them] by…name” and they were His people (Isaiah 43:1).

The LORD Promised to Protect and Restore Israel

The LORD Promised to Protect and Restore Israel (Isaiah 43:2-7)

As the LORD had led Israel out of Egypt and through the Red Sea, He promised to be with them as they passed through the fire of His judgment (Isaiah 43:2-3). Though the people had disobeyed and disappointed Him, the LORD reminded them He was their God, “The Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour” (Isaiah 43:3).

Isaiah 43:4 reminds us that “unconditional love” is not only a New Testament truth but is the essence of the LORD’s love for His people. Despite their rebellion, the LORD declared as evidence of His grace, “Thou wast precious in my sight, Thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee” (Isaiah 43:4).

Though oppressed by the nations and scattered by persecution, the LORD promised to command the nations to “bring my sons from far, And my daughters from the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 43:6). “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” (Isaiah 43:7).

The LORD’s Promised to Deliver Israel (Isaiah 43:8-13)

Once again, the spiritual blindness and deafness of Israel were identified, even as the LORD commanded the nations to deliver His people (Isaiah 43:8-9). The LORD chose the children of Israel to be His “witnesses” and “servant” (Isaiah 43:10). They had a responsibility to declare to the world there was only One God. Therefore, “there was no God formed, neither shall there be after” (Isaiah 43:10). There is one LORD. Beside Him, “there is no saviour” (Isaiah 43:11).

The God of the Scriptures is the God of eternity. He is God, and He has declared, “Before the [first] day was I am He” (Isaiah 43:12-13).

The LORD Promised to Redeem Israel (Isaiah 43:14-21)

Only the LORD could defeat Babylon and save Israel. Giving His people hope in their afflictions and captivity, the LORD reminded the Jews that He alone was their “redeemer, the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 43:14). He proclaimed, “I am the Lord, your Holy One, The creator of Israel, your King” (Isaiah 43:15). He promised to destroy Babylon as surely as He defeated Egypt (Isaiah 43:16-18; Exodus 14:26-28).

Remembering those things the LORD did in the past (Isaiah 43:18), He encouraged the Jews that He would “do a new thing” and would guide them through the wilderness and make “rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19-20). Why? That Israel as a nation might praise the LORD (Isaiah 43:21).

The LORD Promised to Redeem Israel

The LORD Disputed with His People (Isaiah 43:22-28)

Isaiah 43:22 brings us back to Israel and Judah’s present reality in Isaiah’s day, for the people failed to live as the LORD’s redeemed. They failed to pray (Isaiah 43:22) nor brought offerings to the LORD (Isaiah 43:23-24). Their sins had “wearied” and burdened the LORD (Isaiah 43:24b). Yet, instead of annihilation, the LORD reminded Israel that only He could forgive and “not remember [their] sins” (Isaiah 43:25).

The LORD summoned the people to appear before Him and declared the sins of their fathers and teachers (i.e., leaders, Isaiah 43:27). Israel and Judah were guilty of rebellion and idolatry. Judah had maintained a pretense of outwardly worshipping the LORD, but the peoples’ hearts were turned from Him. They were not sincerely praying or seeking Him. Thus, God declared His judgment: “I have profaned the princes [i.e., the holy ones; the priests] of the sanctuary [Temple], And have given Jacob to the curse, And Israel to reproaches” (Isaiah 43:28). The people had blasphemed the LORD in their sins, and He determined they would suffer the “curse” and “reproaches” of captivity and serving the heathen.

Closing thoughts –

Do you know the LORD requires believers to be sanctified and separated from the world? Tragically, 21st-century believers are accommodating the world and its values. Spiritual adultery was not just Israel and Judah’s sin; it has become the sin of our day. James warned first-century believers, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).

Are you the friend or foe of the LORD?

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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