Isaiah 43-44

is43.jpgGreetings!

Israel’s Only Savior

43     But now, this is what the Lord says—

he who created you, O Jacob,

he who formed you, O Israel:

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;

I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

2 When you pass through the waters,

I will be with you;

and when you pass through the rivers,

they will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire,

you will not be burned;

the flames will not set you ablaze.

3 For I am the Lord, your God,

the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

I give Egypt for your ransom,

Cush and Seba in your

stead.

4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,

and because I love you,

I will give men in exchange for you,

and people in exchange for your life.

5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;

I will bring your children from the east

and gather you from the west.

6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’

and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’

Bring my sons from afar

and my daughters from the ends of the earth—

7 everyone who is called by my name,

whom I created for my glory,

whom I formed and made.”

8 Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,

who have ears but are deaf.

9 All the nations gather together

and the peoples assemble.

Which of them foretold this

and proclaimed to us the former things?

Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right,

so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”

10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,

“and my servant whom I have chosen,

so that you may know and believe me

and understand that I am he.

Before me no god was formed,

nor will there be one after me.

11 I, even I, am the Lord,

and apart from me there is no savior.

It is always interesting to search the scriptures for God’s promises.  God made many promises to the Israelites and He kept them all.

V. 11 notes how God is the only Savior.

12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—

I, and not some foreign god among you.

You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God.

13 Yes, and from ancient days I am he.

No one can deliver out of my hand.

When I act, who can reverse it?”

God’s Mercy and Israel’s Unfaithfulness

14 This is what the Lord says—

your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:

“For your sake I will send to Babylon

and bring down as fugitives all the Babylonians,

in the ships in which they took pride.

15 I am the Lord, your Holy One,

Israel’s Creator, your King.”

16 This is what the Lord says—

he who made a way through the sea,

a path through the mighty waters,

17 who drew out the chariots and horses,

the army and reinforcements together,

and they lay there, never to rise again,

extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:

18 “Forget the former things;

do not dwell on the past.

19 See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the desert

and streams in the wasteland.

20 The wild animals honor me,

the jackals and the owls,

because I provide water in the desert

and streams in the wasteland,

to give drink to my people, my chosen,

21 the people I formed for myself

that they may proclaim my praise.

22 “Yet you have not called upon me, O Jacob,

you have not wearied yourselves for me, O Israel.

23 You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings,

nor honored me with your sacrifices.

I have not burdened you with grain offerings

nor wearied you with demands for incense.

24 You have not bought any fragrant calamus for me,

or lavished on me the fat of your sacrifices.

But you have burdened me with your sins

and wearied me with your offenses.

25 “I, even I, am he who blots out

your transgressions, for my own sake,

and remembers your sins no more.

26 Review the past for me,

let us argue the matter together;

state the case for your innocence.

27 Your first father sinned;

your spokesmen rebelled against me.

28 So I will disgrace the dignitaries of your temple,

and I will consign Jacob to destruction

and Israel to scorn.

Israel the Chosen

44     “But now listen, O Jacob, my servant,

Israel, whom I have chosen.

2 This is what the Lord says—

he who made you, who formed you in the womb,

and who will help you:

Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant,

Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.

3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land,

and streams on the dry ground;

I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,

and my blessing on your descendants.

4 They will spring up like grass in a meadow,

like poplar trees by flowing streams.

5 One will say, ‘I belong to the Lord’;

another will call himself by the name of Jacob;

still another will write on his hand, ‘The Lord’s,’

and will take the name Israel.

The Lord, Not Idols

6 “This is what the Lord says—

Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:

I am the first and I am the last;

apart from me there is no God.

Many cults miss this, but there is just one God.  We don’t become Gods, as the Mormons teach.

7 Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.

Let him declare and lay out before me

what has happened since I established my ancient people,

and what is yet to come—

yes, let him foretell what will come.

8 Do not tremble, do not be afraid.

Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?

You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?

No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”

9 All who make idols are nothing,

and the things they treasure are worthless.

Those who would speak up for them are blind;

they are ignorant, to their own shame.

10 Who shapes a god and casts an idol,

which can profit him nothing?

11 He and his kind will be put to shame;

craftsmen are nothing but men.

Let them all come together and take their stand;

they will be brought down to terror and infamy.

12 The blacksmith takes a tool

and works with it in the coals;

he shapes an idol with hammers,

he forges it with the might of his arm.

He gets hungry and loses his strength;

he drinks no water and grows faint.

13 The carpenter measures with a line

and makes an outline with a marker;

he roughs it out with chisels

and marks it with compasses.

He shapes it in the form of man,

of man in all his glory,

that it may dwell in a shrine.

14 He cut down cedars,

or perhaps took a cypress or oak.

He let it grow among the trees of the forest,

or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow.

15 It is man’s fuel for burning;

some of it he takes and warms himself,

he kindles a fire and bakes bread.

But he also fashions a god and worships it;

he makes an idol and bows down to it.

16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire;

over it he prepares his meal,

he roasts his meat and eats his fill.

He also warms himself and says,

“Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.”

17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol;

he bows down to it and worships.

He prays to it and says,

“Save me; you are my god.”

18 They know nothing, they understand nothing;

their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see,

and their minds closed so they cannot understand.

19 No one stops to think,

no one has the knowledge or understanding to say,

“Half of it I used for fuel;

I even baked bread over its coals,

I roasted meat and I ate.

Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left?

Shall I bow down to a block of wood?”

20 He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him;

he cannot save himself, or say,

“Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?”

The Bible often mocks those who make idols with their hands and don’t realize the foolishness of worshiping something they created. 

21 “Remember these things, O Jacob,

for you are my servant, O Israel.

I have made you, you are my servant;

O Israel, I will not forget you.

22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,

your sins like the morning mist.

Return to me,

for I have redeemed you.”

23 Sing for joy, O heavens, for the Lord has done this;

shout aloud, O earth beneath.

Burst into song, you mountains,

you forests and all your trees,

for the Lord has redeemed Jacob,

he displays his glory in Israel.

Jerusalem to Be Inhabited

24 “This is what the Lord says—

your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb:

I am the Lord,

who has made all things,

who alone stretched out the heavens,

who spread out the earth by myself,

25 who foils the signs of false prophets

and makes fools of diviners,

who overthrows the learning of the wise

and turns it into nonsense,

26 who carries out the words of his servants

and fulfills the predictions of his messengers,

who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited,’

of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be built,’

and of their ruins, ‘I will restore them,’

27 who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry,

and I will dry up your streams,’

28 who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd

and will accomplish all that I please;

he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,”

and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”’

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

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