The Exaltation of God’s Kingdom Isaiah 40-66, cont’d.
Isaiah 40-48 God is Sovereign over Those in His Kingdom, cont’d.
His Sovereignty is Seen in His Releasing of Judah Isaiah 48:1-22
Isaiah 48:1-2-God begins by saying that although Israel claims to be the people of God…they do not truly follow, or obey Him.
Isaiah 48:3-5-He tells Israel that despite the fact that He had told them long before about things that would happen…they had been “obstinate...neck is an iron sinew, and your forehead bronze” (:4). In other words, they refused to believe it. He did so in order that they would not attribute what happened to their idols…but, to Him.
Isaiah 48:6-8-So, God says He will do so again. He will declare new things to them that will happen in the future. Since they are new they will not be able to claim that they already knew about them, or attribute them to their idols. This has been their pattern of behavior from their very beginning. Refusing to believe that it is God Who has proclaimed and done what He has said…and instead, attributing those things to false gods.
Isaiah 48:9-11-God says that He has held back from pouring out His judgment on them for His own name, His own glory.
48:10 but not as silver. Or, with silver. If “with,” the meaning is that the process of melting (chastisement for the nation) does not produce silver. If “as,” the meaning is that God would punish them with an even hotter flame than required to refine silver.
The Ryrie Study Bible, footnote on Isaiah 48:10, p. 1085
Isaiah 48:12-16-God declares that He is going to use the Babylonians (Chaldeans) for His own purpose. He says that He has “called him” and “brought him”…speaking of His absolute sovereignty over this foreign nation. Not only is God sovereign over Israel…He is also sovereign over all other nations. That is the reason why He had already declared that He was eternal (:12, so all nations throughout time are included in His sovereignty) and that He was universal (:13, so that all nations around the world are included in His sovereignty). Even as He is sovereign over the “heavens” (:13), He is sovereign over the nations under the heavens.
Isaiah 48:17-19-God tells Israel that if they would have been obedient to Him, then He would have poured out His blessings on them.
Isaiah 48:20-22-God tells Israel to take advantage of the time when the Babylonians will allow them to leave. At that time, tell everyone that it was the Lord who had saved them. Those who refuse to do so will have no peace.
Isaiah 49-57 God Saves Those in His Kingdom
The Servant’s Identification Isaiah 49:1-26
Isaiah 49:1-The words, “Listen to Me, O islands,” mean that God calls to people around the world to listen to what He is about to say. He then describes the Messiah and His mission…to restore Israel to God and to bring light to the Gentiles (:6).
- You are My servant, O Israel: Since the rest of the context of this chapter indicates that this passage speaks of the Messiah, it is best to regard Israel as a reference to the Messiah. How can the LORD speak of the Messiah as Israel? First, because the Messiah comes from Israel, and is a representative of the nation. Second, because the Messiah fulfills the name Israel, which means, "governed by God."
- "On the surface, the statement 'You are my servant, Israel,' explicitly identifies Yahweh's Servant as the nation Israel. But if that were the case, an apparent contradiction would arise in verses 5-6, in which the Servant's task is to bring Israel back to Yahweh and to the land … the view that 'Israel' is a title of the individual messianic Servant harmonizes most satisfactorily with the passage and context." (Lindsey)
David Guzik :: Study Guide for Isaiah 49,
Isaiah 49:2-4-Here are several characteristics of the Messiah…
- (:1) Before He was ever physically born, while still in His mother’s womb, God had determined that He would be the Messiah…this was not the Messiah’s choice, or the people’s choice, but God’s choice
- (:2) His words would have incredible power because of the truth that He spoke
- (:2) God would keep His identity secret for some time and they would not initially recognize Him as the Messiah
- (:2) He would be like a “select arrow”…having a very specific purpose and mission
- (:3) His ministry will not have the nature of an overwhelming master, but of a humble servant
- (:3) He will not bring glory to Himself, but to God, the Father
- (:4) Initially, it will appear that He has failed in His mission, but ultimately His reward will be that He did the will of the Father.Isaiah 49:8-13-Here is a brief description of how life will be when God’s kingdom on earth has been restored.
Isaiah 49:5-7-God says that not only will He use the Messiah to bring Israel back to Him, but He will also use Him to reach the entire world, people of all nations.
Isaiah 49:8-13-Here is a brief description of how life will be when God’s kingdom on earth has been restored.
Isaiah 49:14-26-Israel says that God has forgotten them (:14-15)...but God says that He has not forgotten them (:16-18), He will restore them to the land to the degree that it will be crowded with people (:19-23), and will punish their enemies (:24-26). When this happens…then the whole world will recognize that it had been done by God, and Him alone. He will receive glory
Prayer: Father, help me to always give You credit, to give You glory, for the things that You do. Help me to see Your hand, Your power, Your wisdom at work. Don’t let me see things happen and mistakenly give credit to others. Teach me from Your Word how to identify when You are working and then let the Holy Spirit give me insight into Your purpose and plans. As someone has said, “Find where God is at work, and join Him there.”