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RCCG Miracle Land Dundalk
Wednesday, September 06 2023

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

Today’s study covers two chapters of the book of Isaiah – chapters 43 and 44. Isaiah 43 is one of the high-point chapters in all of the Old Testament, as here in this chapter, God makes it clear that the reason for the creation, salvation, and deliverance of Israel did not arise from something within the nation itself, but from God’s own sovereign choice of Israel as a people to worship Him. The same applies to us today. It was not because of anything we did that He chose to call us His own. Isaiah 44 sheds light on the confusion which permeated the societies of biblical times as well our societies today. The foolishness of idolatry; where people attribute power to, and worship gods that they have made by themselves. But in all, God continues to be gracious and faithful to His promises.

PART 1: ISAIAH 43:1-28
Verses 1-7: God’s Deliverance

This is a unique part of Scripture, as here God spoke through Isaiah to those who would be captive in Babylon some 100 years after the writing of this book. Note God begins this chapter by referring to Himself as the one “who created you . . . who formed you, O Israel” (Isa. 43:1).

• Verse 1
God’s declaration to Israel is one that is two-fold. The first outcome was to humble the proud and the second was to comfort the humble, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine.” (Paraphrased).
The same declaration goes out to you and I today.

• Verses 2–4
God graciously promised to be with His people in their trials—whether it be deep waters or raging fires, God would protect Israel and consequently, you and I. The rivers will not overwhelm us, neither will we be scorched or burnt by the flames of the fire of life’s challenges. This is an everlasting and comforting promise we must always fall back to.

• Verses 5–7
God encouraged His people not to be afraid, as He promised to gather them from all places—north, south, east, and west. This promise has dual fulfilment. Firstly, it promises Israel’s return from exile back home to Palestine on the one hand while on the other, it represents God gathering His people to Himself at the end of the age.
Verse 7 is a key verse in this chapter, here God says, “Everyone who is called by My Name,
Whom I have created for My glory.”
When God says “Everyone” He means “Everyone”!

Verses 8–21 God’s Character
In these verses, God reminded His people that His deliverance and redemption is not unusual but is in accord with His character.

• Verse 8
God calls Israel to testify about His past deliverance, as well as about His future salvation. Because God delivers His people, the blind can see and the deaf can hear. Of course, spiritually speaking, this happens in salvation (Isa. 42:7, 18), and was even physically manifest in Jesus’ gospel ministry (Luke 7:22). Furthermore, as Isaiah had previously recorded, this will happen again when Christ returns (Isa. 29:18; 35:5; 42:7).

• Verse 9
God calls the nations to testify about the inability of their own gods to deliver them.

• Verses 10-13
Here we see God using thirteen personal pronouns to highlight His sovereign power. As He calls His people to testify about the nature of His holy character.
o ““But you are my witnesses, . . . You are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. . . .” vs 10
oI, yes I, am the Lord, . . . vs 11
o “First I predicted your rescue, then I saved you and proclaimed it to the world. . . You are witnesses that I am the only God,” vs 12
o “From eternity to eternity I am God.
o No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done.”

Verses 14–21: The Lord’s Promise of Victory
God again describes the future deliverance of His people as well as His own holy character.

• Verses 14–15
These verses refer to the fulfilment of a near prophecy. Here, God reveals that He would soon cause the Babylonians to become fugitives. Surely, this was both surprising and encouraging to the Israelites who were themselves exiles in Babylon.

• Verses 16–21
Next God through the prophet Isaiah, speaks about the future deliverance of His people at the end of the age. Just as He had delivered Israel from the Egyptians by making a path through the Red Sea, so God will rescue His people from their enemies by making a path through the barren desert of the fallen world. God refers to this deliverance as “a new thing” (Verse 19). “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Three times between verses 19 & 20, God notes that the rescue of His people will be like rivers in the desert or water in the wilderness.

Verses 22–28: God’s Plea
After writing about Israel’s future deliverance and His own character, in these verses, God reminds the nation that their history was one of abandoning Him. Implicitly, God was calling His people to trust in Him, while at the same time reminding the nation that their own history was full of sin.

• Verses 22–24
God noted the while He had not burdened the nation with religious requirements, they had burdened Him with sin.

• Verse 25
God again taught the people salvation was both of Him and for Him, writing, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake” (Ps. 106:8).

• Verses 26-27
God invited Israel—likely with sarcasm—to state their case before Him. Because the nation was guilty of sin and unable to defend herself. “Let us review the situation together,
and you can present your case to prove your innocence.” If this was written in our age, there would have been three smiley faces (😊😊😊😊😊😊) following. Because there was no way they could have defended themselves. Their sin had been from the very beginning (vs 27). Even our righteousness is as a filthy rag before Him. (Isaiah 64:6) But thank God for Jesus! (1 Cor. 1:30, Rom. 5:19; 10:4; 2 Cor. 5:21)

• Verse 28
God declared that, apart from their trust in Him, He would “give Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches.

PART 2: ISAIAH 44:1-28
In this chapter, God continues to address Israel with grace despite their sins. This chapter also sheds light on the confusion which permeated the societies of biblical times as well our societies today. Where people erroneously attribute the power to perform a task to the tool instead of the one who uses the tool; leading to the rise of idol worshipping.
A good example of this is the way many handle money. Money is a tool to exchange for goods and services. It serves a purpose and is neither good nor evil in any way. But when people see that it can get them things, they begin to elevate it above its proper place and attribute power to it when, in fact, the power still resides in a person to use the money.

Verses 1-5: The Almighty’s Patience

• Verses 1-2
Even though the Jews as a nation have sinned, God promises them grace. When a society falls away from God, if there is a faithful remnant, God may show grace instead of judgment (Genesis 18:22-33). Additionally, if God sees that in the future one will repent, He will patiently withhold judgment to give one time to repent (2 Peter 3:9). This holds true of both nations and individuals. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

• Verses 3-5
Seeing that the children of the present day Jews would repent, God promises blessings and restoration. This is a direct counter prophecy to the end of chapter 43. God will punish the fathers for their sins yet bless the children for their faith. Such a refreshing promise:

“For I will pour out water to quench your thirst and to irrigate your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your children. 4 They will thrive like watered grass, like willows on a riverbank. 5 Some will proudly claim, ‘I belong to the Lord.’ Others will say, ‘I am a descendant of Jacob.’ Some will write the Lord’s name on their hands and will take the name of Israel as their own.”

Verses 6-20: The Foolishness of Idols

• Verse 6
Here, both the King of Israel (God) and the Redeemer and Lord of hosts, (Jesus), make this declaration. (See I Sam. 8:7, Josh.7:13-15, and Rev.1:11). Even though the two are speaking, they, plus the Holy Spirit, are one God (Deut. 6:4). I believe this goes to emphasize the potency of this promise.

• Verses 7-8
God is saying that He does not need anyone’s help to perform His will, since from the beginning of time He has appointed all things. This is not a verse in opposition to free will; God, seeing what choices people will make, appoints certain things to ensure that His plans are carried out despite man’s rebellion. This verse is similar to chapter 41 where God challenges the false gods to defend themselves by declaring the future, a task they cannot perform but should be able to if they were gods. Because God’s prophecies have been fulfilled in the past, one can trust that whatever God says about the future will come to pass.

• Verses 9-11
In the time of trouble, rather than seeking refuge in the Almighty God, those who believe and seek refuge in false gods will be ashamed. “Who but a fool would make his own god
. . .?” Vs 10a. Idol worshippers know in their subconscious that their gods are their creation and cannot help them. (See Romans 1:18-23.)

•Verses 12-20
In these verses, God exposes the foolishness of idol worshippers. And the folly of the creation of their own gods. How the remnant from the wood they used to roast their meat for instance all of a sudden become a god they bow down to worship. Verse 18-19 say: “Such stupidity and ignorance! Their eyes are closed, and they cannot see. Their minds are shut, and they cannot think. The person who made the idol never stops to reflect, “Why, it’s just a block of wood! I burned half of it for heat and used it to bake my bread and roast my meat. How can the rest of it be a god?” However, unfortunately, they cannot bring themselves to ask: “ “Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?” (vs 20)

Verses 21-28: Restoration for Jerusalem

•Verses 21-22
Having entered into a covenant relationship with God, Israel will not be forgotten by Him. Anyone who has become a child of God has this same promise. Once we receive forgiveness from God, we become beloved children. God will beckon on us to return when we stray. A person who has strayed does not have to be saved again but instead is to return to the Lord.

•Verse 23
Redemption is a cause for praise, for the one who is saved, for those who are already saved, for the angels, and even for creation itself. (Luke 15:10)

•Verses 24-28
In an amazing promise of grace, God declares His sovereign power, His superiority over the wicked, His faithfulness to His servants, and a very specific prophecy of Jerusalem’s restoration. God mentioned Cyrus by name many years before he was born and about 160 years before he conquered Babylon. History tells us that in Daniel’s time, he took over Babylon by digging tunnels and diverting the great river Euphrates into lakes and his army walked into Babylon unhindered and invaded the city as king Belteshazzar partied with the gold and silverware taken from the temple of God. In Daniel 5:5, the king saw the writing on the wall that predicted his end. Verse 27 is exactly how Cyrus conquered Babylon.

God promises good to those who endure chastisement. Because it is those He loves, He chastises. (Hebrews 12:6) Sometimes, we also suffer for righteousness sake. But if we are faithful to God, He will restore us at the end. The story of Job is an example. (See also Matthew 10:22 and James 1:12). Cyrus, referred to in verse 28 was the king of Persia who conquered Babylon and freed the Jews after their seventy years of captivity (2 Chro. 36:20-23). God saw in him that he will certainly do what is asked of him. “ he will certainly do as I say. He will command, ‘Rebuild Jerusalem’; he will say, ‘Restore the Temple.’” (vs28). God saw the same in Abraham (Genesis 18:19) “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” Can God see that in us?

Parts of this study was culled from:

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