Isaiah 43:1-28 … GOD FORETELLS THE DEMISE OF BABYLON BUT REGATHERING AND CLEANSING OF ISRAEL.
Q.1. What is Israel’s relationship with the Lord? How extensive are His promises to His people? Why is Israel to be treated like this? Has any part of this promise been fulfilled? – (Isa.43:1-7) =
Q.2. How can God make these promises? How does that make Him unique? For what reason has God called Israel? What does fulfilled prophecy highlight about God? – (Isa.43:8-13) =
Q.3. What will happen to Babylon? What unique thing will God do for the land and His people? What was Israel’s worship like? Does God respond as you would expect? – (Isa.43:14-28)
Israel’s Only Savior
43 But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
4 Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you,
peoples in exchange for your life.
5 Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
and from the west I will gather you.
6 I will say to the north, Give up,
and to the south, Do not withhold;
bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the end of the earth,
7 everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”
8 Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes,
who are deaf, yet have ears!
9 All the nations gather together,
and the peoples assemble.
Who among them can declare this,
and show us the former things?
Let them bring their witnesses to prove them right,
and let them hear and say, It is true.
10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me.
11 I, I am the Lord,
and besides me there is no savior.
12 I declared and saved and proclaimed,
when there was no strange god among you;
and you are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and I am God.
13 Also henceforth I am he;
there is none who can deliver from my hand;
I work, and who can turn it back?”
14 Thus says the Lord,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“For your sake I send to Babylon
and bring them all down as fugitives,
even the Chaldeans, in the ships in which they rejoice.
15 I am the Lord, your Holy One,
the Creator of Israel, your King.”
16 Thus says the Lord,
who makes a way in the sea,
a path in the mighty waters,
17 who brings forth chariot and horse,
army and warrior;
they lie down, they cannot rise,
they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:
18 “Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
20 The wild beasts will honor me,
the jackals and the ostriches,
for I give water in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
21 the people whom I formed for myself
that they might declare my praise.
22 “Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob;
but you have been weary of me, O Israel!
23 You have not brought me your sheep for burnt offerings,
or honored me with your sacrifices.
I have not burdened you with offerings,
or wearied you with frankincense.
24 You have not bought me sweet cane with money,
or satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices.
But you have burdened me with your sins;
you have wearied me with your iniquities.
25 “I, I am he
who blots out your transgressions for my own sake,
and I will not remember your sins.
26 Put me in remembrance; let us argue together;
set forth your case, that you may be proved right.
27 Your first father sinned,
and your mediators transgressed against me.
28 Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary,
and deliver Jacob to utter destruction
and Israel to reviling.
Q.1. What is Israel’s relationship with the Lord? How extensive are His promises to His people? Why is Israel to be treated like this? Has any part of this promise been fulfilled? – (Isa.43:1-7) = God reminds His people that He formed them. He redeemed them and therefore they belong to Him – I have called you by name; so You are Mine (Isa.43:1). Because of their sins He has chastened them but because they belong to Him – When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you (Isa.43:2). As His people – you are precious in My sight, Since you are honoured and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life (Isa.43:4). This He does – For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour (Isa.43:3). Unlike those nations that do not regard Him, Israel will be treated as His special possession. Because of Israel’s sin, they will be removed from the land but – 5 Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring 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 (Isa.43:5-6). This has been happening ever since Israel was constituted as a nation in May, 1948. This is one of the reasons God chose Israel – Everyone who is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, even whom I have made (Isa.43:7). This calling to be His witnesses to the nations is irrevocable – “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 there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me (Isa.43:10 c.f. Rom.11:29).
Q.2. How can God make these promises? How does that make Him unique? For what reason has God called Israel? What does fulfilled prophecy highlight about God? – (Isa.43:8-13) = Compared with God’s sovereign control all of us are flawed and have no power over the future. God asks – … Who among them can declare this and proclaim to us the former things? Let them present their witnesses that they may be justified, or let them hear and say, “It is true.” (Isa.43:9). What He is doing and will do to Israel is proof of God’s wisdom and sovereign control – 11 “I, even I, am the Lord, and there is no Saviour besides Me. 12 “It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed … So you are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and I am God. 13 “Even from eternity I am He, and there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?” (Isa.43:11-13). Israel’s restoration from dispersion is living proof that God can and does tell the end from the beginning!
Q.3. What will happen to Babylon? What unique thing will God do for the land and His people? What was Israel’s worship like? Does God respond as you would expect? – (Isa.43:14-28) = God reminds His people of His sovereign authority – I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King (Isa.43:15). Babylon, Judah’s destroyer will be destroyed – … They will lie down together and not rise again; They have been quenched and extinguished like a wick (Isa.43:17). Something utterly inconceivable will happen – I will do something new, now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert (Isa.43:19). It is unexpected because the land is going to be destroyed and the nation scattered because of its sin. Judah’s worship is insincere and a formality and – You have not brought to Me the sheep of your burnt offerings, nor have you honoured Me with your sacrifices … (Isa.43:23 c.f. Isa.43:22-24). All others would reject such a unfaithfulness but God makes His appeal – Put Me in remembrance, let us argue our case together … (Isa.43:26). God proves He is in a league of His own as He declares to the nation – I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins (Isa.43:25). Without such a heart of love for rebel sinners, we would have no hope. But history shows that in the fullness of time, God sent His Son to be our Saviour!
(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)
If you have any queries about your readings, check Bible Commentary via sonic light.com or discuss it with your Real Life Group leader or email email@example.com