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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Isaiah

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(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a description of what is happening)

 

FRAMEWORKS: Isaiah 43 : Ownership, Testimony, Truth and a new work

 

For Introductory Notes to this Part, see chapter 40.

In these ‘Frameworks' we add notes that are not paraphrases of the original but are simply our expressions of what we, the everyday readers, can sense the verses are saying.

v.1-8 The Lord Reassures Israel: He is with them to restore & bless them

v.9 The godless world gather

v.10-12 Israel as God's Witnesses

v.13-14 He has been and will be their deliverer

v.15-17 He was their Creator

v.18-21 But now He's doing something new

v.22-25 In the Past they have failed Him

[Preliminary notes: A chapter of Reassurance, Realism and Renewal. Again and again in this chapter the Lord affirms that He is their God and they belong to Him [v.1,3,4,12-17] and because of this He will be there for them [v.2,5-8 ]. He calls them to be witnesses to these truths [v.10-12] but He also calls them to acknowledge their past failures [v.22-24,26-28]. In the midst of all this He reveals He is going to do a new work of redemption [v.4-7, 18-21].

 

 

v.1-8 The Lord Reassures Israel: He is with them to restore & bless them

 

v.1 [Reassurance – I made you] (The Lord speaks to His people, the people He formed, the people He has redeemed, the people He called and now who belong to Him.)

But now, this is what the Lord says—
     he who created you, Jacob,
     he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
     I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

v.2 [Reassurance – I will deliver you] (It doesn't matter what trials you have to go through – floods or fires – I will be with you and not leave you.)

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.

v.3 [Reassurance – I have delivered you] (Why? Because I am your God, the One who saved you from Egypt by bringing my judgments on them.)

For I am the Lord your God,
     the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
     Cush
[the Upper Nile region] and Seba in your stead.

v.4 [Reassurance – So you are precious] (Because I thus redeemed you, you are precious to me and I love you, so I will trade in all other nations for you if necessary, that's how special you are to me!)

Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
     and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
     nations in exchange for your life.

v.5 [Reassurance – I will gather you] (So don't be afraid because remember I am with you and I will restore even your little ones wherever they have been taken, indeed all my scattered people.)

Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
     I will bring your children from the east
     and gather you from the west.

v.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—

v.7   everyone who is called by my name,
     whom I created for my glory,
     whom I formed and made.”

 

v.8 (Bring out the blind and the deaf, they are included.)

Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,
     who have ears but are deaf.
 

  

v.9 The godless world gather

 

v.9 [Reassurance –you are unique] (The world will gather and see, even though their idols never told them about this.)

All the nations gather together
     and the peoples assemble.
Which of their gods foretold this
     and proclaimed to us the former things?

(Let's see if they can find a witness that proves me wrong.)

Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right,
     so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”

 

   

v.10-12 Israel as God's Witnesses

 

v.10 [Their role - witnesses] (Israel, you are my people who can testify to the truth, that there is no god apart from me. I alone am the Lord, I alone can be the saviour of mankind)

  “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.
v.11  I, even I, am the Lord,
     and apart from me there is no savior.

v.12 [Witnesses to a unique God] (Yes, it was me, not some idol from abroad, and you can testify to that.)

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.
   

  

v.13-14 He has been and will be their deliverer

 

v.13 [Reassurance – of His guaranteed deliverance] (He will be revealed as sovereign Lord and when He acts no one can withstand.)

  Yes, and from ancient days I am he.
No one can deliver out of my hand.
     When I act, who can reverse it?”

 

v.14 [Reassurance – I will deal with Babylon] (Look, watch this example of that. You have suffered at the hands of the Babylonians so now watch and see how I will bring them down.)

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.
   

   

v.15-17 He was their Creator

 

v.15 [Reassurance – He was their Creator-Deliverer] (Just remember, I am your creator, I made you as a nation, even if I had to lead you through the Red Sea and had to bring Pharaoh and his chariots down as they chased you. That's the sort of thing I can do.)

I am the Lord, your Holy One,
     Israel's Creator, your King.”

v.16  This is what the Lord says—
     he who made a way through the sea,
     a path through the mighty waters,
v.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:
   

   

v.18-21 But now He's doing something new

 

v.18 [Announcement – He's doing something new] (But look, forget the past because I am going to do something new, I am going to make a path through the desert and transform it with streams, total transformation is coming.)

“Forget the former things;
     do not dwell on the past.
v.19  See, I am doing a new thing!
     Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
     and streams in the wasteland.

v.20 [Even wildlife will appreciate His transforming work] (When I do this all the desert animals will appreciate it, and you in particular will benefit by my provision.)

The wild animals honor me,
     the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
     and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
v.21        the people I formed for myself
     that they may proclaim my praise.

   

   

v.22-25 In the Past they have failed Him

 

v.22 [Yet they failed Him] (But yes, I am saddened because you have not been calling out for me, you haven't even been bringing sacrifices for me; instead you have brought me your sins!)

“Yet you have not called on me, Jacob,
     you have not wearied yourselves for me, Israel.
v.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.
v.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.

 

v.25 (Do you not realise the whole sacrificial system is for me to blot out your sins so they need be remembered no more.)

“I, even I, am he who blots out
     your transgressions, for my own sake,
     and remembers your sins no more.

v.26 [They cannot deny it] (Look, check out the past with me, tell me you are innocent. You sinned from the very beginning and it has gone on and on so eventually I had to destroy you as a nation.)

Review the past for me,
     let us argue the matter together;
     state the case for your innocence.
v.27  Your first father sinned;
     those I sent to teach you rebelled against me.
v.28  So I disgraced the dignitaries of your temple;
     I consigned Jacob to destruction
     and Israel to scorn.

      

[Concluding comments: Key lessons:

•  Israel belong to the Lord [v.1,3,4,12-17]

•  He will be there for them [v.2,5-8].

•  They are to be witnesses to these truths [v.10-12]

•  They also need to acknowledge their past failures [v.22-24,26-28].

•  He is going to do a new work of redemption [v.4-7, 18-21].

 
 

Continue to Chapter 44