ISAIAH 42-43

 

The Book of Isaiah contains many prophecies. Some of them happened within 100 years or so, others point to the time of Christ. A man by the name of Payne took on the daunting task to see how many prophecies the Bible contained as whole. His research showed that there were 1,817 prophecies in 8,352 verses, which makes the Bible 27% predictive. The Book of Isaiah contains 111 predictions in 754 verses which makes it 59% predictive. Isaiah has the greatest number of separate predictions in the Bible with Jeremiah being a close second at 90 prophecies.

 

Chapter 42 begins talking about the ideal Servant, which is prophetically talking about Jesus.

 

Isaiah 42:1"Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.2 He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.3 A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth.

 

Anyone with an honest heart can see that these verses are talking about Jesus. While there are a few who want to deny the clear meaning of this passage and point to something else, notice what we see in verse 1. God is saying ďMy servantĒ which is talking about an individual that will be His elect in which His soul delights. The special servant will have the Spirit of God put on Him.

 

Matthew 3:16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

 

This special servant would bring justice to the Gentiles and would be a light to the Gentiles. Who else could this fit other than Jesus?

 

In verse 3, this servant would not be one that goes out and shout His name or puts a spot light on what He could. No, instead He would be a humble servant who taught the truth. Jesus did exactly this because at times He even kept the demons from proclaiming who He was, and some people He told not tell anyone what He did. When He did tell someone to tell what He did, it was only done to try and soften the hearts of the people to make them understand that He is the Messiah.

 

4 He will not fail nor be discouraged, Till He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands shall wait for His law."5 Thus says God the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, Who gives breath to the people on it, And spirit to those who walk on it:6 "I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, And will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the Gentiles,7 To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the prison, Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.8 I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images.9 Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them."

 

Jesus fits this perfectly because He did not fail to accomplish His goal as Jesus said:

 

John 17:4 "I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.

 

We all know that Jesusí death brought forth a new covenant with a new set of laws for us to follow that was predicted by Isaiah in Isa. 2 and by Jeremiah in Jer. 31:31-34. This was the new law that the coastland would wait for.

 

God was always with Jesus while He was laboring on the earth. Jesus Himself said:

 

John 12:49 "For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.50 "And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak."

 

When Paul was giving his defense before King Agrippa he said:

 

Acts 26:22 "Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come --23 "that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles."

 

Even when Jesus was a baby, the Holy Spirit spoke through a man name Simeon and said the following about Jesus:

 

Luke 2:29 "Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word;30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel."

 

There is no doubt that Jesus is the one that was a shinning light among the Gentiles and the new covenant through Him would be for Jew and Gentile alike. When Isaiah talks about this servant opening the eyes of the blind and freeing them from prison, I do not believe this is talking about literally doing this, but spiritually. Sure Jesus did open the eyes of the blind, but more importantly, His truth opened the eyes of the spiritual blind and freed them from the bondage of sin.

 

If all these facts do not convince you that Isaiah is speaking of Jesus, then the following inspired record should from the Book of Matthew should:

 

Matthew 12:14 Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.15 But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all.16 Yet He warned them not to make Him known,17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:18 "Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He will declare justice to the Gentiles.19 He will not quarrel nor cry out, Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.20 A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory;21 And in His name Gentiles will trust."

 

Jesus knew Isaiah was speaking about Him and so should we. Since this prophetic message was so grand we learn that a new song was being sung to God for such great news in:

 

Isaiah 42:10 Sing to the LORD a new song, And His praise from the ends of the earth, You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, You coastlands and you inhabitants of them!11 Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voice, The villages that Kedar inhabits. Let the inhabitants of Sela sing, Let them shout from the top of the mountains.12 Let them give glory to the LORD, And declare His praise in the coastlands.

 

Every Christian today should praise God for this prophecy coming to pass through His Son. Gentiles especial should be thankful for the new covenant, which includes all of us in this room. Praise God and His wonderful ways.

 

Isaiah 42:13 The LORD shall go forth like a mighty man; He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war. He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud; He shall prevail against His enemies.14 " I have held My peace a long time, I have been still and restrained Myself. Now I will cry like a woman in labor, I will pant and gasp at once.15 I will lay waste the mountains and hills, And dry up all their vegetation; I will make the rivers coastlands, And I will dry up the pools.16 I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, And not forsake them.17 They shall be turned back, They shall be greatly ashamed, Who trust in carved images, Who say to the molded images, 'You are our gods.'

 

Some see this as speaking about the Persians defeating Babylon and freeing the Jews. Others see it speaking of the coming Messiah and how He would free us all from the power of sin. As with many of these prophecies, I believe it can point to both because parts of it can be seen as pointing the Jews deliverance from their 70 years of captivity, but at the same time we can see that the ultimate victory come through Christ who has opened our eyes to the truth and the way of righteousness.

 

God would not forsake His people and He will not forsake His people today. Just as the Jews would become ashamed of idol worship, we too will become ashamed of the way we lived like the world.

 

Isaiah 42:18 " Hear, you deaf; And look, you blind, that you may see.19 Who is blind but My servant, Or deaf as My messenger whom I send? Who is blind as he who is perfect, And blind as the LORD's servant?20 Seeing many things, but you do not observe; Opening the ears, but he does not hear."21 The LORD is well pleased for His righteousness' sake; He will exalt the law and make it honorable.22 But this is a people robbed and plundered; All of them are snared in holes, And they are hidden in prison houses; They are for prey, and no one delivers; For plunder, and no one says, "Restore!"23 Who among you will give ear to this? Who will listen and hear for the time to come?24 Who gave Jacob for plunder, and Israel to the robbers? Was it not the LORD, He against whom we have sinned? For they would not walk in His ways, Nor were they obedient to His law.25 Therefore He has poured on him the fury of His anger And the strength of battle; It has set him on fire all around, Yet he did not know; And it burned him, Yet he did not take it to heart.

 

The problem with Godís people at this times was that they had stopped listening to Godís Word. They were making false gods and following after the way of man. God calls them deaf and blind. The reason all these bad things were happening to them was because they were no longer obedient to Godís law. There was nothing wrong with His law, it was the people. God is calling on His people to open their eyes and their ears to what He is saying so they will stop sinning and stop suffering.

 

This message is very relevant today. People are struggling with living in accordance with Godís Word because they are letting the world and the liberal way of thinking corrupt them. We must learn from these Jews sad condition so that we do not repeat it. More and more people are approaching Godís Word as if it does not matter that much. Instead of being concerned with playing it safe, many are thinking ďI wonder what I can get away withĒ. ďHow far can I push God before He pushes me back?Ē Let us all be warned not to lose sight of what God wants us to be and how He wants us obey His will. When we lose sight of Godís way, it is easy for us to start compromising His truth and losing our way.

 

Chapter 42 ends on a negative note to those who do not obey, but our next Chapter goes in the opposite direction.

 

Isaiah 43:1 But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.3 For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place.4 Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you; Therefore I will give men for you, And people for your life.5 Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants 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 keep them back!' Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth Ė

 

This is an effort to remind Israel that they had their beginning because of God. He has been with them and He is still there redeemer just as He is our redeemer today. Man has a tendency to think too highly of himself and a tendency to let the world around him and the successes that he had blind him to his worth. It is important that we remind ourselves of who created us and made everything we do possible. We must never forget what God has done for us through His Son and all that He has done for mankind from the beginning of time. When we remind ourselves of the goodness and severity of God, it will keep us grounded and help keep us humble.

 

Isaiah 43:7 Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him."8 Bring out the blind people who have eyes, And the deaf who have ears.9 Let all the nations be gathered together, And let the people be assembled. Who among them can declare this, And show us former things? Let them bring out their witnesses, that they may be justified; Or let them hear and say, "It is truth."10 "You are My witnesses," says the LORD, "And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me.11 I, even I, am the LORD, And besides Me there is no savior.12 I have declared and saved, I have proclaimed, And there was no foreign god among you; Therefore you are My witnesses," Says the LORD, "that I am God.13 Indeed before the day was, I am He; And there is no one who can deliver out of My hand; I work, and who will reverse it?"

 

Isaiah is speaking about the supremacy of God. He created us and He can deliver us. No nation or false god can do what God almighty can. Jehovah witness try to say their name comes from verse 12 because God is calling His people witnesses of His glory. This was never intended to be coined as a name, but merely says that these people that were seeing the works of God take place were eye witnesses to the fact that God is the one that made those things happen.

 

As Isaiah points out, salvation can only be found in God, and whatever God puts into place cannot be reversed. For example, the new covenant that God put into place cannot be changed and no one can be saved in any other way other than what God has said in His Holy Word. Many will claim that there are other ways to get saved, but they are all wrong because their mere words might sound good, but they cannot change the will of God.

 

Isaiah 43:14 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: "For your sake I will send to Babylon, And bring them all down as fugitives -- The Chaldeans, who rejoice in their ships.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 And a path through the mighty waters,17 Who brings forth the chariot and horse, The army and the power (They shall lie down together, they shall not rise; They are extinguished, they are quenched like a wick):18 "Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old.19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.20 The beast of the field will honor Me, The jackals and the ostriches, Because I give waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert, To give drink to My people, My chosen.21 This people I have formed for Myself; They shall declare My praise.

 

These should be great words of assurance to Israel because God is saying that He is their redeemer and they will be redeemed from their Babylonian captivity. Now I want you to consider that this prophecy would be a bit confusing to the Jews considering that the Babylonians had not even take them over yet, but the message of hope is still there. Though they would face the consequences of their continual rebellion, they could rest assured that eventually God would relieve them of their punishment.

 

Christians must also realize that we will face the consequences of our sins, but we can overcome those sins and be happy once again and praise God almighty because He gives us the opportunity to be forgiven and redeemed when we turn away from our sins and follow His ways.

 

Isaiah 43:22" But you have not called upon Me, O Jacob; And you have been weary of Me, O Israel.23 You have not brought Me the sheep for your burnt offerings, Nor have you honored Me with your sacrifices. I have not caused you to serve with grain offerings, Nor wearied you with incense.24 You have bought Me no sweet cane with money, Nor have you 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, even 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 contend together; State your case, that you may be acquitted.27 Your first father sinned, And your mediators have transgressed against Me.28 Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary; I will give Jacob to the curse, And Israel to reproaches.

 

Though blessing were to come in the future, at that time Godís people were in a bad place. They were not listening to Godís law, they were not offering sacrifices to him even though He is the only one that could cure them of their sin problem and make them be blessed.

 

This story is no different today because there are many who have become dull of hearing and choose to turn away from a living Savior who can rescue us from sin and keep us from spending eternity in hell. My hope is that we can keep history from repeating itself by learning from these rebellious Jews. Let us always strive to remain faithful to our God and Savior because salvation and eternal life in heaven will not be found anywhere else.