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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Is. 42:10-13

3/31/13 V. 10, When the Lord comes to rescue his people we will, as Rev 5:9 and 14:3 also says, sing a new song. And that song will be the song of Moses after Israel’s deliverance from the Egyptians (Rev. 15:3). From every corner of the earth we will sing and also those who go down into the sea and all that is in it.

As noted before, in prophecy the sea represents peoples, nations, languages (Rev 17:15). Rev 10:5 uses the same phrase, “the sea and all that is in it.” However, that passage is primarily an allusion to Dan 10, so perhaps this phrase is merely an echo in Revelation or perhaps a sub-allusion of lesser prominence.

The islands, which at the beginning of chapter 41 seemed to symbolize the scattered people of God, will also shout.

V. 11, Even among those who had not always been faithful to God, living in a spiritual wilderness, Kedar (Arabian descendants of Ismael) and Sela (Petra, Edom), will have those who will turn to God and shout for joy at his coming. After all, Rev 7:9-12 says that the people come from every nation, tribe, language, and people.

V. 12, God’s people will give glory to the Lord. Giving glory, again, could just be a common phrase that was used. However, in Rev 14:7 those words are used extremely significantly, at the tipping point of Revelation. Just as Jesus is about to come and the enemies of God are manipulating and even forcing the inhabitants of the earth to worship their self-made god in their way, the three angels are calling the world to “give glory” and worship the God who made “the sea and all that is in it” in his way, which is an allusion to the Sabbath commandment. One gets the feeling that at least a little something more is going on beneath the surface here in this passage of Isaiah.

V. 13, The Lord goes forth like a warrior (Rev 6:2, 19:11) and with the sounding of the seventh trumpet he will return to the earth in power and great glory with a trumpet call and a loud command (1Th 4:16). And his enemies will stand no chance against him.

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Posted by on March 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 42:5-9

3/30/13 V. 5, This whole passage must have been among the first Jesus memorized as a child, because it was such a direct message to him from God the Father. The Hebrew word for “you” in this verse is singular, so Jesus is the primary one in view. However, in many ways this message was and still is a message for God’s people in general too, both ancient Israel and the Christian church today.

The Lord, the Creator who gives breath/spirit to everyone who lives on the earth, says primarily to Jesus and secondarily by extension to us

V. 6, that he has called us in righteousness. Jesus is the only truly righteous one on earth. Our righteousness comes by our acceptance of him and his transformation of our lives. And we are called to exhibit before the world the righteousness of God–to vindicate his character (Rev 19:11).

God watches over us as we go about the mission he gave us and he has appointed us as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations. Again, Jesus is primarily the one appointed as a covenant and a light to the world, but beginning with Abraham, this was Israel’s commission as well.

Even today, Christ will not be separated from his church. He is the head, we are his body, so this applies to some degree to us as well. It’s a fascinating study to trace through how not only did Jesus re-live the life of Adam and ancient Israel in order to become the new Adam and the new Israel, but the experience of the Christian church from the cross to end is also paralleling the life of Christ.

V. 7, Israel’s purpose, Jesus’ purpose, and our purpose today was to open the eyes of the blind (Rev 3:18) and set prisoners free from their spiritual darkness (Rev 16:10).

V. 8, God does all of this because he is jealous for the reputation of his character. It is not pride or arrogance that causes God to defend his glory and his position as God. It is the fact that no one else can be God and the entire universe would instantly collapse if God were to abdicate. It is for our good, our survival even, that God but be totally and completely God. Even when we don’t recognize it, we want God to be God in all of his power and glory, because without that we are doomed.

V. 9, All the former prophecies had come to pass, and here God proclaims new things that would also come to pass when Christ came to earth. And his word does not return to him without having its intended affect. All that God says will take place, including those things that extend beyond us today (Rev 21:5).

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 42:1-5

3/29/13 V. 1, The last chapter was about Cyrus, a type of Christ; but Cyrus represented Christ only insofar as he rescued Israel from Babylonian captivity. This chapter segues into the earthly ministry of the anti-type, Christ himself, who is far beyond any type described in scripture.

Clearly, God the Father is the one speaking, the Servant is Jesus, God the Son on whom the Father puts the Spirit. The Trinity in its entirety is in view here. When the Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove at his baptism, the Father said essentially the same thing.

His purpose for coming was “to bring forth justice to the nations.”

V. 2, He was the Lamb of God who would be meek, gentle, and quiet. He wouldn’t raise his voice to create a ruckus. He was not striving for popularity or to make a big splash in Israel. He told those he healed to keep it to themselves, though they didn’t usually do it. A ruckus ensued, but he attempted to avoid it. He had come to quietly show us the way to live and to die in our place. That was his mission and evidently being noisy about it wasn’t a requirement.

V. 3, He was compassionate. He didn’t accuse or condemn even the guilty. He hurting he comforted, those dying spiritually he didn’t snuff out. Instead, he faithfully brought truth to judgment.

V. 4, He faced the most discouraging prospects and conflict, yet he would not be discouraged or crushed or stopped until he had accomplished his mission. He had good news to bring to the world and he would press forward until the end in order to justify the earth. The nations of the earth, the Gentiles even, would listen to his instruction.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 41:25-29

3/28/13 V. 25, When God comes to rescue his people from Babylon he will send one from the north and from the east. This was where Cyrus came from. Persia was east of Babylon, but due to geography Cyrus had to enter Mesopotamia from the north and come down to Babylon. Thus he comes from the east and the north.  Rev 16:12 is an allusion to the story of Cyrus, and thus the kings from the east (rising of the sun) are good news for God’s people.

The Hebrew says that he (Cyrus) would call upon God’s name and 2 Chr 36:23 and Ezra 1:2 indicate that to some degree Cyrus came to acknowledge God. The LXX translation says, “they shall be called by my name.” Both ideas work.

When Cyrus would come Babylon and the surrounding nations as well would fall before him with ease, like smashing and molding clay. Evidently, mortar was mixed by treading on it with the feet.

V. 26, Had any of the so-called gods of the nations been able to predict this? If they had then maybe they deserved some attention. But of course no one had any idea of these things except the God of heaven.

V. 27, Only God was able to predict these things, and that long before the birth of Cyrus. He did it to encourage Israel.

V. 28, Look wherever you want among other gods and you will find none among them who can answer God, or anyone else for that matter.

V. 29, Every other so-called god is false, worthless, wind, emptiness no matter how much we may value it.

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 41:21-24

3/27/13 V. 21, Here the Lord mocks the gods of wood and stone telling them to convince him be bringing forth their strong arguments. He is speaking to these nonexistent gods as though they could actually hear and understand, but of course he really speaking to his people as part of inspiring them with hope in confidence in their God.

V. 22, He challenges these false gods to predict the future and explain the past and tell him how it’s all going to work out.

V. 23, If they could accurately predict the future then that would prove that they were gods. Then they could demonstrate further by doing something–anything, good or evil, it didn’t matter what, just do something–to demonstrate that “we,” meaning all three parts of Trinity it seems, ought to be anxious and afraid. The very idea of the Godhead being anxious and afraid is simply laughable.

V. 24, The bottom line it that all other gods are worthless, less than nothing. They are unable to do anything and anyone who depends on such gods are an abomination. The word abomination triggers some thoughts from Daniel and Revelation, especially since Babylon is in the background here.

The Hebrew word used here is to‘eva and in Dan 9:27, 11:31, 12:11 the word is shiqqutz, and they seem to be synonymous terms. The LXX translates both terms as bdelugma, which is consistently used in the NT when Jesus spoke of the abomination that causes desolation in Matt 24:15 and in Rev 17:5 for the woman Babylon. There’s a clear connection between those who choose false gods and abomination. And that is what this abomination that causes desolation/end-time Babylon/antichrist does, according to 2 Th 2:4. It tries to make itself into a god, “proclaiming himself to be God.”

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 41:11-20

3/26/13 V. 11-12, All who are angry with us God will see that they are shamed and humiliated. Rev 3:9 promise the same thing. Those who work against us will die and be as nothing. These verses are yet more evidence illustrating that at judgment the wicked will perish and be as though they never were, rather than suffering for eternity in hell. If we look for those who pitted themselves against us we won’t be able to find them.

V. 13, This is God’s vengeance, not our own. He is the one who supports us. We have no need to be afraid because when God is for us who can be against us?

V. 14, The worm image is also in Job and Psalms and it’s simply a picture of our helplessness. Our only hope is in our God who will deliver us.

V. 15-16, Worm though we be, however, our God makes us into a new threshing sledge. And instead of threshing just wheat we can thresh mountains and turn them into chaff. God gives his people his divine power, which we exercise through faith, because Jesus said that if we have even a little faith we can tell mountains to move and they will.

V. 17, For now, though, we wait for the deliverance of God. We experience hardships and trials as we wait but God continues to care for us through it. He supplies the basic necessities like water. But in prophecy water is usually a spiritual symbol, like in Rev 21:6 and Rev 22:17 where we are invited to drink from the water of life without cost. Also Rev 7:17 and Rev 22:1 are water symbols. God himself sustains us with life through the difficult times and this same water will nourish us in the new earth.

V. 18, He doesn’t just give us the minimum that we need to survive, though. He pours out abundant water, opens rivers and springs, turns the wilderness into a lake, and dry lands into fountains. With this spiritual water we are deluged, even if our physical being is in want, we are blessed with the knowledge of God, and that turns out to be more than enough.

V. 19, Trees are often symbols of people in prophecy (Rev 7:1, 3; 8:7, 9:4). A flourishing tree is a symbol of one blessed by God, while a dead or dying tree is one cursed by God, like the fig tree Jesus cursed because it bore no fruit. Here, because of the waters of life from God, we will be placed in the most arid places and we will grow and create oases in that place.

V. 20, And those who see us will have to recognize and understand that God is the one who has done this for this people.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 41:5-10

3/25/13 V. 5, In v. 1 the coastlands or islands seemed to refer to God’s people surrounded by the nations. Here the coastlands seems to fit more with the nations of the earth themselves. The translators of the LXX evidently thought so too, and used the word “ethni” for nations instead of the word “nesoi” for islands. I’m not quite sure how to reconcile it except to suspect that the LXX might have improved on the original. There are times when even Jesus himself quoted the LXX instead of the Hebrew, presumably because he found the translation more accurate than the original. Perhaps this is one of those cases.

The far reaches of the earth even trembled at Cyrus’ rapid conquest. It seemed that supernatural power accompanied him, which we now recognize that it did. This coming of Cyrus spawned a unity in the rest of the world.

V. 6, Neighboring nations came together to assist each other in resisting Cyrus. In Revelation 16 and 17 we see a unification of the world and world religion as well just before the coming of Christ, the antitypical king of the east.

V. 7, They turned to their god-makers, encouraging them in their work in hopes that these gods would be able to stand against Cyrus.

V. 8, But Israel, says God, need not fear. Israel, captives in Babylon, were still God’s chosen people. They were still the children of the promise made to Abraham.

V. 9, God’s remnant people have been and will continue to be called from all corners of the earth, from every nation, tribe, language, and people (Rev 5:9).

V. 10, And when Cyrus (or Christ) is on the move, we need not be afraid. We need not worry about our future. God promises to strengthen his people.

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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