Let’s turn to Isaiah chapter forty eight, that we might continue our study through the Bible. The prophet Isaiah was prophesying over a hundred years before the defeat of Israel by the Babylonians. A hundred years before their captivity. But not only is he prophesying of, of their captivity, but he is also prophesying of their subsequent deliverance from captivity, how God is going to bring them out of Babylon, and set them free from that Babylonian captivity.
The prophet Jeremiah, who also prophesied of the Babylonian captivity, actually was specific, and gave the time of their captivity as seventy years. So those that were in captivity had the advantage of both Jeremiah’s prophesies, and Isaiah’s prophesies, so that while they were captives in Babylon, they recognized from the prophesies, that God was going to deliver them. They knew that their period of captivity was to be seventy years.
So in the book of Daniel, one of those who was captive in Babylon, he declared that he understood by the reading of the prophesies of Jeremiah that the time of the captivity was almost over. He knew that he had been there for about seventy years. So he began to seek the Lord, to see if the Lord had some special mission for him in the deliverance of the people.
So it is declared by Josephus, the historian that when Cyrus became the king of Persia, who had conquered Babylon, that the Jewish leaders, probably Daniel, because he still had a very prominent place when the Medo-Persians took over. You remember Darius the king loved Daniel, favored him above the others. Made the other fellows jealous, and so Daniel still had a very prominent place in leadership, even when the Medo-Persians conquered Babylon.
Perhaps it was Daniel that brought the prophesies of Isaiah unto Cyrus and said, “Look your name is in our book! It was written by a prophet about a hundred and eighty years ago, he talked about you. He called you by your name! Look! Your name is right here!” It so impressed Cyrus that he declared that he was called of God to, and for the purpose of letting them go from their captivity.
Here is the actual decree of Cyrus. “Thus saith Cyrus the king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has charged me to build Him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. And who is there among you of all His people, his God be with him, let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, for He is the God which is in Jerusalem. And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, besides the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.” That’s in the first chapter of Ezra, he records for us the actual proclamation of Cyrus.
So Isaiah forty eight, we have again the prophesies of their going into captivity, the reasons for it, and of their deliverance from the captivity in Babylon. So…
Hear this, [God says] O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel (48:1),
The name Israel, Yisrael, is “governed by God”. “You are called people who are governed by God.” It’s a great, great name to be called. “We are Israel, we are men who are governed by God.” That was the name that God gave to Jacob, after the encounter there at the brook, where Jacob wrestled all night with the Lord. He said, “I will not let you go until you bless me.” And, the Lord says, “What is your name?”, and he says, “Heel-catcher”, and He said, “Your name won’t be Heel-catcher anymore, from now on, you’ll be known as “Governed by God”. So the change of name. So these people were called after the name of Israel, people who were governed by God, living in a theocracy.
you’ve come forth out of the waters of Judah, [That is, “you’ve, you’ve sprung from the tribe of Judah”] and you swear by the name of Yahweh, [“You take your oaths, you talk about Him.”] you make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness (48:1).
They still talked about God. They still professed a faith in God, but it was only a profession. In reality, they were everyone, doing pretty much their own thing. They had forsaken the Lord in practice. In, in the principal, they still acknowledged Him. They still swore by Yahweh, they mentioned the Lord. Paul the apostle, in Romans chapter one said, “For the wrath of God shall be revealed from heaven, against all ungodliness, and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth of God in unrighteousness.”
So it is possible to hold the truth of God, but to hold it in unrighteousness, and that was the condition of Judah at this time. They still held to the truth of God, but they held it in unrighteousness. Because they did not submit to God, and thus, as Paul said, “For when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were they thankful. But professing themselves to be wise, they become fools, because they worship and serve the creature, more than the Creator.” So Paul speaks of, of men of our day. But it’s only a repeated pattern in history. It was the same in the time of Isaiah’s writing to the people.
For you call yourselves the holy city, and you say that you trust upon the God of Israel; for The Lord of hosts is his name. I have declared [he said] the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; and I did them suddenly, and they came to pass (48:2-3).
So he’s talking about how in their history, he had prophesied and predicted events that had already taken place. When Abraham was living, God spoke to Abraham, how that his descendants would go down to Egypt and how they would be there for four hundred years, before they were delivered out of Egypt. That happened. Jacob went down with his family to Egypt, because of the famine, and Joseph was there in power. It was four hundred years later, when they finally made the exodus under Moses. That was all predicted in the word of the Lord to Abraham.
So God here is mentioning how that in their books, in their history, in these sacred writings, there were predictions that were made that were fulfilled. So that, they could see that God could speak of things before they came to pass. So God is calling to their minds the fact that He can speak of events, declaring the things from the beginning, before they happen, so that they did happen, just according as He said they would. But the Lord said…
Because I knew that you were obstinate, and your neck is as an iron sinew, [Stiff neck] and your brow is as brass; I have even from the beginning declared it to you; before it came to pass I shewed it to you: lest you should say, My idol hath done them, and my graven images, and my molten images, have commanded them (48:4-5).
Now these people had embraced idolatry, and Jeremiah, when we get to the prophet of Jeremiah, we’ll see how he cries out against the idolatry. They had filled the city, their houses with little idols of Ashtoreth, of Baal, Mammon, Molech, their many different gods. Jeremiah condemned them for these idols.
The interesting thing is that in the excavations that were made about ten years ago in Jerusalem, on the site of Offal, the ancient city of David, when they came to that layer of ashes that were the results of the Babylonians setting fire to the city, as was recorded in the scriptures, in the houses of that era, that period, they found multitudes of these little idols that the people had made. They were giving credit to the idols, and to their prayers to the idols, for the benefits, the good things that happened.
I was in the cathedral in Guatemala city sometime back, and in going through the cathedral, they had in these cases, the mummies of some of the saints. They have little testimonials written there of people who had prayed to the, to this particular saint, and thanking the saint for answering their prayer. That is a form of idolatry that you have here, where they are attributing the answers to prayers to, to the idols. To some saint, or whatever.
Be it known that nowhere in the scripture are you encouraged to pray to any saint! There is no indication that the saints are able to make supplication for you, or to help you in any way. That is just another form of idolatry. God says, “He’s not gonna share His glory with others”, in verse eleven. When they are giving glory to the little idol for the answered prayer.
So, so that they couldn’t do that, God said, “I’m gonna tell you in advance what I’m gonna do. I’m telling you in advance that I’m going to deliver you out of the hands of the Babylonians, I’m gonna set you free!” He prophesied, even told how long it would be before He did it. “So that when I do it, you won’t give credit, or glory to the idols, and say, Well my idol did it.” Have…
You have heard, [He said] see all this; and will you not declare it? I have shewed thee the new things from this time, even the hidden things, and you did not know them (48:6).
“Now I’m revealing things that I haven’t revealed before.” Is basically what the Lord is saying. In the new testament, Paul called this a mystery, “Now I show you a mystery…”, a mystery is a new truth from God that has not yet been revealed. So Paul speaks of these mysteries, of the church being drawn out from among the Gentiles. Sort of a new truth, “that Christ in you is the hope of glory, Christ will dwell within your life”, and these are some of the mysteries, the new revelations that God was giving. So basically, that’s what Isaiah’s declaring here. “I have shewed you the new things from this time, even the hidden things”, things that had not yet been revealed, “that you did not know.”
They are created now, and not from the beginning; even before the day when you heard them not; lest you should say, Oh, I knew that (48:7).
So God says, “I’m telling you this, this stuff that hasn’t been written. It isn’t recorded yet, and it’s new, it’s fresh. So that you won’t go around saying, Oh I knew that all the time.” So God is, is wanting to work, as God always wants to work. God wants to work in your life. God wants to do wonderful things for you. But He wants you to praise Him, and give Him the glory, when He does it. That seems to be the difficulty.
We’re, we’re willing to give credit to almost anything, or anybody, but God! We pray and we seek God, you know, and we find our self just all in a turmoil, and, and then God answers, and we say, “Oh man was I ever lucky!” We’re prone to even attribute luck, or chance, rather than say, “Oh God you’re so good! You’ve answered my prayer. You’ve met my need!”
But you see, God doesn’t always answer our prayer, just as we figured that He was going to do. Because I thought sure He was gonna help me win the Reader’s Digest Sweepstakes, you see. And, when my number wasn’t chosen by the computer and all, you know, “God failed me”. Some people called me, and they needed someone to come and help them work, and put up a cabana for them. So they called me to come and do the work, and they paid me for it, and I was able to pay my bills. But you know, that isn’t the way God works, I said, “Well of course it is!” God gives you the skills, and God gives you the ability, and God gives you the opportunity to work, and thus supply the need. I learned this through the years, that God doesn’t just drop it into your hands. He gives you the opportunity, and, and to make the money and to work.
So I used to work for Alpha Beta markets, and I was sort of a fill in type of a manager for them. Whenever a manager would get sick or be on vacation, they’d call me to go fill in. It was not every week, it wasn’t every day, but it was whenever I needed money, Alpha Beta would give a call. They’d say, “Can you go down to the South Laguna market, and take the store down there? The manager just went home with the flu, and we need you down there in a half hour or so.” I say, “I’ll be there.”
So the Lord gave opportunity this way. The kids would need shoes, the mortuary would call, and say, “We need to go pick up a body. Can you go pick up…”, you know the middle of the night, you go out and pick up bodies, say, “Oh thank you Lord. Another five bucks!”, you know, and you buy the kids a pair of tennis shoes. God supplied! So, you praise the Lord!
So God is saying that, “I’m telling you that this is what I’m gonna do. So that when I do it, you won’t say, “Oh my idol did it!” No! God did it, here He promised you a hundred and seventy years ago, He was gonna do it. Now He’s done it. Can’t give your idol credit for that! But God knew that they weren’t listening. Verse eight…
You did not hear; you did not know; from that time your ear was not opened: for I knew that you would deal very treacherously, [That is, very treacherously with God, they would turn their backs upon God, they would forsake God, they would deny God.] and you were called a transgressor from the beginning (48:8).
As a nation they transgressed. Even in the wilderness, God delivered them with a mighty hand from Egypt, but it wasn’t long before in the wilderness they were transgressing the law. When God gave them the law, they took an oath, they said, “All that God has said, we will do.” But, the words were hardly out of their lips before again, they were going their own ways. So the Lord speaks to them, and having a great difficulty getting through to them.
For my name’s sake (48:9)
In other words, “You’ve transgressed from the beginning. You won’t listen, you’ve dealt treacherously with me, you’ve given credit and glory to your idols for the things that I have done, you think you know it all, but still I love you. Still, I want to bless you.” Oh how faithful is God’s love towards us! Though we have failed, and though we do fail, still His love never fails. When there is no cause in us, for His goodness, or for His blessing, He wants to bless us still! So many times He will just retreat into His own sake, “For my name’s sake,”…
will I defer my anger (48:9),
They should’ve been really wiped out! Justice called for their punishment. “But for my name’s sake, I will defer my anger,”…
and for my praise I will refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off (48:9).
They should’ve been cut off. Justice declared that, but God, in His love and mercy, would not cut them off.
Behold, [He said] I have refined thee, but I have not found you to be silver; I have assayed you [Literally here, but, “You’re not pure, there’s a lot of impurity there”,] and therefore I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction (48:10).
I’m gonna put you in the furnace of affliction to refine you, to burn off the dross. How many times has God had to put us in the furnace of affliction? There were impurities in our lives, there were things that were there that were not acceptable or pleasing unto God.
So the furnace of affliction, not to destroy, never to destroy! But, to refine. To purge us of the dross of the corruption. David said, “It was good that I was afflicted, for then I learned your ways.” So many times God uses afflictions just to get us on track, just to turn us back to Him, just to draw us close to Him. We so often look at it as a sign of being forsaken of God. We are told in the book of Hebrews, “not to despise the chastening of the Lord, for whom the Lord loveth, He chastens.” Next time you’re in the furnace, rejoice! That’s what Peter said that, “We should rejoice in these fiery trials”, knowing that God is just getting rid of some of the dross in our lives. “Rejoice in tribulation”, so the furnace of affliction. We all know what that’s about! We’ve been there.
For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, [“Not for your sakes, because you don’t deserve it, but for my own sake will I do it.”] for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory to another (48:11).
So God said, “For my own sake I’m gonna do these things for you. Because the, the world will say, because they don’t understand, they’ll say, Well they, they served God, and look what God did!” So they really weren’t serving God. But in the minds of the world, they were. So God said, “For my sake, for my own sake, I’m gonna do it, that my name won’t be polluted.”
It is a very serious thing being God’s representative. That is what we are to be in this world. We, who take the name of “Christian”, are representatives of Jesus Christ before the world. They look at you as representative of what a Christian is. Many times I fear lest we misrepresent Jesus Christ to the world. There’s a interesting story in the Bible about Moses who got into trouble because he misrepresented God before the people. God doesn’t like to be misrepresented.
Now when David, the king of Israel, God’s chosen, anointed king, went into that heinous sin with Bathsheba, adultery, which compounded into murder, when the prophet of God faced David with the sin, as a part of the indictment against David, he said, “For you have caused the enemies of God to blaspheme. You’ve given cause for the enemies of God to blaspheme.” They say, “Oh yeah, he’s David, God’s king and all. Look what he’s done!” They blaspheme God because of David’s actions. That, that was a serious indictment. Tragically, and unfortunately, there are many times where we receive calls where people say, “Well, this fellow said he was a Christian, and he ripped me off.” And, and not, and they are, many people out there who are using the guise of Christianity to rip people off! Misrepresenting the name of Jesus Christ.
So the nation of Israel. They bore the name but they were misrepresenting. God’s name was being polluted, blasphemed, because of what they were, and what they were doing. But God said, “I will not give my glory to another.” God will not share His glory.
If any of you feel that God is at all calling you to the ministry, that God wants to use you. If you feel that God’s Spirit has been sort of upon your life, and directing you towards a particular area of ministry, in your communion with God, and in your waiting upon Him, you’re beginning to experience the move of God within your heart, within your life. You’re beginning to see God working, as the result of your prayers and all, and you really feel a leaning towards serving God, let me warn you, God will not share His glory with another.
One of the greatest dangers in the ministry is the fact that as God begins to use your life, as the Holy Spirit begins to anoint you, and God begins to use you, people are prone to put you on a pedestal, to lift you up, and begin to just exalt you, the instrument that God has used. I don’t know that you can stop that, but you can surely refuse to accept it. When people come around and say, “Oh my you’re so wonderful! The Lord has just used you in such a glorious way! You’re just so close to God. Oh I just love you and appreciate you so much!” Look out! Whenever they make, begin to make an idol out of you, remember that all idols have feet of clay! Don’t receive the glory. Give God the glory for the work that He has done in, and through your life. He will not give His glory unto another.
Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; [God is speaking to them now, “Listen to me, I’ve called you”, now before He said, “you won’t hearken”, but now He’s calling, “Hearken unto me”.] I am he; [“I’m God!”] I am the first, I also am the last (48:12).
In Revelation, “the first the last, the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega, before all things, after all things, encompassing all things, all time”, God has existed. “I am the eternal one, the first, the last.”
My hand also laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens (48:13):
I love that! How big is your God? “My right hand has spanned the heavens.” As we have mentioned, the span is the distance between your thumb and your little finger when stretched out. God’s spanned, or measured the heavens, He said, with His span!
When I call unto them [That is, the heavens] they stand up together. [He set them in order, and they remain there.] All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these things? The Lord hath loved him: he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall be on the Chaldeans (48:13-14).
This is the prophecy. God is going to deal with the Babylonians. Now this is again a hundred years before Babylon actually came and conquered. It was eighty years before Babylon was even a major power! But God says, “Now I’m gonna declare unto you these things. I’ve loved you!” Thus, “He will do His pleasure on Babylon, and His arm will be on the Chaldeans.”
I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: and I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous. [So God called, God chose, God brought them, and God is gonna prosper them.] Come near unto me, hear this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord God, and his spirit, hath sent me. [“So listen, hearken, come, hear!”] Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teaches you to profit, [“I have given you the rules for the good life, I have shown you how to live a prosperous life, a good life.”] I have led you by the way that you should go. [The hand of God upon the nation, teaching them, guiding them, leading them.] O that you would’ve hearkened [Or listened] to my commandments! then you would’ve had peace like a river (48:15-18),
“You wouldn’t have gone into captivity, you wouldn’t have had all of the misery, and the suffering, and all of the pain that you endured, if you’d only listened, if you’d only hearkened! How many times you know God must be weeping over us and saying, “If you would only have listened! If you’d only paid attention, if you only would’ve hearkened unto me! You wouldn’t have gone through, you wouldn’t have to go through those things. You could’ve had peace like a river.”
and your righteousness would be like the waves of the sea. Your children also would’ve been as the sand, your offspring like the gravel; his name would not have been cut off nor destroyed from [before thee] before me. [That is, the name of Israel.] But go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say that, The Lord hath redeemed his servant Jacob (48:18-20).
When you do come out of the captivity. When you are finally released after the seventy years, then go and proclaim what God has done for you, He set you free! That’s always when you’ve experienced a work of God in your life. We make a mess of our lives, because we don’t listen to God, or follow God, and we get into this furnace of affliction, and our lives get totally messed up. We are filled with just fear, and, and problems, and calamities, and it looks like there’s no way out! Then God comes through, and He sets us free. We can make such a mess of our lives when we do our own thing, when we go our own way, when we follow after the flesh. It can lead to such captivity and such bondage! The bondage of corruption. You’ve come to God bound by the powers of darkness, captive to sin, and God sets you free!
Then you should go out and declare to the ends of the earth that the Lord has redeemed you, He set you free. You had destroyed your life, you were at the bottom of the pit, you were hopelessly, and helplessly there, no way out, you’d tried everything, and nothing worked. You were a victim, you were a slave! Yet the Lord delivered you, and set you free. “Go, tell the nation that the Lord has redeemed His servant! When you come forth out of Babylon, you’ll be coming through the desert areas, but remember your fathers…
When they were thirsty he led them through the deserts: he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them: and he split the rock also, and the waters gushed out (48:21).
“God will take care of you, He took care of your fathers, He’ll take care of you! If you’d only, only had listened, you could’ve had peace like a river. But you went your wicked ways.”
There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked (48:22).
Now chapter forty nine, we begin to move in to the marvelous prophesies concerning the coming Messiah. The Messiah, God’s servant. They will more or less culminate when we get to the end of chapter fifty two, and then go into chapter fifty three. We will have these glorious, wonderful promises of the coming Messiah! Fifty three will just blow your mind, as, as God lays out the, His servant, His righteous servant, and we see it fulfilled in Jesus Christ. So we’re a couple of weeks away from that, but with forty nine we start to move into the prophesies of the Messiah. There are some fascinating prophesies here at the beginning of chapter forty nine, concerning the Messiah!
Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; [“All of the coast lands, and those around the Mediterranean area, as far as civilization goes, listen to me!”] for the Lord hath called [This is really the voice of the Messiah speaking, calling for the people to listen, to hearken, “the Lord hath called”,] me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name (49:1).
When Joseph and Mary were engaged to be married, before they had come together in physical relationship, she was found with child by the action of the Holy Spirit. Joseph had difficulty with her explanation. He figured she had been unfaithful to the vows that they had taken of engagement, the espousal. He loved her, and he really was in a quandary as to what to do. If he made known publicly that she was pregnant with a child that was not his, she would’ve been stoned to death by the people in Nazareth. He couldn’t bear the thought of her suffering that kind of death and shame, and so he was thinking that he might just send her away privately. Send her down to the relatives in Bethlehem, or perhaps to Elizabeth, who was living in the hill country of Judea.
While Joseph was sort of musing on what to do in this quandary, the angel of the Lord came to him at night in a dream, and said, “Joseph don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit, and she’s going to have a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus, which means Jehovah is Salvation, for He shall save His people from their sin.”
Here, “You have made mention of my name from my mother’s womb”. While Jesus was still there in the womb, the mention of His name. “Thou shalt call His name Jesus”. The angel said to Mary, “She shall call His name Jesus, and He shall be great”.
He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword (49:2);
The description of Jesus in Revelation is that, “the sharp two edged sword goes forth out of His mouth”. We are told that when Jesus Christ returns to the earth to confront the Antichrist, that “the Antichrist will be destroyed by the sword that goes forth out of His mouth”. “You have made my mouth like a sharp sword.”
but in the shadow of his hand he hath hid me (49:2),
Now the interesting thing about Jesus as the Messiah, and the thing that Isaiah is going to be pointing out in these prophesies that we’re moving into, is that though the Messiah was to come, He was to be despised and rejected. He was to be hidden, the truth of His Messiahship would be hidden. So here’s the mention of, “He hath hid me.”
he’s made me like a polished shaft; [That is a polished arrow shaft of an arrow] but in his quiver he hath hid me; [The people’s eyes were blinded to Jesus as the Messiah.] And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified (49:2-3).
Now Jesus came in the likeness of man as a servant, obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. You remember that He was constantly talking about the hour was coming when the Son of Man was to be glorified. So, “Thou art my servant in whom I will be glorified. Father glorify me with the glory that I had with thee.” The Father said, “I have glorified thee, and I shall.”
Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God (49:4).
They put Him on the cross, He healed the sick, He showed God love to the people, He went about doing good. Everywhere He went, He was restoring lost man, and yet, they put Him on a cross. Perhaps the thought of Christ there on the cross is, “I’ve laboured in vain. I’ve spent my strength for nothing, and in vain.” But yet, He committed it all to the Lord. “Father into your hands I commend my spirit. Lord, I just leave it all with you. My work with my God.” He just committed it all to God.
And now, saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, [“There shall come a deliverer out of Zion and all Israel shall be saved”, and so, “to His Servant who is coming to bring Jacob again to Him”,] Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength (49:5).
Though Israel doesn’t hearken, and is not gathered unto God in the first coming, “yet I will be glorious”. God said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” “And my God shall be my strength.”
And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: but I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation to the end of the earth (49:6).
So God’s promise to Him. “I will give to you to be a light to the Gentiles.”, and here we are! Ha, ha! The Gentiles who have been drawn to the light of Jesus Christ. You’re the fulfillment of this prophecy. “To the ends of the earth”, and here we are on the other side of the earth, walking in the light of Jesus Christ! So the fulfillment of that prophecy is right here tonight!
Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, the Holy One, [Or “and His Holy One”, so “Yahweh, the Redeemer of Israel, and His Holy One”, Jesus,] to him who man disputes, to him whom the nation abhorreth (49:7),
Jesus, His Holy One, but they despised Him, they abhorred Him, they rejected Him, they said, “We will not have this man to rule over us!” They put Him to death on the cross.
to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee (49:7).
So interesting prophecy that really deserves some real meditation concerning the coming Messiah.
Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time I have heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, and to cause to inherit the desolate heritages (49:8);
The, Psalm two, prophetic of the Messiah said, “Ask of me, and I will give you the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” “You’ll inherit the desolate heritages.” The preservation that is promised. He will be given as a covenant. Jesus said, “This is a new covenant in my blood which is shed for the remission of sins.” So, “in the acceptable time, God heard His prayer”. “In the day of salvation, He was helped, and He was preserved”, He did not leave His soul in hell. “He was made, and given as a covenant”. God’s new covenant to us through Christ, “and He will inherit the desolate heritages”.
That you may say to the prisoners, Go forth; and to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. And they shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all the high places. [Jesus came to set the prisoner free, to deliver those that were captive, captive by the power of sin.] And they shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor the sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, and even by the springs of water shall he guide them (49:9-10).
So, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He leadeth me beside the springs of water. He leadeth me in the path of righteousness”. “He will lead them, and He will guide them”, we read here. “They’ll not hunger and thirst; neither shall the heat nor the sun smite them.” These are made mention of, actually in the book of Revelation, this passage is quoted in Revelation chapter sixteen, concerning those that were delivered out of the great tribulation period.
I will make all my mountains my pathway, my highway shall be exalted. Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and from the land of Sinim (49:11-12).
Now Sinim is thought by some to be the Chinese. The lands of the east, and by others thought to be the area of the Aswan dam in the southern part of Egypt. So, you have your choice. It could be either or, or neither. In other words we really don’t know where Sinim was! Those are just suggestions by the scholars. But, people, all nations, all tribes, all tongues, all people will bow before Him. The glorious day of the Lord!
Sing, O heavens; be joyful, O earth; break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord has comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted (49:13).
So now the message to Israel, “Sing O heavens, be joyful O earth, break forth into singing O ye mountains, for the Lord has comforted His people, have mercy!”
But Zion said, The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me. [But God said…] Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? well, they may forget, yet I will never forget you (49:14-15).
I think of that musical, “Fiddler on the Roof”, how that when all of this calamity began to befall the family, how the father said, “I know that we’re your chosen people, but couldn’t you choose someone else for awhile?” You know, because of all of the hardships that the family was experiencing. That’s pretty much the attitude of, of many of the Jews. “The Lord has forsaken us! The Lord has forgotten us!” But not so. God said, “Can a, a mother forget her nursing child? Well”, He said, “maybe but, I’ll never forget you.”
So the promise of God. He has yet to work with those people. There is a period of time in which God is going to work marvelously with the Jews. The time is coming. God has not forsaken them. God has not forgotten them. God is going to work in a marvelous way among them. The day is coming when the fullness of the Gentiles be come in, then God is gonna work with Israel in a marvelous way. God said, “I will not forget you!”
Behold, I have engraven your name upon the palms of my hands; and thy walls are continually before me. [“Never forget you, I’ve just engraved your names right on the palm of my hands, I think constantly of your walls.”] Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee. [“You will be delivered from those that have destroyed you.”] Lift up your eyes round about, and behold: all of these gather themselves together, and they come to thee. As I live, saith the Lord, they will surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth. For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too small by reason of the number of inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away. The children with you will have, after you have lost the other, shall say again in your ears, The place is too narrow for me: give me place that I may dwell (49:16-20).
So, “I will bring you back. You will inhabit the land. The numbers will increase until the land will be too small for you.” An interesting is, that sort of is happening today! Thousands of Jewish immigrants are coming in from Russia, every day! There’s not room for them in the narrow confines of Israel, according to its 1948 borders. So they are opening up new settlements in the West Bank area, in the territory that they took by war in 1967. What people don’t realize though is that the territory that they took in 1967 from the Jordanians, was territory that the Jordanians took from them in 1948! The territory they took in the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967, was territory that Syria took from them in 1948! The Sinai was conquered in Egypt in 1948, when Israel was declared a nation. Jordan, Syria, and Egypt, simultaneously attacked them, took the Golan Heights, took the West Bank, took the Sinai, and established their presence in these areas.
Then, when they were determined to attack again in 1967 with the purpose of destroying, God’s hand was with Israel, and they took back the Golan Heights, they took back the Sinai peninsula, and they took back the West Bank. So now they’re beginning to make settlements for these Russian-Jewish immigrants. They say the land is not large enough for us, because of the number of inhabitants. So, “your children that I will give you after you’ve lost the others, will say the place is just too strait, too narrow. Give me a place that I may dwell.”
Then shall you say in your heart, Who has begotten me of these, seeing I have lost my children, and I’m desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? [Going, just wandering around.] who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been? [So the little nation of Israel, as it is multiplied by the hand of God, bringing back the captives, and the people from around the world.] Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up my hand to the Gentiles, and I will set my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. [So God’s promise that He would use the Gentiles to help in bringing the people back.] The kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: and they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me (49:21-23).
Waiting upon the Lord, never be ashamed! God will take care of you. God will provide.
Now this is in the kingdom age, goes on out beyond where we are at the present time, as God establishes His kingdom, Israel at the heart. The, the world really recognizing God’s love, and God’s hand upon these people.
Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? But thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the awesome shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contends with you, and I will save your children (49:24-25).
God promises to fight against those who fight against Israel, “He who touches you”, God said, “touches the apple of my eye.” God promised to Abraham that, “I will bless those that bless you, and curse those that curse you.” It is sad, and it is tragic that there is a lot of anti-Semitism that is existing in the world today. There’s a lot of anti-Semitism here in the United States. It is even manifested in some of the churches. Because the churches say, “Well, we are Israel, God has forsaken them, God is through with them.” But God said, “Can a nursing mother forget her child? Well, they might, but I’ll never forget Israel.” God is not through with them, God is going to yet bless them.
I will feed them that oppress you with their own flesh; [They will go into such hardship and starvation, they’ll cannibalize each other.] they will be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the Lord am your Saviour and your Redeemer, I am the mighty One of Jacob (49:26).
God’s faithfulness to His people. Now that should encourage you tonight, because you are God’s people! God is faithful. Though we fail, God will not fail! God will be faithful in keeping, and sustaining you. Oh the faithfulness of God! “I am Jehovah, your Saviour, your Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.”
Now as we move into chapter fifty, again we come back to the Messiah. Interesting prophesies of, of Jesus. “I gave my back to the smiters, my cheeks to those that pluck out the hair, I hid not my face from the shame and the spitting.” Things concerning the Messiah as we move into this portion of Isaiah, marvelous, marvelous prophesies concerning Jesus Christ, the Messiah, our Lord and Savior. So we’re coming into some very interesting parts of the prophetic picture, that tie in so intimately with our faith in Jesus Christ.
Now my the Lord be with you, and increase your knowledge and your love, as you walk in fellowship with Him, and as He manifests to you the faithfulness, the love. May you be strengthened by His Spirit in the inner man. May you be His witness this week, as you share the fact that God has redeemed you, and set you free, giving glory to our Lord and Savior, for what He has done, and is doing for our lives. May it be a blessed, glorious, holy week! You know how they say, “Well this is the Holy week”, hey every week’s a Holy week! May this be a holy week for you, as you walk and fellowship with Him!
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7265