Shall we turn now to Isaiah chapter fifty, as we continue our journey through the Bible. Isaiah, chapter fifty.
Now Isaiah has been prophesying the doom of the nation. He has been telling them that they are going to be going into captivity in Babylon, and it’s not going to be easy. In fact, in the end of our study tonight, chapter fifty one, verse twenty three, he tells them how the Babylon’s are going, the Babylonians are going to say to them, “Bow down that we might run over you.” They’ve laid your body to the ground, made your body like a street, just running over you.
Now with all of the calamities that they are going to be facing, the thought is destined to come, “God has forsaken us! God has put us away! For how could this calamity befall us if God did not forsake us?” There’s going to be that tendency, as so often is the case, to blame God for their problems. This just sort of points out the perversity of the human nature, when we do all of these things in disobedience to God, in defiance of God’s word, in spite of the warnings that God gives to us of the calamity that will come to us if we do these things, we do them anyhow. Then when the calamity comes, we say, “Why would God allow this to happen to me?” Well He warned you that it would happen! We want to blame God for the calamity.
We find them in the next chapter, fifty one, saying, “Awake! Awake! O God! God you’re sleeping!” In the beginning of chapter fifty two, God says, “You wake up, I’m not sleeping.” Throws it back at them. “The hand of the Lord is not short that He cannot save. His ear is not heavy that He cannot hear.” He said, “It’s your sin that has separated you from God.”
So here they are accusing God of casting them away. They are accusing God of setting them aside, or if you please, divorcing them. “God has divorced Himself from us!” So in response to this accusation, the Lord said…
Thus saith the Lord, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement (50:1),
“If I have divorced you, where is the document?” Now under the old testament laws, if a man was displeased with his wife, he could write her a bill of divorcement. That’s just how easy divorce was, he’d write out, “I divorce you”, and hand it to her, and she was gone. So the Lord said, “Where is the bill of divorcement? If I’ve divorced you, show me the bill of divorcement. Show me the document.” Also under the law, if you owed a debt, you could sell your children as slaves to pay the debt. So, He said…
which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? [“Who do I owe something to that I’ve sold you?”, because they were accusing God of selling out. “Selling us out, divorcing us!” But the Lord says, “This is what it is, it isn’t that I’ve divorced you. It isn’t that I have sold you! But…”
for your iniquities you have sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away (50:1).
“You are the ones that have done it.” You have separated yourself from God, it isn’t God that has separated Himself from you. This is always the case. God doesn’t move away from you, you move away from God. In Hebrews, we are exhorted to, “take the most earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should drift away from them”. There is always that danger of just drifting away from that close relationship with the Lord, that intimate relationship with the Lord.
How marvelous it is to have a very close and intimate relationship with God, to live in fellowship with Him! But it is always man that moves away from that intimacy, never God! So, Israel began with this beautiful relationship with God. But they’ve moved away from Him. God said, “I haven’t divorced you! I haven’t sold you! You’ve sold yourself! It’s for your transgressions that you’ve been separated. There’s a separation yes, but it’s your transgressions that have created the separation.” But yet, God didn’t divorce them. So the Lord said…
Why was it that when I came, there was no man? when I called, there was none to answer? [“I, I came to you, but there was no one there, I called, no one answered.”] Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? [Accusations that they were making against God, “He can’t redeem us, He doesn’t have the power to deliver us. We’re, we’ve had it!”, but the Lord tells of His power!] at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers like a wilderness: their fish stink, because there’s no water, and they die for thirst. I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their cover (50:2-3).
So God speaks of His power, and probably a reference here, drying up the sea, to the crossing of the sea by the Israelites under the protective hand of God, when they were fleeing from the Egyptians. Perhaps a reference to the Nile river turning blood, and all of the fish dying, and smelling.
Now in verse four, there is a sudden transition, and we move to prophecy concerning the Messiah. This is the third in the series of prophesies that deal with God’s Servant, the Messiah, and of course they’ll culminate in the fifty third chapter. But, we’ll get at the end of chapter fifty two, further prophesies culminating at the end of fifty three. Marvelous prophesies concerning Jesus Christ. But now the prophesies begin to move towards the prophesies of His crucifixion. The end of fifty two, the beginning of fifty three, tremendous prophesies in accuracy. They’re tragic prophesies concerning the crucifixion of the Messiah.
The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth my ear to hear as the learned (50:4).
Fellowship with God. “The Lord has given me the ear to hear. He wakeneth me morning by morning, He wakens my ear to hear.” That communion with God, that fellowship with God. That glorious fellowship where, the first thing in the morning you’re mind and your conscious thoughts are upon the Lord, upon the things of the Lord. How glorious it is!
The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back (50:5).
We mentioned this morning the Jewish law for servants. If a man for his debt was sold as a slave, the maximum period of time that he could serve as a slave, as a Jew, would be six years. It is required under Jewish law that he be set free in the seventh year. However, if after the six years of serving, he likes the position that he has, he enjoys being a servant, he finds that the master is very generous, and very good, he can come to the master and say, “I don’t want to be free. I want to remain as your employee. I want to remain now as a bondslave.” The master would take him to the elders of the city, the judges, he would make the confession before the judges that he wants to be a servant, or a slave to this master, he enjoys his duties. So the master would take then, and pierce his ear with an awl, pinning the ear lobe to the door post, and then they would put in the gold ring, and the gold ring in your ear signified that you were a slave by choice. It was your choice to serve.
So the prophecy concerning Jesus, “Thou hast opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.” He, by choice, submitted to the will of the Father. He came to do the will of the Father. He said, “I came not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me.” As a slave, a servant, He was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, as in the garden He said, “Not my will, thy will be done.” He was not rebellious, neither turned away back. It was a, a willingness on His part to come, and serve the Father, and to do the will of the Father, though it entailed…
Giving his back to the smiters, [verse six] and my cheeks to those that plucked off the hair (50:6):
Jesus came with the full knowledge of the cruel and inhumane treatment that He would receive, and of the crucifixion. This was all a part of God’s preordained plan. As the scripture says, “Christ was crucified from the foundations of the world.” It was a part of God’s plan before the world was ever created. Knowing that man would fail, and that man would sin, God planned redemption for the express purpose of revealing to man the tremendous love that God has for man. Though you have sinned, and though you have failed, God’s love for you is unfailing!
God sought to demonstrate to man the degree of love that He has for man, that it is total, it is complete. So God commended His love towards us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. There is God’s demonstration, in the death of Jesus Christ. So when Jesus came, He knew that He was coming to give His life as a ransom for many.
When He was just a baby, just weaned and brought to the temple to be presented to the Lord, as Simeon that godly priest took the child into his arms, the Lord had spoken to Simeon and said, “You will not die until you have seen the Messiah.” When Mary and Joseph brought the baby in to be presented to the Lord, Simeon held up the child to the Lord, and said, “Oh Lord let now your servant depart in peace, for I have seen the salvation of Israel!” Turning to Mary, he said, “Your son is set for the rise and the falling again of Israel.” Then he said, “But a sword will pierce through your soul.” He could see that this child was set as a sacrifice for sin.
Now this is something the disciples didn’t understand. Whenever Jesus tried to talk to them about the crucifixion, they just lost contact. They just spaced out! They, they just couldn’t grasp their Messiah dying. Peter even took upon himself to rebuke the Lord for talking about crucifixion. “Lord! Stop that! Don’t you mention that again!” Jesus said, “Get behind me Satan, you offend me, you don’t have enough discernment to know that which comes from God, and that which comes from man.” Jesus knew. He had warned His disciples all the way along. He said that, “I’m gonna be betrayed, I’m gonna be turned over to the Gentiles, they’re gonna crucify me.” He knew it. It was in the scriptures. It was written in advance.
Here is one of those interesting passages written seven hundred and twelve years before the birth of Jesus, in which the prophet Isaiah is talking about Jesus, “the Servant, the Servant by choice, who will give His back to the smiters.” As we get to the fifty third chapter, he will tell us that He was wounded for our transgressions, and He was bruised for our iniquities, and the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes”, the smiters, “we are healed.” But now just the prophecy, “He will give His back to the smiters.”
We read, “and Pilate ordered that Jesus should be scourged”. The Roman’s method of a third degree to extract confessions from the prisoners, it was a horrible beating administered with a leather thong with bits of glass and lead embedded in it. Thirty nine stripes were laid across the back of the felon, in order that He might confess his guilt. But as Jesus had nothing to confess, He was silent. “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair.”
Now as I mentioned, none of the gospel writers makes mention of the fact that they pulled out the, the beard of Jesus. But there was all kinds of abuse heaped upon Him. He was beaten by the Jews when He was before Caiaphas. He also then was beaten by the Roman soldiers. There were several times in which He was beaten. Once with canes, another time with a sack over His head. They began to pummel Him with their fists. It was extremely cruel and vicious, their turning on Jesus.
Here, prophetically, and I’m certain that it did happen, though they just did not record it, pulled His beard out by the hands full. The net effect of this whole severe beating, we will find in chapter fifty two next week, where it said, “His face was so marred you couldn’t even recognize Him as a human being.” No doubt the eyes swollen shut. The fact disfigured with the swelling of the beating. The beard being pulled out with chunks of flesh with it. The whole thing left Him totally disfigured. Looking at Him, you wouldn’t even recognize Him as a human being.
As Isaiah said in chapter fifty three, “When we saw Him”, in this condition, “we, as it were turned our face from Him, for there was no beauty that would cause them to be attracted”. Have you ever seen someone who was in an accident, and maybe went through a windshield of a car, and their face was, was so cut up, and so mangled, that you couldn’t look? You just turned away, you couldn’t look, it was just too horrible, it shocks your senses so much you just couldn’t look? That’s what Isaiah said was the case with Jesus. “We hid as it were our face from Him. He was just so badly beaten, and the face so mangled, that we couldn’t look upon Him.”
I hid not my face from the shame and the spitting (50:6).
Through this whole thing, Jesus stood there as a man, not seeking to dodge, not seeking to hide His face from these things. When He came out after the, being smitten the, the scourging by the Roman soldiers, as He stood again there on the, the, the pavement of Pilate’s hall of justice, which was the hall of injustice on this day. As He stood there, I am certain that as He stood there erect, not a face hung down as a beaten man! But a face that was strong like flint, standing there erect, and in seeing the punishment that Jesus had taken, seeing Him with these horrible beatings, several beatings, and yet, He stands there erect and strong, and face lifted up! Pilate said, “Behold, the man!” I’m sure it was with every bit of admiration that a person could take all of that which Jesus took, and still stand there like a man before the jeering crowd! As He was passing through the streets, bearing His cross, people running up out of the crowd, spitting in His face, but again, strong, erect, He did not hide His face from it. He took it!
But why did He take it? He didn’t have to! Surely the scripture does reveal that he could’ve escaped. He even said to Peter, “Peter put away your sword. Don’t try to defend me. Don’t you realize I could call for ten legions of angels to deliver me out of their hands?” He could’ve escaped. But He didn’t. Because had He escaped, you wouldn’t be able to escape. The high priest, John tells us that, “He was a prophet, and that’s why He said these words, others He saved, Himself He cannot save.” That’s the truth! If He saved Himself, He would not be able to save others. Had He saved Himself, He wouldn’t have been able to save you.
Now the cry of hell was, “Save yourself!” That’s what Peter said, “Lord spare yourself!” That was the cry of hell. “Save yourself!” Because had He saved Himself, He would not have been able to save you. So it was for me, it was for you that Jesus endured the cross, though He despised the shame.
As I was meditating on this thought, it came to me, as Paul said, “Let this mind be also in you which was in Christ Jesus”, it came to me that if I were being punished like that without reason, without cause, I would feel extreme bitterness and anger. But if in so being mistreated, I was say, sparing my children, or my grandchildren, say that the crowd was really angry with them, and they were taking now their anger out on me, and by my taking this punishment, I was helping them to escape the punishment, they would be on my mind as I was hanging there. I would be thinking about them, I’d think, “Thank God they don’t have to! I can bear it for them.” You can endure it knowing that you were sparing one that you loved so deeply and so dearly. That would give you the strength, it would give you that enduring capacity. To be there for yourself, I don’t think you could handle that. But knowing that you were, were sparing the one that you loved so deeply, so dearly, you could do it.
As Jesus was hanging there, He was thinking about you. Because He hung there, you don’t have to die for your sins. Because He received this abuse, the shame, the ignominy, the disgrace, you don’t have to face the shame as your own guilt and sin. He bore your sin. So our marvelous Lord, unhidden on His face from the shame and the spitting, because He was thinking of you, and He was doing it for you.
For the Lord God [He said] will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed (50:7).
So as we are in the new testament, in the gospel of John, we see Jesus, “His face set as flint”, “He’ll be heading towards Jerusalem soon, with a face set like flint.” He’s on a mission, the mission of God, to bear the sins of man. He doesn’t turn away, His ear is pierced, He will do the will of the Father. So, He declares…
He is near that justifies me; [The closeness of God to the Son in this hour.] who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me (50:8).
“Who will contend, who is the adversary?” They’re invited and challenged.
Behold, the Lord God will help me; and who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; and a moth shall eat them up. [The wicked, those that condemn Christ, those that contend with Him, they’re gonna perish, they’re gonna be destroyed.] But who is among you that fears the Lord, that obeys the voice of his servant, [His servant, Jesus] that walks in darkness, and has no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God (50:9-10).
Chapter fifty one, the Lord says…
Hearken unto me, you that follow after righteousness (51:1),
I trust that will catch all of your attention, and all of you will be hearkening at this point, “Hearken unto me, all of you that follow after righteousness.” Oh God help us to follow after righteousness! Over and over my prayer to the Lord, many times during the week, my prayer is, “Oh God keep me pure! God keep me pure!” My desire to, as the scripture said, “He that abideth in Him is”, or, uh, “believeth on Him is pure, even as He is pure”. Or, “He that hath this hope in him, is pure, even as He is pure.” My prayer has been, “Lord just keep me pure! Help me Lord to walk in purity!” “Follow after righteousness”…
ye that seek the Lord: [“Hearken unto me, you that seek the Lord, that follow after righteousness.”] look unto the rock from whence you have been hewn, and to the pit from whence you are digged (51:1).
Or the quarry. Now this is a cry to the nation of Israel, and the rock from which they came was Abraham. Sarah, the quarry. So He tells us this in verse two.
Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him (51:2).
Look back at the roots, Abraham who, by faith, stepped out and trusted the promises of God. Sarah who, by faith, received strength to bear the son Isaac even when she was beyond the age of bearing children. Look unto your roots.
For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all of her waste places; he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; and joy and gladness will be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody (51:3).
So God is yet going to deal with the people of Israel. He hasn’t divorced them. There’s been a separation. The land has been wasted and desolate, but the Lord will comfort the waste places, and He’ll make their wilderness like their Eden. It’s already begun. This process of God has already begun in Israel. The wilderness is becoming like Eden. The desert, like the garden of the Lord. God promises the joy and gladness, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody will be the fruit, the result.
Hearken unto me, my people; give ear unto me, O my nation: for the law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people. [“So hearken unto me, I’m going to give you my law, my judgements.”] For my righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, mine arms shall judge the people; and the coast lands shall wait upon me, and upon my arm shall they trust (51:4-5).
“My righteousness is near.” We are righteous tonight on what basis? We are righteous tonight on the basis of our faith in Jesus Christ. I stand before God righteous. Not because of my works. If it were based upon my works, then it would be shaky. Sometimes it’d be pretty good, sometimes it’d be horrible. But it’s based upon my faith in Jesus Christ. God accounts my faith for righteousness. He says, “Look unto the rock from which you were hewn”.
Why was Abraham accounted righteous? Abraham believed God, and his faith was imputed to Abraham for righteousness. But God says, “My righteousness is near, my salvation has gone forth.” In the offering of the Servant, Jesus Christ, God has provided righteousness for the saints. Salvation from our sins, but more than that, this righteous standing before God. “So, the coast lands of the Mediterranean shall wait upon me, and upon my arm shall they trust.”
Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished (51:6).
So the comparison now between that which is temporary, and that which is eternal. “Look at the heavens, they’re, they’re wearing down.” The sun is giving off one million, two hundred thousand tons of mass every second, wearing down. Another ten billion years the sun won’t be able to support life on the earth any longer. It’s wearing out. The universe is like a giant clock that was wound up, and is slowly running down. The laws of thermodynamics, entropy, the gradual erosion, and decay of the universe. Look at the earth, one day it’s gonna wax old like a garment, it’s gonna die, those that are upon it, the same way. Only, before the earth dies, we probably will.
But God’s salvation, that’s forever. That’s why it’s so important to be saved! If your whole life is bound up in the earth, and in the things of the earth, then it’s all gonna vanish, it’s all gonna go! But if your life is bound up in Jesus Christ, and in the things of the Spirit, then it lasts forever.
So God is making the contrast here, between the earth, the material heavens, and the material earth. The heavens which are growing old. The earth, which is gonna die, and those things that will never die, those things which are eternal. My relationship with Him, through Jesus Christ. The salvation that I have received through faith. “My salvation will be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.” So again…
Hearken unto me (51:7),
Now this is the third time, and so, by the time God says, “Hey listen to me!”, I think it’s time we listened! If He says it three times, then we better really listen! “Hearken unto me”…
you that know righteousness, the people whose heart is my law (51:7);
Again He’s talking to us now, you that know the righteousness through faith. He has planted His law in your heart. It is He that works in you both to will, and to do of His good pleasure. That is, He directs my life by planting His desires in my heart! What a neat way to be led of the Lord! God just puts His desires right there in your heart, His law is written in your heart.
don’t fear [He said] the reproach of men, neither be afraid of their revilings (51:7).
Now this is important exhortation in these days, because the lines are being drawn. The areas of gray are disappearing, those enemies of Christ are becoming bolder, and are declaring war against the righteous, and the followers of Jesus Christ. More, and more as you follow Jesus Christ, you’re going to be reviled, and you’re gonna be reproached by men. But the Lord said, “Listen to me, you that know my righteousness, you who have experienced my law written in your hearts, don’t fear the reproach of men. Don’t be afraid of their reviling.”
For the moth is going to eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation (51:8).
Jesus said, “Don’t afraid of man who can kill the body, and after that they have no power. But rather, fear Him, who after the body is dead, is able to cast your soul into hell. Yea, I say, fear Him.” So now the people are crying…
Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. For [not] are not you the one that cut Rahab, and wounded the sea monster (51:9)?
Now Rahab here, is a reference to Egypt, and there are about four places in the scripture where Rahab is a reference to Egypt. The word itself means “the boisterous one”, and so Egypt that was so boisterous and proud in the days of her strength. Thus, I think it’s four times that I can think of, perhaps five, that Rahab is used in the scriptures to refer to Egypt. So they are saying, “Awake Lord! Put on strength! In the ancient days, we read of how you destroyed Egypt, and you destroyed the sea monster.”
Are you not the one which dried up the sea, [That the children of Israel might pass through.] the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over (51:10)?
Now that sure puts to rest the theory that it was not the Red Sea, but the sea of Reeds, and only two feet deep! Often the tides will go out, so the tides just went out, and the children of Israel were able to pass over, and it was not really much of a miracle anyhow. Here, it says the waters of the great deep made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over. Any way you look at it you’ve got a miracle. If it was the sea of Reeds, and it was only two feet deep, amazing that God was able to drown the Egyptian army in two feet of water. You’ve got a problem either way.
Therefore the redeemed of the Lord will return (51:11),
God’s promise. They are gonna go into captivity because of their iniquities. They’ve sold themselves because of their transgressions. But the redeemed of the Lord shall return…
and they will come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away (51:11).
Instead of the sorrow and mourning, the gladness and joy, the contrast again.
I, even I, am he that comforts you: who are you, that you should be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass (51:12);
“I’m with you, I’m the one that’s gonna comfort you. Why in the world should you be afraid of man who is gonna die?” It’s interesting that people often have a greater fear of man than they do of God! Of violating man’s laws, than they do of violating God’s laws.
You forget the Lord your maker, who stretched forth the heavens, and laid forth the foundations of the earth; and you have feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? where is the fury of the oppressor (51:13)?
“Where is the fury of the oppressor? You’re worried about man, what man is gonna do. You forget all about God who created the heavens, the earth! The Lord is your strength, the Lord is your helper! What can man do to you?” It’s always in the perspective. Satan is always trying to get our eyes off God, and onto the problem! The more you look at your problems, the bigger they get! Until, they overwhelm you. The more you look at God, the smaller they get, till you forget them. Keep your eyes upon the Lord, the Maker, the Creator. He’s the one who will be your help and your stay, in your time of trouble. But they forget the Lord their Maker, they’re terrified by their oppressors.
The captive exile hasteneth that he might be freed, that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail. But I am the Lord your God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The Lord of hosts is his name (51:14-15).
So, “I am the Lord, I did it for you. I divided the sea.”
And I have put my words in your mouth, and I have covered you in the shadow of my hand, that I might plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, You are my people (51:16).
So God has put His words in your mouth. He’s covered you with the shadow of His hand. He is the God who created the heavens and the earth, and He says to you, “You’re mine. You’re my people.” It is God who watches over you. It is God who keeps you, it is God who will preserve you! So God says…
Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem (51:17),
Chapter fifty two, note begins, “Awake, awake, put on strength O Zion”, they were saying, “Wake, wake up O God!”, but He’s saying, “Wake up Jerusalem! Wake up Zion!” “Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem”…
which has drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury (51:17);
They had experienced the cup of God’s judgment because they had turned their backs upon God, and gone into idolatry. They had drunk at the hand of the Lord, the cup of His fury.
and you have drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and you’ve wrung them out. [“You have drunk from the cup until you drained it.”] And there is none to guide her among all the sons whom she has brought forth; neither is there any that takes her by the hand of all the sons that she has brought up (51:17-18).
They have no leadership, there’s no one to really take over. They’ve tasted the fury of God, and the leadership has been destroyed. Of course as we get into Jeremiah, and we again look at the history, we find out how there at the end, under Jechoniah, and Zedekiah, and so forth, there was really no leadership. It was a period of anarchy.
These two things are come upon you; and who’s gonna be sorry for you? [The things that had come upon them were,] desolation, and destruction, [They had come upon the land, the land was desolate the land was destroyed, now upon the people there were two things,] the famine, and the sword: and by whom shall I comfort thee? Your sons have fainted, they lie at the heads of the streets, they’re like a wild antelope that has been caught in a net: they are full of the fury of the Lord, the rebuke of your God (51:19-20).
He’s talking about now, the conditions under the siege by the Babylonians. They’re gonna be trapped at the ends of the street, they’re not gonna be, have any way of escape. They’re like an animal that’s been caught in a net.
Therefore now hear this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine: [They’ve tasted of the, of the horrors of the siege under the Babylonians, and they’re swooning, but it isn’t that they’re drunk with wine.] Thus saith thy Lord the Lord thy God that pleads the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken you out of the hand of the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; and you will no more drink it again (51:21-22).
What a glorious promise! God said, “I’ve taken you now away from that. You’ll no more drink it again.” This is Israel restored in the coming days.
But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee (51:23);
You remember when Jesus comes back to the earth to judge, He will separate the people as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats. To those on His left, He’ll say, “Depart from me ye workers of iniquity. I was hungry, you did not feed me, I was naked, you did not clothe me. I was sick, you did not visit me.” They said, “Lord, when did we see you hungry, or naked, and all?” He said, “Inasmuch as you did it not to the least of these, my brethren”, that is, the Jews, “you did it not to me.” So, the Lord declares that He will afflict now, those that afflicted them.
those which said to your soul, Bow down, that we might run over them: those that have laid your body as the ground, and as the street, and those that went over you (51:23).
God is going to bring His judgment against those nations for their treatment of the Jews. The word of God still stands, “I will bless those that bless thee, and curse those that curse thee”. That is God’s perpetual covenant with Israel. It pays for us to stand with Israel, and to bless Israel, because God has not yet divorced her, nor will He. He put her away for a season, but He said, “You can’t show me any document of divorcement.”
So God’s faithfulness to His people, and the keeping of His word to His people. How glorious it is to know that we are the people of God, called through Jesus Christ!
Next week, chapters fifty two, and fifty three, some of the most remarkable prophesies in all of the scripture, in regards to Jesus, the Messiah.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7266