Are you as sick of this old world as I am? I don’t know about you, but I stopped watching the news — even the local stations. It’s bad out there, that’s for sure. There is a lot of uncertainty. What is certain is that God is still in control, He does have the whole world in His hands! This next chapter of Isaiah is an assurance chapter. He is assuring Israel that their Babylonian exile is not forever. The same assurance applies to us today. Our bondage to sin and religion will not last forever. He is about to do something new. Let’s dig in…
But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
2 When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom;
I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
4 Others were given in exchange for you.
I traded their lives for yours
because you are precious to me.
You are honored, and I love you.
5 “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.
I will gather you and your children from east and west.
6 I will say to the north and south,
‘Bring my sons and daughters back to Israel
from the distant corners of the earth.
7 Bring all who claim me as their God,
for I have made them for my glory.
It was I who created them.’”
8 Bring out the people who have eyes but are blind,
who have ears but are deaf.
9 Gather the nations together!
Assemble the peoples of the world!
Which of their idols has ever foretold such things?
Which can predict what will happen tomorrow?
Where are the witnesses of such predictions?
Who can verify that they spoke the truth?
10 “But you are my witnesses, O Israel!” says the Lord.
“You are my servant.
You have been chosen to know me, believe in me,
and understand that I alone am God.
There is no other God—
there never has been, and there never will be.
11 I, yes I, am the Lord,
and there is no other Savior.
12 First I predicted your rescue,
then I saved you and proclaimed it to the world.
No foreign god has ever done this.
You are witnesses that I am the only God,”
says the Lord.
13 “From eternity to eternity I am God.
No one can snatch anyone out of my hand.
No one can undo what I have done.”
The Lord’s Promise of Victory
14 This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“For your sakes I will send an army against Babylon,
forcing the Babylonians to flee in those ships they are so proud of.
15 I am the Lord, your Holy One,
Israel’s Creator and King.
16 I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters,
making a dry path through the sea.
17 I called forth the mighty army of Egypt
with all its chariots and horses.
I drew them beneath the waves, and they drowned,
their lives snuffed out like a smoldering candlewick.
18 “But forget all that—
it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
19 For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
20 The wild animals in the fields will thank me,
the jackals and owls, too,
for giving them water in the desert.
Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland
so my chosen people can be refreshed.
21 I have made Israel for myself,
and they will someday honor me before the whole world.
22 “But, dear family of Jacob, you refuse to ask for my help.
You have grown tired of me, O Israel!
23 You have not brought me sheep or goats for burnt offerings.
You have not honored me with sacrifices,
though I have not burdened and wearied you
with requests for grain offerings and frankincense.
24 You have not brought me fragrant calamus
or pleased me with the fat from sacrifices.
Instead, you have burdened me with your sins
and wearied me with your faults.
25 “I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sakeIsaiah 43 NLT
and will never think of them again.
26 Let us review the situation together,
and you can present your case to prove your innocence.
27 From the very beginning, your first ancestor sinned against me;
all your leaders broke my laws.
28 That is why I have disgraced your priests;
I have decreed complete destruction for Jacob
and shame for Israel.
There is No Other God!
- God never promised that we’d have a smooth, carefree life. On the contrary, He said we’d have trials and tribulations. Yet, He assures us that He is ALWAYS with us! Jesus assured us that because we believe in Him, we, too, have OVERCOME the world!
- He said that He would destroy Babylon and bring the Jews back to Israel, to the Promised Land. Yes, that happened after the Babylonian exile. The Jews were scattered again after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD. However, Jews are returning to Israel from all over the world right now! Watch the Amir Tsarfati video at the bottom.
- In verses 9-10, God calls out all the nations to put their idols to non-existing gods up against His power of prophecy — prophecies that have come true. Undoubtedly, the Israelites are His witnesses of His prophetic miracles. He alone is God. If you believe this, then you MUST stop venerating and praying to Mary and dead saints. That is idolatry! God detests idolatry!
- Verse 11 is a proof-text of the Deity of Jesus. He is the Lord and there is NO OTHER SAVIOR! You cannot save yourself by good works or praying to Mary. A church cannot save you by robotic, religious rituals. Only Jesus can save you!
- God is from eternity to eternity. No one can undo what He has done! If He forgave you of your sins when you repented, NO ONE can undo that! Not even you!
- He is our REDEEMER. He rescued the Israelites from the Babylonians and He’ll rescue you from sin and eternal damnation in hell. He’s the only one who can.
- Then God tells us that He is doing something new. The whole concept of Jesus taking all our sins with Him to the cross so that we wouldn’t have to serve our guilty sentence is 100% NEW! That’s why most of the Jews couldn’t wrap their brains around it in the 1st century and still can’t!
- God is offering each and everyone of us, no matter what our ethnic or religious backgrounds are, a fresh start. Jesus washes us clean and makes us new in our rebirth.
- God doesn’t want or need sacrifices. He wants the people’s repentance. He doesn’t want to see our good works until we have repented. Without repentance, we cannot have salvation.
- Finally, He confirms that He and He alone can “blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.” That means that once forgiven, always forgiven. On the cross, Jesus took away ALL of our sins — past, present AND future!
- You are forgiven because of God’s Grace — nothing else. Period.
It’s YOUR Choice!
Where you spend eternity is YOUR choice! It’s a decision you need to make while you are still alive and coherent. Once you die, it will be too late if you did not choose to…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him.
- Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.