Wednesday, April 22, 2015

God’s Preservation Of Israel

Isaiah 42:18-43:13

“Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see.  Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the Lord's servant?  Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not.  The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.” (Isaiah 42:18-21)

The world considers those who believe in God to be naïve that they would trust him instead of focusing on traditions and intellectual discoveries.  In I Corinthians 1:21-29, Paul makes the point that the world’s idea of wisdom is totally different than God’s.  “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.  For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.” 

God offers to give real wisdom to those who have been deceived by the world.  they see a lot of things that are not right, but do not obey God’s instructions as to how to resolve the problems.  Even when they listen to God’s word, they don’t take it seriously or reject it as foolish and unworkable.  God will continue to let them see the consequences of not following his Law until they acknowledge it as the only workable solution. 

“But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.  Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come?

Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law.  Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.” (Isaiah 42:22-25)

Israel had been raided and robbed of everything of value, forced into slavery and fear of death.  They have no one to come to their rescue.  God has given them to their enemies because they refused to obey him.  The entire nation has been destroyed and lost their hope, yet they ignore the reasons for their suffering and continue to do the things that led to it.

“But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.  When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.  For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.  Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.” (Isaiah 43:1-4)

Despite their rejection of God and their covenant with him, and the resulting destruction and enslavement, God still loves them.  He will be with them in their deepest trials and difficulties, delivering them when they turn to him.  He chose them over Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sheba and because he loves thm, he will see that there are always a remnant of Jews to carry on their family. 

“Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.  Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.  Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and show us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth.“ (Isaiah 43:5-9)

Because God has promised to protect and keep them, Israel should have no fear.  He will cause the nations who have carried them away as slaves to allow them to return to their own land, because God has set up Israel to demonstrate his power and love.  All the earth will be able to see how god has worked to preserve them.
“Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.  I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have showed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.  Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?” (Isaiah 43:10-13)

Israel could look back to their past and see where they had been richly blessed when they followed the Lord fully and did not accept other gods.  His purpose is that they could see that there is no other God, and never will be.  There is no one else who can save   He has repeatedly shown his power and their very existence is a testimony to that power.  There is no god or person who can overcome his power or prevent him from accomplishing his goals.  

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