Lord, Redeemer, Holy One, Creator, King

Isaiah 43:14-15. “Thus saith the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: for your sake I have sent to Babylon, and  have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the cities. I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.”

Image result for For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles

Here, God reminds Israel of all that He is, and all that He has done to preserve His people.

The mention of Babylon and Chaldea in verse 14 is as yet unfulfilled. These nations will come under judgment for their treatment of Israel and the captivity Israel suffered under their  control.

God calls Himself their Redeemer; the Holy One of Israel, the Lord, the Creator of Israel, their King. These are all significant titles. As Redeemer, He paid the price to ransom Israel from captivity. He also gave His Son’s life to ransom all of us from hell and death.

Our Sunday school teacher emphasized the holiness of God yesterday.  We surely fail to recognize and honor  the holiness of God when so much of Christianity has taken on the appearance and behaviors of the world. Because of His holiness, God was unable to look at His Son when Jesus became sin in our place. As I work through this incredible book, I am convicted over and over about how little I personally consider the importance of the holiness of God.

Not only is God the Creator of Israel, and of all humankind.  He is also, though uncrowned and presently unacknowledged, the King of Israel. Beyond that He is the King of King, and Lord of Lords.

We need to stop and think about Who it is we are dealing with.

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Sunday Morning Coffee: More Clutter

If you read yesterday’s post, you know I spent Friday cleaning and organizing my closet. I was going to work on my dresser on Saturday, but when I sat down hereto write a blog post this morning  I was appalled–again–at the clutter on my computer desk.

So I started working through it.

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(This is not mine, but you get the idea)

There was a small pile right in front of the monitor.  That’s usually where the “urgent, take care of this NOW” stuff lands. Trouble is, other urgent stuff gets put on top, and then we go away for a couple of weeks, and then I get caught up in going back to work and cleaning my closet, and—

Well, long story short, the most important thing at the very bottom of the pile was my driver’s license renewal application form.

Oy.  My birthday is July 4.  I’d better get this done.  So I went online and got it under way. Now I wait for the photo ID card, buzz down to Dublin to get that taken care of. I should be able to finish in plenty of time, but it could be a squeaker.

Why do I let this happen?  I’ve been trying so hard to deal with everything as it comes in, but even so, here I am at the last three weeks before my license expires. The notice came three MONTHS ago!  Maybe because it wasn’t urgent then, I allowed the pile to accumulate. Sure is urgent now, though.

I have always struggled with procrastination. Biggest thing I’m putting off right now is getting serious about my book–you know, the one I’ve been talking about most of my life? In my own defense, I DO have a good start on it.  It’s just that other things–work, laundry, cleaning, playing Angry Birds–get in the way.  WHY????

Simple.  If I don’t finish, I won’t get any rejection slips.

Well.  Time to stop making excuses.  As soon as I finish cleaning up my desk, dresser drawers, basement fabric stash,  bookshelves. . . . .

Yeah. Maybe I should see a therapist.

 

 

 

God Declares Who He Is

Isaiah 43:13. “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?”

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One of the many benefits for me, personally, as I work through this incredible book of Isaiah, is to be more and more impressed by the absolute sovereignty and greatness of God. He is, was, and always will be.   He was before creation, and He will never be defeated by any enemy.  No one can reverse, change, or stop His work.

I am often asked, in my work,  “Why did God  allow this terrible thing to happen?” My answer is always the same.  He is not required to deliver any believer from the hard knocks of life in this fallen world. He never promised that He would.  But He did promise that He would always be with us through the hard places (Is. 41:10).  We need to stop demanding WHY! and start asking, “WHAT, Lord?  What would you have me learn from this?  What do you want me to do?  How can I use this to be a blessing to someone else?”

“Why, God?”  is a question that puts the blame squarely on Him for any ill that may befall us. He is not to blame. Could He have stopped it?  Yes.  But He is not required to do so. Instead of blaming Him, we need to learn to trust Him ALL the time, not just when things are going well.

Israel’s Mission

Isaiah 43:10-12. “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 Savior. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God.”

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The Jews were Jehovah’s witnesses and His servants whom He had chosen. They were cut off from being the peculiar people of God when they rejected their Messiah; and now the Gentiles have this place as a people (Mat. 21:33-45; Rom. 11). The Jews will be received again at the second advent of Christ; they will become witnesses of Jehovah again, and will literally evangelize the nations in the Millennium (2:2-4; 11:3-12; 52:7; Zech. 8:23; Rom. 1:25-29).

The Jews were chosen that they might know Him, believe Him, understand that He is God; and that they may witness that He is God.

When they worshiped no other gods, they were able to be the witnesses God had chosen them to be. But when they turned to idols,  they lost their privileged position. When they rejected Messiah at His first coming, they  were replaced as witnesses by the Gentile nations.

Restoration will come when Jesus Christ returns to set up His kingdom and establish His thousand-year reign. The Jews will return to Him, and will be the witnesses who will take the gospel to the Gentile nations.

Blind Eyes and Deaf Ears

Isaiah 43: 8-9. “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 shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, it is truth.”

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Blind people that have eyes and deaf people with ears refer to Israel (v. 8 with 42:18-22).  All nations  refers to the Gentiles.  The purpose here  was to assemble all people to hear the challenge of God , to witness His choice of making Israel His special people to fulfill His will in propagating the truth among all nations, and to demonstrate their power or lack of it to prophesy so they might acknowledge that what God had predicted was the truth.

Who among the whole multitude of both Jews and Gentiles can declare and show things that are to happen? Let them demonstrate their prophetic powers so they can be justified in their claims that Jehovah is not the only one who has this power.

 

Re-Gathering

Isaiah 43 5-7. “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.”

God will restore Israel.  Jeremiah 23:3  Isaiah 43: 5-6 Zephaniah 3:19-20

Israel is the exact geographic center of earth’s land masses. Already, hundreds of thousands of Jews have returned to Israel; but this prophecy is in the far future tense, telling us that in the end times the whole earth will see a return of the Jews to their homeland because God Himself will call them from the farthest corners of the world.

Some believe we are already seeing this prophecy fulfilled in the Zionist movement.  Zionism, though, is a political movement and not a religious one, or one of faith. While it is true that Jews who are able are returning to Israel, it is nothing like it will be when God call them all home.

In verse 7, we read  “every one that is called by My Name” will return to Israel.To be called by the name of anyone means to be regarded as his son. Here it refers to those who were considered children of God, God’s chosen people, Israel.

Finally, God states that He created Israel for His own glory; that He formed Israel, and made Israel, for Himself. In the Millennial Kingdom, Israel will be not only the geographical center, but the center in every way. Jesus will rule from Jerusalem, and the earth will be at peace.

God’s Preservation of Israel

Isaiah 43:2-4. “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 Savior: 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.”

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We looked at verse one in this passage  on May 24, just before our two-week vacation, if you’d like to go back there to set the rest of this passage in its proper context.

The next three verses reveal God’s infinite, tender, restoring, forgiving love for His people Israel.  He knows they will suffer because of their rebellion against Him, and He promises them that in their suffering He will always be with them; He will always love them; He will always protect them from complete annihilation; He will always hold them as precious in His sight.

Verse 3 refers to God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt. The word ransom in this verse is deliverance without a price.  But these verses refer more specifically to the end times, in which God delivers Israel from destruction by Antichrist, and these other countries are destroyed instead.

Always, there have been attempts to destroy Israel.  Threats are made today, and will continue to be made until the final chapter of earthly history is written.  Always, God protects His people.  He does so not because they are good, but because He is good; He is a God Who keeps His promises.