Isaiah 41 - Idol Said What?

Isaiah 41

Vs. 1-7 This is a contrast between the remnant of Israel who worships the living God and their neighbors who worship idols. God speaks and tells them to be silent. That is something a living God can do that a metal god which is nailed down to keep it from toppling over can’t do.

Vs. 2 is probably a reference to Cyrus who was called to a righteous purpose. He was so decisive in battle that the Medes and other island nations were ready to surrender to him immediately.

Verse 6 is a contrast to Isaiah 40:31. Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. Because idolaters god’s have no strength they can only tell each other to be strong.

Vs. 8-10 God shows His chesed, covenant loyalty. God’s righteous right hand has had to judge Israel and Judah according to the covenant parameters. Now God’s righteous right hand will uphold and protect the remnant. He reminds them that He has chosen them. He remembers His friendship with Abraham and the promises made to Jacob.

Vs. 11-16 God shows how he will defend and protect them. He wants them to trust Him completely.

Pay attention to verse 14. God calls Himself their redeemer. There is no one too insignificant to be redeemed by the Holy One of Israel. If God would stretch out His righteous right hand to a worm like Jacob, then the remnant, who hopes and trusts in Him should have nothing to worry about. Goel is the word for redeemer and we will see much more of it from now on.

Vs. 17-20 This is a promise for refreshing in times of need, but it also could be symbolic of faithful people that emerged during the time of the Babylonian captivity. The captivity was often referred to as a time of drought or famine. People like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were like living oasis during the exile. They also spread the truth of God into the Babylonian and Persian Empires. The consequences are pretty far reaching if you consider where the Magi come from and why they were looking for a messiah.

Vs 21-29 God berates the idols of other nations. All of them are treated like kings. Many of them have names that in the Semitic languages are references to their kingship. The word for King in Hebrew is Melech. There were gods called Moloch, Adrammelech or glorious king, Melkarth or king of the city, Baal was equivalent to Lord.

But Yahweh is the King of Jacob and he is the only one that can ask or answer questions because the rest of them are non-entities.


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