Isaiah 43 –
Vs. 1-7 God declares why He redeems Israel. He reminds them of His covenant promises to be with them. Fire and flood are metaphors for war, but they can be literal as well.
God declares Himself their Savior (and ours). Why? They are precious to Him and He loves them. His first priority is with His covenant people. Does God care about the people of Egypt, Cush, and Seba? Of course He does. But if there is an exchange that has to be made he will exchange them out of covenant love and loyalty (Chesed). They are called by His name and He will redeem them, gather them, and restore them. It is a new creation preview.
Look at verse 7. “Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth – everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” Isaiah is using some very specific language that you find prevalent in Genesis 1 and 2. Created – Formed – Made. In creation God created. In classical Hebrew this word is something only God can do. People can form things. People can make things. Only God can create something from nothing. Only God can make all things new. In that sense this gathering from all over the world with its emphasis on a new creation is very forward looking.
Vs. 8-13 Who are those who have eyes but are blind and ears but are deaf? They are spiritually blind and deaf. They follow gods that they have formed and made. None of their gods predicted the day of the Lord so they were unprepared. They put their “faith” in the content of their making instead of in the content of the maker.
God reveals the content of their faith to them. “You are my witnesses.” God has proven Himself for generations. He has shown them His love. He has shown them His covenant loyalty. God saves them by their faith in the content He has provided. Abraham believed God and God accounted it to him as righteousness. What did Abraham believe about God? “God defines Yahweh – I Am = Before me no God was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I AM Yahweh and apart from me there is no savior.
God has revealed and saved and proclaimed that apart from Him there is no savior. The servant is the Savior. The Servant is God. God shows us that He is not some foreign god among them, but I AM, Yahweh, I AM El. Verse 12 says that His covenant people are the witness of Yahweh, that “I Am God. No one can reverse what He does. In verse 13 the word for deliver is natsal. It means to strip, plunder, be delivered, or snatch away. We are hand in hand (Blood Covenant) with God. That is binding. No one can strip us away.
Vs. 14-21 There are a lot of parallels here with Revelation. I’m going to let you search for them, but I’ll give you some hints. We have the ruler of this world and all of his power eliminated. There is a contrast between the war machines of Babylon and the holiness of God. “I am the Lord, your Holy One, Israel’s Creator, your King” parallels “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.” Vs. 18 should sound familiar. The former things have passed away. Behold, I am making all things new. There is a new creation. There is a river of life. Who is it all for? It is for His chosen people, His Covenant people.
Vs 22-28 This is a rebuke for Israel and a reminder that they need atonement and they/we need redemption. They haven’t done what they were supposed to do to make atonement. But it isn’t the animals or the incense that blots out sin. It is God who blots out sins. Why? “For my own sake.” What does God mean by that? What is the “sake” of God? The word in Hebrew is maan. It means purpose or intent. What is the purpose of God? God’s purpose is always Ahev – love. God intends on keeping the everlasting unbreakable relationship with those who are “created” in His image and likeness. It is for His “sake,” His covenant of love that He blots out our sins and remembers it no more.
We’ll see more and more of this as we discover who the Servant is and what He does for the world.