In Isaiah 41, the Lord is calling the nations to come near to Him for judgment. In the past, He raised up the Persian conqueror, Cyrus from the east to replace the Babylonians and conquer many nations. It is the Lord who is and always has been in control of the rise and fall of the nations. Each change in power appears to be a result of the Lord’s judgment.
The Lord has known and planned the rise and fall of the nations. He revealed His plan to the prophets and laid out most of this plan in the book of Daniel. He was able to do this because He is the Aleph and Tav, the Alpha and Omega, the A and Z, and the Beginning and the End.
The coasts or islands in verse 1 are a reference to Europe. The nations saw and trembled in fear as Cyrus came to conquer them. The prophet is describing a vision. This is not just a vision of something referring to the coming judgment carried out by Cyrus. No, there is something more here to see. This is a glimpse of the judgment which is to come when Jesus returns.
Why do I say that? Look at what the prophet said. The people from the ends of the earth are afraid as they come to the Lord for judgment. People who created idols for worship are encouraging another to be strong as they come to stand before the Creator of the world.
The Lord explains that Israel is His servant, Jacob is His elected; the seed of His friend Abraham. In other studies we have seen that Israel was not just a single person. The Lord has elected many people and because of their faith or trust in Jesus, they are the true sons of Abraham. The Lord has not rejected them.
The Lord has a message for them:
Isaiah 41:10-14 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ 11 “Behold, all those who were incensed against you Shall be ashamed and disgraced; They shall be as nothing, And those who strive with you shall perish. 12 You shall seek them and not find them — Those who contended with you. Those who war against you Shall be as nothing, As a nonexistent thing. 13 For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ 14 “Fear not, you worm Jacob, You men of Israel! I will help you,” says the Lord And your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”
Often, Jesus’ disciples are encouraged by these words as they deal with the struggles of daily living. That’s good but these encouraging words are really meant for something in the far future. Much must happen between now and the fulfillment of this passage. In the meantime, the purpose of Israel’s persecution and tribulation is to bring His people to repentance. Ultimately, this passage will be fulfilled when the Messiah returns. At that time, Israel will be encouraged when they see Faithful and True on His white horse. Israel’s enemies will be humiliated. They will die and birds of prey will feast on their dead bodies. In their time of greatest need, the Lord will be there to help them—but not until all hope is lost. At that time, they will become a formidable foe.
Although this passage has an ultimate fulfillment, that doesn’t mean the Lord won’t help them until the end comes. The Lord didn’t stop helping Israel when the Bible canon was closed. He has helped them over the years in miraculous ways as they have battled against their enemies. It may not have seemed like it during the Holocaust of World War II because the Lord wanted the Jews to repent. Although that time has passed, I’m sure it will happen again. At that time, when all hope is lost, the Messiah will come.
The prophet then said the poor and needy were thirsty. This is a picture of a coming famine in the land. The Lord promised not to forsake them but to provide water in a variety of forms. He will plant trees that were previously absent not only to make the land beautiful but so the people would realize that the Lord has done this.
Today, people point out that every time the Jews have control of the land, it produces an abundance of produce and when they don’t have control over the land, it is dry and unproductive. They know the Lord is causing the abundance. While this may be true, a famine is coming in the future.[i] After Messiah comes, rivers will flow, fountains will bring forth water, springs will appear where dry land previous existed, and the wilderness will be a pool of water. This water will make it possible for trees and bushes that could not have previously grown there to flourish.
The prophet shifts back to a time of judgment; the people are asked to state their case. Can people prove they or their idols are gods? No; people will see their human frailty and understand that their idols and their work are nothing. The prophet said these people have been chosen by Satan who is an abomination.
Did you get that? Satan has chosen people for himself just as the Lord has chosen people for Himself. I don’t fully know the details of that but I can accept it.
The prophet continued by saying the Lord had raised up one from the north and east. Various commentaries tell us this was Cyrus of the Medes and Persians. Cyrus was a picture of Jesus.
Jesus was and is “My Servant.” The Spirit of the Lord was upon Him. He will bring justice when He reigns in Jerusalem. The nations will wait for His Torah. This is the same Torah that was given to Moses. This is the same Torah Jesus taught His disciples. Yahweh gave Jesus to His people for a covenant. He was the Light to the nations. Jesus opened blind eyes. He led those in bondage to sin out of bondage–out of darkness and into light.
The Lord is not going to tolerate glory and praise being given to idols. Glory and praise belong to the Lord alone. Sing praise to the Lord!
Yahweh is a mighty warrior. He has been very patient but a time will come when His patience will be gone. At that time, His righteous anger will come forth like the labor of childbirth. You do not want to be in His path as He destroys what is in His way as He comes to deal with idolaters.
Do not be deaf and blind! Open your eyes and ears to truth as the Lord magnifies the Torah and makes it honorable. Repent! In other words, return to Torah for the time grows short! Saying “I repent” is not true repentance. Trying to obey the New Testament and ignoring what’s in the Old Testament is not repentance. Returning to Torah and obeying it is repentance. Please, do not behave in a manner that will cause the curses of the law to fall on you and our nation. Since not everyone will heed my plea, for the sake of God’s people, pray for mercy and selective judgment because judgment is coming!
In Isaiah 43, the Lord re-emphasized the same theme as before. Isaiah 43:1-3 say, “But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel:”Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. 3 For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”
The Lord reminds Israel of what took place in Egypt and how He loved them and ransomed them. Note what He says in the latter half of verse 4. I never noticed this before now: “Therefore I will give men for you, And people for your life.” This must be how all of Israel will be saved. What happened in the past when the mixed multitude came out of Egypt will happen again in the future. This doesn’t negate the redemptive work of Jesus, it simply repeats the pattern of redemption.
The Lord will gather His people from the west and bring their descendants from the east. Everyone who is called by the name of the Lord will be brought together from the north, south, east, and west—from the ends of the earth. They, who were created for His glory, will be brought to Jerusalem.
Much later, court will come to order. Witnesses will not be able to justify the guilty. They will have to accept the truth of their guilt; no excuses will be accepted for their guilt. Sin is sin. No reasons can justify lawlessness. Today, human courts have done a disservice to criminals who stand before the judges; when sin is excused, the guilty go free. It seems as if no one has to accept the consequences of their sin. This makes people think there is no need for repentance. This won’t happen at the Great White Throne Judgment. It’s better to learn to repent now while there’s still time.
Know this! The Lord is the only God! There is no other. He is the only Savior and Redeemer! Praise His holy Name!
The Lord brought down the Chaldeans (Babylonians), the Medo-Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, and the Islamic Caliphate. The Islamic Caliphate is trying to rise again. In the near future, all the nations will stand against Israel. The Jews must realize who their Redeemer and Savior really is before it’s too late.
All of the Lord’s people must return to Torah. We must all offer ourselves as living sacrifices holy and acceptable to the Lord instead of committing lawlessness. We must state our case before the Lord and trust in the blood atonement of the Passover Lamb so we can be acquitted. The Lord does not want to remember our sins anymore. Please, avoid lawlessness because it brings curses down on the Lord’s people!
[i] Revelation 6:5.