Isaiah 49
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Isaiah 49. ISAIAH. CH 49 690 BC. Isaiah 49 This is part of 8 consecutive chapters in Isaiah where God speaks in the First Person of His unique status as the One and Only God: the God of power and of creation we can never fathom the God of wisdom and good counsel

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Isaiah 49

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Isaiah 49

Isaiah 49


Isaiah 49

ISAIAH

CH 49

690 BC


Isaiah 49

Isaiah 49

This is part of 8 consecutive chapters in Isaiah where God speaks in the First Person of His unique status as the One and Only God:

the God of power and of creation we can never fathom

the God of wisdom and good counsel

the God Who can rightly ridicule all pretenders and goddies

the God Who loves people and vows to protect Israel

the God Who sets kings up and brings them down

the God Who uses kings, people, nature and history for purposes of His own

the God of the NT Gospel of redemption and restoration, through Christ, His Anointed One (Good News)

the God of judgment (Bad News)


Isaiah 49

Isaiah 49

Isaiah 49:1 Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.

2 And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;

3 And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.

4 Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God.

5 And now, saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength.

As usual, there are many layers of meaning here:

As in a previous chapter, by “isles”, the Lord is referring to lands overseas, some of them unknown to Isaiah in his day.

“…me from the womb…” this is Isaiah, on one level, speaking of his commision to prophesy; on another level, it is Christ, of whom His Name was spoken even before His birth. On another level, it personifies Israel, which carried the Word of God into the world.

From the time of Isaiah and forward, God has not been glorified in Israel; but in these last times, He is about to be glorified in Israel!


Isaiah 49

Isaiah 49

6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

7 Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.

8 Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;

What an astonishing prophecy! It speaks of a latent, yet enduring, love for Israel, at the same time that He is going to be using Israel as a vehicle for the salvation of the Gentiles, as well (we read of this more particularly in Romans 9, 10 and 11).

Is it any wonder then, that God speaks here of the times (and they have been many – and still are) when Israel is despised and abhorred among the nations, and that nevertheless, He will preserve and make Israel a SIGN (covenant) in full view of the nations? This is what we mean when we emphasize the significance of Israel in our message to the Church and to the world.


Isaiah 49

Isaiah 49

9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.

10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.

11 And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.

God has many phases of His regathering of Israel and Judah back to their land.

Starting with the breakup of the Northern 10 tribes by the Assyrians under Sennacherib (722-710 BC), et al, continuing through the deportation of the Jews 125 years later, at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, then in the Grecian period and finally the Romans (300 BC-70 AD), Israelites were scattered by the tens of thousands to the far reaches of those empires.

Periodically, God would bring a remnant back into the land – that is, until the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem itself at the hands of the Romans in the year 70 AD and a few decades thereafter.

From that time on, Palestine, as they began to call it, was not a homeland for the Jews. That would change in 1948.


Isaiah 49

Isaiah 49

9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.

10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.

11 And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.

“The prisoners” refers to those who were taken elsewhere, to live in ghettos, or as a despised people.

Every time God brought Jews back to Israel, it was like a breath of fresh air. But in 1948 and ever since, there has been a particularly welcome sigh of relief.

No more hiding. Plenty to eat. Plenty of shelter. No more foul water from ghetto streets or concentration camps. Many ways were made for Jews to head for Israel – by land, sea and air.


Isaiah 49

Isaiah 49

12 Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.

13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for theLord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.

What amazing things have happened since 1948! Israel, tiny Israel, is a world power, and just like the Bible said, a rock of offense and a stone of stumbling, a cup of trembling for all nations. Winners of 5 major wars for survival; center of agricultural progress and innovation; Nobel prizes for science and medicine; the only airline that’s never been hijacked.

They have come home from everywhere. “Sinim”, in v 12, is China!


Isaiah 49

Isaiah 49

14 But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.

God has not forgotten nor forsaken Israel. However, Israelites, as Romans 9, 10 and 11 make clear, have a hard time seeing God in their history. They seem to have a blind spot, particularly in regard to their Messiah. Many Jews these days are atheists. They just can’t see how any loving God of justice could have let them go through such tragic episodes as the pogroms and especially the Holocaust. So this verse is very much to that point. It is a prophecy being fulfilled every time a Jew makes this lament.

15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.

16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

The Lord expresses His deep sentiment of love and commitment to Israel, even in the face of so much unbelief. Only a mother can understand such depth of patience, love and endurance – even in the wake of repeated failures and disappointments churned out by wayward children.

God’s longsuffering and forbearance tops even that of a mother.


Isaiah 49

Isaiah 49

17 Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee.

18 Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth.

This is a prophecy of the successes Israel has had every time the nations that surround them have tried to “push them into the sea.” Those that thought they were chasing Israel were being chased back home.

Those who thought to take Israel’s little bitty slice of land had the great disappointment of watching Israel “wearing their clothes”, i.e., what used to be their land. Magnanimously, Israel is willing to give most of that land back if the Arabs would just recognize their right to exist in peace – case in point, Sinai and Gaza.


Isaiah 49

Isaiah 49

19 For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away.

20 The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears, The place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell.

21 Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?

It is amazing that the little 15-mile strip of land that Israel had in 1948 has expanded again and again into defensible borders and places of habitation for more and more new citizens.


Isaiah 49

Isaiah 49

22 Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.

23 And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.

24 Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?

Miraculously, looking back at the original days of Israel’s regathering, most of the nations of the world were GLAD to see the new nation. It’s hard to imagine that now. But then, the kings and governments of the world couldn’t do enough to help birth this nation.

Yes, the captives were delivered from the Nazis, the communists, and the islamo-terrorists. The “prey”, which the Jews were for so many years, was delivered from the “mighty”, which are no more. The “prey” is now seen as a “predator” – and just listen to the “mighty” whine!


Isaiah 49

Isaiah 49

25 But thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.

26 And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.

Mess with Israel, mess with God, who said to Abraham and to Jacob from the beginning of the nation: “I will bless them that bless you, and curse him who curses you.” How many different ways can God say it?

Zechariah 2:5 For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.

6 Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the Lord: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the Lord.

7 Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon.

8 For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.

When will the haters ever learn their lesson? When dogs stop biting porcupines.


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