"The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies. I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once. I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools." (Isaiah 42:13-15)
Vexed by thousands of years of human rebellion, the Almighty is presented as a fierce warrior whose war cries precede his destructive power. The language parallels that found in the last chapter of Habakkuk. God is longsuffering. God is profoundly merciful; but the Lord's wrath will not be restrained forever. The punishment of evil is coming. The picture was likely all too familiar to Isaiah's audience. Numerous times they had witnessed the terrible sight of Assyria's merciless soldiers. The Jews knew what it was to be overpowered by a strong, terrorizing figure. With such comparisons, God pictures the defeat of His enemies. For thousands of years, the Creator of all has "refrained" Himself in an effort to give men time to repent and to turn to Him for salvation. The end of His patience will come when Jesus Christ returns in the clouds and with the Sword of His mouth defeats His enemies (Revelation 19). The Messiah is not only the humble Servant of the Father Whose sacrifice provides a way of salvation, He is also the fierce warrior Whose power will ultimately overwhelm, in what seems an effortless battle, the enemies of the righteous.
"And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods." (Isaiah 42:16-17)
God would not forsake the nation of Israel. He would see them through history's turbulence. Jesus would come as promised, and He will return as promised. When the nation's eyes are opened to the Lord's righteousness, the light of salvation will shine into their souls. From all over the earth, the Jews will return to their land and worship Jesus in truth.
Contrary to those who find deliverance in Christ, the idol worshipers are condemned. Hezekiah's son and those after him would have been rebuked by such prophecies.