Sunday, October 8, 2017

Israel the Servant (Part II)

"Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears. Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth." (Isaiah 43:8-9)

The Lord is establishing His authority as Almighty God. He alone has control over the past, present and future. The Lord again challenges man's idols. They cannot predict the future and neither can they orchestrate world events. They are lifeless. God encourages the nations of the earth to consider His deity and to confess humbly that His words are truth.

"Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God. Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?" (Isaiah 43:10-13)

Here, the Lord reminds Israel that she is still His elected servant. This position, regardless of sinful failure, cannot be forfeited. As a nation, Israel must undergo the results of disbelief, but in the end she shall be restored to her position as the servant-nation of Jehovah.

In refuting Israel's idolatry, God gives a very simple reminder. Before Him, there was no other. The book of Genesis does not begin with, "In the beginning, God was created." It begins by saying, "In the beginning God created." In keeping with the Hebrew behind the English verb, God created something out of nothing. In Him, all things find their beginning.

As the only Creator, God holds the right to be the only Savior. When Israel left Egypt, God was her only God. He overthrew Pharaoh and his army. He delivered the Canaanites into Israel's hand. When there were no foreign gods in their midst, the Lord wrought for them a great deliverance; therefore, the Jews are ideal witnesses of God's saving power.

The Hebrew word behind let means to turn aside, turn or bring back. No one is capable of changing what God has determined shall be. Even the wicked who fight against God are being used as pawns on a chess board.

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