Words Of Truth
"That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth..." (Proverbs 22:21).
An Overview Of The Old Testament
Part 265 – Hear Ye This Through No Peace To The Wicked (Isaiah 48:1-22)
1. Was the fact that Israel called themselves God’s people enough to make them such?
No: “Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the LORD, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness” (Isaiah 48:1).
Š Jacob is Israel (Genesis 35:10 and II Kings 17:34).
Š The language of coming forth out of the waters of Judah could be a euphemism for coming forth of the semen [seed] of Judah (cf. Isaiah 65:9). However, the term does mean water (Isaiah 63:12) or even piss (II Kings 18:27).
Š They swore falsely by God’s name (Leviticus 19:12, Jeremiah 5:12, and Matthew 15:7-9).
Š It is not enough to bear a name or be a physical people (Jeremiah 7:1-11 and Romans 2:28-29).
2. What reasons did God state for them not being His people?
They were stiff-necked, trusted in idols even though God had shown them He is God, and they did not hear the Lord: “(2) For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel; The LORD of hosts is his name. (3) I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. (4) Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass; (5) I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them. (6) Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them. (7) They are created now, and not from the beginning; even before the day when thou heardest them not; lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I knew them. (8) Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb” (Isaiah 48:2-8).
Š They said the right things calling themselves of His holy city (Psalms 87:1-3), but it takes more than that (Luke 6:46).
Š They had a false trust in God (Micah 3:11).
Š God shows that He alone foretold of and carried out events (Isaiah 45:20-21) without fail (Joshua 23:14-15).
Š He knew, because they were obstinate, that they’d not see and hear properly (Nehemiah 9:16-29 and Jeremiah 7:25-26). Such is why they were often corrected (Jeremiah 19:15).
Š In this context, God establishes that He had foretold them things because He knew their stiff-necked selves would credit their idols; so He wanted the evidence to be clear (Isaiah 42:8-9).
Š God did things they hadn’t known of so that they couldn’t claim knowledge. This tells us that they were “know it all’s” (I Corinthians 8:1) or “holier than thou” kind of people (Isaiah 65:5).
Š They dealt treacherously with God (Jeremiah 5:11 and Hosea 6:7), as He knew they would (Isaiah 42:9).
Š They were transgressors as a people (I John 3:4) for a long time (Deuteronomy 9:7).
3. For whose sake did God choose not to cut off Israel?
His name’s sake: “(9) For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. (10) Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. (11) For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another” (Isaiah 48:9-11).
Š It was for God’s namesake (cf. Jeremiah 14:7), not just His people, that He delivered them (Isaiah 37:35, Isaiah 43:25, and Ezekiel 36:21-22).
Š God deferred His anger (Psalms 78:38).
Š His correction is a refining process (Jeremiah 9:6-7 and Hebrews 12:6-11).
Š God isn’t forever longsuffering. He foretold them here that He would not just sit back and take their garbage (Romans 1:28), but would NOT go as far as giving His glory to another (Psalms 148:13 and Isaiah 42:8).
4. Did God want His people to know that He could have power over Babylon?
Yes: “(12) Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. (13) Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together. (14) All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these things? The LORD hath loved him: he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall be on the Chaldeans. (15) I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous” (Isaiah 48:12-15).
Š We have seen this command to hearken more than just here (Isaiah 28:23, Isaiah 34:1, Isaiah 42:23, Isaiah 46:3, and Isaiah 46:12).
Š God is He, (Deuteronomy 32:39, Isaiah 44:6, and Revelation 1:8).
Š God is the Creator (Isaiah 40:28) and His word was the power which caused the world to stand (Psalms 148:1-5 and Hebrews 11:3).
Š Again, He calls them to record that it is He, rather than others, that declared these things (Isaiah 46:10-11).
Š God was to do whatever He wanted to the Chaldeans (Jeremiah 51:54-55).
Š Him whom God has spoken of would be Cyrus (Isaiah 44:28-45:1) that would take Babylon and deliver God’s people (II Chronicles 36:17-23).
5. What could Israel have experienced had they hearkened unto the Lord?
Peace and righteousness: “(16) Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me. (17) Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. (18) O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea: (19) Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me” (Isaiah 48:16-19).
Š It is not that God reveals everything (Deuteronomy 29:29), but He doesn’t hide what He does reveal (Isaiah 45:19 and John 18:20).
Š He had taught them and led them in the way they needed to go (Psalms 32:8).
Š They could have had peace (Psalms 119:165 and Philippians 4:6-8).
Š Generations to come would’ve been blessed had they hearkened (Deuteronomy 12:28).
6. What did Isaiah foretell them concerning their future bondage in Babylon?
That they would be set free and not thirst in their departure: “(20) Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye, The LORD hath redeemed his servant Jacob. (21) And they thirsted not when he led them through the deserts: he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them: he clave the rock also, and the waters gushed out” (Isaiah 48:20-21).
Š Go forth from Babylon is a prophesy (Jeremiah 50:8, Jeremiah 51:6-10, and Zechariah 2:6-7).
Š The Lord is the redeemer here (Jeremiah 31:10-11).
Š They needed not to fear about thirst, etc. (Isaiah 43:19-21). Such even applies spiritually (Isaiah 55:1-3).
7. What do the wicked lack?
Peace: “There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked” (Isaiah 48:22).
Š Isaiah 57:21 and Romans 3:11-17.
Š True peace belongs to people who are spiritually saved (Romans 8:6 and Colossians 3:15).
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