Verse 1 – “Yet hear now, O Jacob My servant, and Israel whom I have chosen.
Verse 2 – Thus says the Lord who made you and formed you from the womb, who will help you: ‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant; and you Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
God chose Israel from among the nations to be His special people. Jeshurun, is used as a name for Israel to indicate a term of endearment, “The upright one.”
Verse 3 – For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring;
Verse 4 – They will spring up among the grass like willows by the watercourses.’
Verse 5 – “One will say, ‘I am the Lord”; another will call himself by the name of Jacob; another will write with his hand, ‘The Lord’s ‘, and name himself by the name of Israel.
There will come a time when Israel will be proud of belonging to God. Writing with the hand shows identity of whom they belong to.
Verse 6 – “Thus says the Lord, the king of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God.
Verse 7 – And who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me since I appointed the ancient people. And the things that are coming and shall come, let them show these to them.
And besides Me there is no God. This is repeated and declared, over and over. Their false gods they had trusted in could do nothing for them.
Verse 8 – Do not fear, nor be afraid; have I not told you from that time, and declared it? You are My witness, is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.’ ”
The Rock – Yahweh – a place of protection and stability – not the false gods of the nations.
Verse 9 – Those who make a graven image all of them are useless, and their precious things shall not profit; they are their own witness; they neither see nor know, that they may be ashamed.
Verse 10 – Who would form a god or cast a graven image that profits them nothing?
This is what doesn’t make sense: Israel had been around for centuries by this time, they had seen the Hand of God work miracles time and again, so how could they be so easily persuaded to worship false gods that never did anything for them? They went astray the same way people do today – putting their trust in something other than a mighty God!
Verse 11 – Surely all his companions would be ashamed; and the workman, they are mere men. Let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, they shall be ashamed together.
Verse 12 – The blacksmith with his tongs works one in the coals, fashions it with hammers, and works it with the strength of his arms. Even so, he is hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint.
Verse 13 – The craftsman stretches out his rule, he marks one out with chalk; he fashions it with a plane, he marks it out with the compass, and makes it like the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man, that it may remain in the house.
Verse 14 – He hews down cedars for himself, and takes the cypress and the oak; he secures it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a pine, and the rain nourishes it.
Isaiah went back to the beginning of the process of constructing an idol – the planting and cultivating of a tree from which the idol was made.
Verse 15 – Then it shall be for a man to burn, for he will take some of it and warm himself; yes, he kindles it and bakes bread; indeed he makes a god and worships it; he makes it a carved image, and falls down to it.
Exodus 20:4 – “You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; What part of bowing down to a graven imagine did the people not get? God hated it.
Verse 16 – He burns half of it in the fire; with this half he eats meat; he roasts a roast and is satisfied. He even warms himself and says, “Ah! I am warm, I have seen fire.”
In Mesopotamia this was called, “opening of the mouth” rituals. The presence of the god was thought to enter the piece of wood.
Verse 17 – And the rest of it he makes into a god, his carved image. He falls down before it and worships it, prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god.”
Verse 18 – They do not know nor understand; for He has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand.
Verse 19 – And no one considers in his heart, nor is there knowledge nor understanding to say, “I have burned half of it in the fire, yes, I have also baked bread on its coals; I have roasted meat and eaten it; and shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?
Verse 20 – He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside; and he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”
The lie in a person’s right hand is an idol, which is nothing at all.
Verse 21 – “Remember these, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are My servant; I have formed you, you are my servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me!
Verse 22 – I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I ave redeemed you.”
Verse 23 – Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it! Shout, you lower parts of the earth; break forth into singing, you mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and glorified Himself in Israel.
Verse 24 – Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb: “I am the Lord, who makes all things, who stretches out the heavens all alone, who spreads abroad the earth by Myself;
Verse 25 – Who frustrates the signs of the babblers, and drives diviners mad; who turn wise men backward, who makes their knowledge foolishness;
Isaiah is talking about the magicians and astrologers, who were numerous in Babylon, and who had foretold the long continuance and prosperity of the Chaldean empire. They were disgraced because their predictions didn’t come true.
Verse 26 – Who confirms the word of His servant, and performs the counsel of His messengers; who says to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be inhibited,’ to the cities of Judah, ‘You shall be built; and I will raise up her waste places;
The false prophets were people who claimed to bring messages from the gods. Diviners were people who would fake omens for their own benefit. If you are ever unsure of what someone is teaching you, test it against God’s Holy Word. If yo can’t find it in His Word it’s not the truth!
Verse 27 – Who says to the deep, ‘Be dry! and I will dry up your rivers’;
Verse 28 – Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure, even saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” and to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.” ‘
Isaiah, who prophesied from about 740 -681 B.C., called Cyrus by name almost 150 years before he ruled (559-530 B.C.). Later historians said that Cyrus read this prophecy and was so moved that he carried it out. Isaiah also predicted that Jerusalem would fall more than 100 years before it happened (586 B.C.) and that the temple would be rebuilt about 200 years before it happened.
Do you think 100 or even 200 years of warning that an event is going to happen, is enough time for one generation to teach another about the things of God? How about this: We have been told for over two thousand years that Christ is coming back for His church; do you believe it; are you ready?