The Messiah’s Encouragement to Israel
Verse 1 – “Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.
Verse 2 – Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him.”
The prophet reminded the righteous of their heritage. Abraham was the rock from which the people of God were cut and Sarah the quarry from which they were dug.
Verse 3 – For the Lord will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in it, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.
On the foundation of the covenant with Abraham, God will transform Zion’s suffering and devastation (wilderness and desert) to joy and prosperity.
Verse 4 – “Listen to Me, My people; and give ear to Me, O My nation: For law will proceed from Me, and I will make My justice rest as a light of the peoples.
Verse 5 – My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth, and My arms will judge the peoples; the coast-lands will wait upon Me, and on My arm they will trust.
Through the Jews the gospel of Christ would come and to all the nations salvation would be established through God’s Word!
Verse 6 – Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, the earth will grow old like a garment, and those who dwell in it will die in like manner; but my salvation will be forever, and My righteousness will not be abolished.
From a human perspective the heavens and the earth look permanent. God says though, the only thing that will last forever is His salvation and righteousness.
Verse 7 – “Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, you people in whose heart is My law; do not fear the reproach of men, nor be afraid of their revilings.
Isaiah encouraged the people not to be afraid when others attacked them because of their faith. Just remember: If people mock or attack you because of your faith, i’s not you they are against, its God. They attack because of what and whom you stand for.
Verse 8 – For the moth will eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool; but righteousness will be forever, and My salvation from generation to generation.”
Verse 9 – Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord! Awake as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Are You not the arm that cut Rahab apart, and wounded the serpent!
Verse 10 – Are You not the One who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep; that made the sea, the waters of the great deep; that made the depths of the sea a road for the redeemed to cross over!
God’s methods of how He does things might change, but His love or care for His people do not. He is the same God who caused the Red Sea to dry up so the Israelites could cross on dry ground.
Verse 11 – S0 the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads, they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing, shall flee away.
Verse 12 – “I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and of the son of a man who will be made like grass?
Verse 13 – And you forget the Lord your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth; you have feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, when he has prepared to destroy. And where is the fury of the oppressor?
Verse 14 – The captive exile hastens, that he may be loosed, that he should not die in the pit, and that his bread should not fail.
Verse 15 – But I am the Lord your God, who divided the sea whose waves roared – the Lord of hosts is His name.
Verse 16 – And I have put My words in your mouth; I have covered you with the shadow of My hand, that I may plant the heavens, lay the foundations of the earth, and say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’ ”
God’s people had feared Babylon, but not God. They forgot that God’s power was much greater than anything Babylon could have done. The people of Jerusalem should have feared God’s power and loved His mercy.
Verse 17 – Awake, awake! Stand up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of His fury; you have drunk dregs of the cup of trembling, and drained it out.
Isaiah called for God’s people to wake up. They were stumbling under the influence of drinking God’s cup of wrath.
Verse 18 – There is no one to guide her among all the sons she has brought forth; nor is there any who takes her by the hand among all the sons she has brought up.
In the ancient Near East, it was the duty of the children to care for a drunk parent. Noah’s son Ham acted in reprehensible manner when his father was drunk. Here Jerusalem’s children, God’s children, did not take Jerusalem’s hand after they had drunk God’s wrath.
Verse 19 – These two things have come to you; who will be sorry for you? – desolation and destruction, famine and sword – by whom will I comfort you?
Verse 20 – Your sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, like an antelope in a net; they are full of the furry of the Lord, the rebuke of your God.
Verse 21 – Therefore please hear this, you afflicted, and drunk but not with wine.
Verse 22 – Thus says the Lord, the Lord and your God, who pleads the cause of His people: “See, I have taken out of your hand the cup of trembling, the dregs of the cup of My fury; you shall no longer drink it.
Verse 23 – But I will put it in the hand of those who afflict you, who have said to you, ‘Lie down, that we may walk over you.’ And you have laid your body like the ground, and as the street, for those who walk over.”
Once Jerusalem experienced the full force of God’s judgment, He will take it away and give it to the troublemakers. Babylon is the one in mind.