Bible Commentaries

Isaiah 43

Verses 1-28

Following the manifesto, we have in the next three chapters a series of messages of Jehovah. The first declares His perpetual purpose for His people. His constant attitude of love is affirmed in promises which gain their force from the fact that they glance back at past deliverances. Passing through waters, and through rivers, walking through fire, they are to be safe, for they have been safe in such conditions.

Then deliverance is definitely promised, in which the north must give up, and the south must not keep back. The present purpose of God is that the blind people who yet have eyes and the deaf who still have ears should be brought forth. Israel has sadly failed as the servant of God, but her ultimate deliverance and the fulfillment of her vocation as witness are sure because of what God is and of what He is able to do. The declaration ends with the announcement and challenge, "I will work, and who shall reverse it?"

In the second message God's present purpose of deliverance is described in greater detail. For the sake of Israel all her foes are to be destroyed. In the midst of this declaration, and for the encouragement of faith, an appeal is made to past history. "Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old." These things, however, are to be superseded by the new, and the purpose is that the people of Jehovah may set forth His praise. This announcement is followed by an appeal to the people in which their sin is described. God's pardon is promised, and their punishment is again explained.