The Book of Isaiah Bible Study Chapter 42 Part 2

Isaiah

We begin the week with Isaiah 42:10-20

Biblical prophecy has a unique characteristic trait. Often we are given statements of G-d’s pending judgment, but then a little while later, because of the grace and love He has for His covenant people, this prophesy of judgment is tempered by a word of encouragement – a word that tells us that G-d isn’t going to carry out His judgment completely – He will not fully destroy, but He will be merciful to the remnant and He will forgive. His forgiveness is followed by a renewal of His promises, and He gives His people another opportunity to   experience His will. As disciples of the L-rd, we are committed to His will. 

v10: Sing: Worship

  • New song: Worship in a new way/manner. This newness usually has to do with a new spiritual condition of the people. They have been changed and therefore they’re praising G-d as they were called to do.
  • His praise from the ends of the earth: This is prophetic about the future. G-d’s praise, the worship of Him, is going to fill the world, fill all of His creation. 
  • All that is in it: Its fullness. G-d’s creation is going to be full. 
  • Coastlands: Islands. Distant places.

Note: A time of change is coming. The people are going to reflect that change by praising G-d, singing a new song to Him, and that praise (worship) is going to fill the earth.

v11: Villages: Literally: Courtyards

  • Kedar: This is a word for darkness and gloom. Those who dwell in darkness and gloom, those who dwell in barren and desolate places, are going to experience a change and they will shout with joy, and they will worship. 
  • Shout: No one is being quiet about their faith. They are not having a private time of worship, but their worship is dominating, filling and totally overwhelming all of G-d’s creation.

v12: Give glory to the L-rd: They are acknowledging G-d and His glory. They are making known how significant He is. 

  • Coastlands (Islands): Even in the remote places people are going to be praising G-d. Everyone in every place is going to be touched by G-d’s work. 

v13: Mighty Man: A hero.

  • Stir up His zeal: He sees what the enemy is doing and that stirs up a zeal in His life. He is upset about the pain, suffering and loss that the enemy is causing for His people. 
  • Cry out: Scream. A word of strong emotion. 
  • Shout (scream) aloud: A war cry which is aimed at His enemies.
  • Prevail: He will be stronger than His enemies and He will overcome them. 

v14: A long time: This means almost forever. This is how many people throughout the ages have seen G-d. He appears quiet, distant. 

  • Been still: Been unresponsive – Like someone who is deaf. 
  • Restrained Myself: It has seemed like G-d has not responded. G-d grieves to see His people suffer, but He knows that we suffer because of our own unrighteousness, our own foolish choices, our rebelliousness against Him. Therefore, He waits, He restrains Himself, He does nothing. But this is going to change. 
  • A woman in labour: This is a woman who suffers greatly. Emotionally and physically, she is enduring pain and suffering. It is a difficult journey to get through the birthing process, but the difficult process is followed by a sudden change and a great joy. 
  • Pant: This is a word of struggling.

v15: Lay waste (destroy) the mountains and hills: Oftentimes mountains and hills can be seen as seats of governments. A time is coming when G-d is going to work against them. This is going to be a time of great hardship in the earth.

  • Make the rivers coastlands (islands)…dry up the pools: Big cities, significant cities, are often built on rivers. These significant places are going to be removed (dry up) and become like distant places. 

Note: G-d is going to bring about a great change in His creation. Creation is going to experience a new reality. G-d makes these difficult, physical changes in the earth to prepare and change people, spiritually, for the establishment of His Kingdom. 

v16: Make darkness light before them: G-d is going to place darkness (things that are harsh, painful and difficult) in front of people, but this darkness is going to be used by Him for illumination so that people can understand and turn to His revelation. This is the way that G-d gets the attention of the people. 

  • (Stubborn): This is not the word for crooked but is a word that means ‘stubborn’, hardheaded. Those who are stubborn are not easily convinced or persuaded in their thinking. 
  • Straight: G-d is going to bring about a change in those who are stubborn. 
  • Not forsake them: Have not departed from them. G-d has not and will not leave or abandon His people in the midst of difficult things. In fact, it is because of His faithfulness to His covenant that they’re going to experience these difficult things.

v17: Greatly ashamed: There are going to be people who move toward G-d in the difficult times, but there are also those who move away from G-d at these times. Those who move away from G-d, those who persist in idolatry, are going to be utterly ashamed. 

v18: In the last days G-d is going to move. All will need to look to Him and hear Him, seek Him for revelation. 

v19: My Servant…My Messenger…He who is Perfect …the L-rd’s Servant: These are all terms that refer to Messiah – this is not referring to the Jewish people.  

For the purpose of bringing about a change, and for a time, Messiah is going to temporarily overlook (be blind to and deaf to) the rebellious, idolatrous and stubborn people within Israel. He is going to overlook their spiritual condition, which demands judgment, death and punishment, and He is going to bring hardship to them for the purpose of bringing about restoration in their lives. He extends His grace to them (His grace in this case is temporarily turning a blind eye and a deaf ear) so that they (the remnant) can respond to Him and be led to salvation. 

v20: G-d has shown the people many things (His revelation, miracles, etc) but they have not responded to Him. They have heard His message, but they have not listened or responded to His Words. 

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