The Book of Isaiah Bible Study Chapter 43 Part 3


Our next reading is Isaiah 43:16-21

G-d is not finished with Israel. 

v16: Makes a way in the sea and a path through the mighty waters: In the past G-d brought His people out of exile. We can be assured of the fact that in the future He is also going to bring them out of exile (return them to the land). This is one of the important messages of prophecy.

  • Sea…mighty waters: Water was seen as something difficult to cross. G-d, however, made a path through the Red Sea so that the people could walk through it on dry ground as they made their way out of Egypt (Exodus 14). This was known as the first redemption. In the last days, G-d is going to again act mightily to bring the people out of the nations and place them back in the land of Israel (this is a prophecy we are seeing fulfilled in our day). 

v17: Brings forth the chariot and horse: Most commentators see this as a reference to the exodus from Egypt (Ex 15:1).

  • (The army in power all together): Pharaoh came out against Israel with his chariots, with his horses, with his vast and powerful army. 
  • Quenched like a wick: G-d easily snuffed out this powerful army/enemy (as easily as we would blow out a candle). In the past G-d delivered Israel from a powerful enemy, and He is going to do this for them in the future too. 

v18: Do not remember: Pay no attention to. 

  • Former things: The things that took place in the past. 
  • Nor consider the things of old: G-d did great things for Israel in the past (bringing them through the Red Sea etc), but these things are going to be considered as insignificant in comparison to the more magnificent things He is going to do for them in the future. 

v19: Know: This is not only speaking about knowing something intellectually but is talking about knowledge through experience. 

  • I will even make a road in the wilderness…: In the past G-d made a path through the Sea, in the future He makes a road through the wilderness. 
  • Rivers: Water is seen here as a blessing. Water, especially in a desert or in a wasteland, satisfies. Water gives the means for life. 

v20: G-d is going to bring salvation to Israel. He is going to do a new work. Most scholars understand that this new work is speaking about the gospel. When we accept the gospel, we can worship G-d in a new way. 

  • The beasts of the field will honour Me: The beasts are going to honour G-d because they are going to recognise that they are benefiting from what G-d’s going to do for His people. 
  • The jackals and the ostriches: The unclean animals (the Gentiles) are going to recognise and honour G-d. 
  • Rivers in the desert: The desert places are going to become like an oasis. 

v21: They shall declare My praise: Israel (the remnant of it) are going to praise G-d. What G-d does in Israel, and for Israel, is going to be a blessing for the nations. Those in the nations are going to reap the benefits of G-d’s faithfulness to Israel. The problem is that Israel is going to be slow to recognise G-d’s new work – the gospel message. 

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