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Today God wants to raise our level of Confidence in His redemptive purposes. He calls on His people Not to Fear – despite whatever trials we might face – threats of overwhelming floods or fires that would consume us. “Do not fear,” says our God. God wants to raise our level of Certainty in His redemptive purposes – our conviction that He will carry out all that He has promised to perform. The more we understand of our God – who He is in relationship to His chosen people and what it means for Him to function as the one true God – the more we will live in Confidence and Certainty.

– What type of confidence and certainty did God want Noah and his family to have in the face of the oncoming judgment of a worldwide flood?

– What type of confidence and certainty did God want Israel to have as they fled Egypt in the Exodus and were trapped against the Red Sea with Pharaoh and his troops pursuing them?

– What type of confidence and certainty did God want the 12 spies to have whom Moses commissioned to bring back a report about their prospects of successfully entering the Promised Land?

– What type of confidence and certainty does God want His people today to have in His gracious redemptive purposes and His providential care?





A. (:1-2) Israel is Protected by God – Despite the Level of Threat or Difficulty

1. (:1) Basis for Confidence in God’s Protection

a. Created by God

“But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob,

And He who formed you, O Israel,”

Young: The introductory words And now form a logical rather than a temporal connection with the preceding. They present a contrast between the dismal present condition of the people and the glorious redemption they are to enjoy in their God.

Young: Jacob . . . Israel — Thirteen times within the compass of chapters 40—49 Isaiah uses this double designation, and with one exception (41:8), in this order. Jacob was the deceiver and had to become an Israel [prince with God]. Hence in this order of the names there may be a hint that the Jacob character of the nation had to be abandoned. Implied also may be the thought that in Israel is expressed the true destiny of the people. They are to become an Israel, and as such the heirs of the promises that had once been made to their ancestor Israel.

God created and formed each of us as unique human individuals – we each have inherent strengths and weaknesses – those weaknesses are part of God’s design to cause us to depend upon Him for grace and sufficiency – When He created each of us it could be said that He broke the mold – never again to make someone exactly like us – Just by virtue of creation, God has a special individualized plan for each of us

b. Redeemed by God

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;”

No reason to fear because things have not gotten out of control from God’s perspective

Beall: The word “redeem” is used 24 times in Isaiah, 23 times in chaps. 40-66 (and 6 times in chaps. 43-44 alone; the other time is in 35:9); its primary meaning is “to act as a kinsman redeemer,” i.e., to redeem a field sold by a relative in time of need, or avenge the blood of a slain relative. It is also used for the redemption of property (including non-sacrificial animals) dedicated to the Lord by payment of its value + 20% (see Lev 27:1-34). In connection with the broader use in Isaiah (and elsewhere), perhaps the concept is that God will redeem His needy people from their state of bondage because of His covenant relationship with them (indeed, His ownership of them). The verb here is in the perfect, indicating that in God’s eyes the redemption has already been accomplished (though it is yet future for Israel): it is a sure thing.

Speaks to:

– The payment of a price

– Deliverance from the market place

– Subsequent ownership

c. Personally Known by God

“I have called you by name;”

Motyer: in a crowning intimacy, there is naming; “to call by name” (40:26) is a direct personal relationship involving having a specific plan and place for the one named

John 10:3 “He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out”

  • The protection of the sheepfold against ravaging enemies;

  • The guidance provided by the Good Shepherd

  • The intimate personal relationship

d. Owned by God

“you are Mine!”

Nobody can pluck us out of God’s hand – nothing can separate us from the love of God

2. (:2) Extent of God’s Protection

a. No Possibility of Drowning

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.”

Cf. Red Sea experience and Jordan River

b. No Possibility of Burning

“When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,

Nor will the flame burn you.”

Beall: Because of the Lord’s special relationship to Israel as her goel, v. 2 points out that He will protect her through difficult times: when she passes through the waters (as in crossing the Red Sea or the Jordan River), God promises to be with her (a hint here of Immanuel, “God with us”?); when she passes through fire (as Daniel’s companions did in Dan 3:25-27), she will not be burned (though see 42:25). What a tremendous promise!

Motyer: idiom of totality – trials of whatever sort and however they come; in all there is the Lord’s presence

Look at our Year verse – Is. 41:10 — “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

B. (:3-4) Israel is Precious to God – Special Covenantal Love

Think of role that a husband performs to his wife – or parents perform to their children — offering protection; treating them as precious and showering them with love – this is the role that God plays to his covenant people

1. Claim of God’s Love

a. (:3a) Based on Who God is in Relationship to His People

“For I am the LORD your God,

The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;”

Oswalt: all these terms had gained special emphasis through the exodus

1) The Lord your God —

The name (Yahweh) God had given Moses to identify the One who wished to deliver this captive people (Exod. 3:14; 6:3). Elohim – speaking of the entirety of the godhead

2) The Holy One of Israel —

Stressing both His moral purity and His otherness (Lev. 11:44-45) – Call to be holy because God is holy; need for separation from idolatry

Motyer: Isaiah’s special title for the Lord

3) Your Savior —

The one we look to for deliverance; no one else can help; trust in any other is futile; God will not share His glory with another

b. (:4a) Based on How Much God Values His People

“Since you are precious in My sight,

Since you are honored and I love you,”

Young: Love involves choice and exclusion. In regarding Israel as valuable and precious, God singled them out for particular attention; and inasmuch as He so regarded them, He redeemed them. They were honored, not through works of their own or because of their own deserving, but because God so regarded them.

2. Guarantee of God’s Love – in the Context of Ransom

a. (:3b) Historical Example of Ransom

“I have given Egypt as your ransom,

Cush and Seba in your place.”

Constable: Perhaps the Lord meant that He would give Persia rulership over Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba—as rewards for allowing the Israelites to return to their homeland. I tend to favor this view. Another option is that He meant that He had given over Egypt and its southern extremities to redeem Israel at the Exodus. A third view is that these nations represent the heathen nations in general, whom God did not favor when He redeemed Israel.458 In another larger sense, God sacrificed His Son as a ransom in the place of many whom He had called (cf. 53:8-12; Matt. 20:28; 2 Cor. 5:21).

Beall: This may have reference to the conquering of Egypt and portions of Ethiopia and Seba by Cambyses (Cyrus’ son) after the edict given by Cyrus for the Jews to return to their land from Babylon. Note that the same three nations are pictured in 45:14 as submitting to Israel and her God in the end time. The reason for this action is given in v. 4: Israel was precious in the eyes of the Lord and was honored, and God loved her. It is for this reason that Israel was ransomed by God with others paying the price.

b. (:4b) Prophetic Example of Ransom

“I will give other men in your place

and other peoples in exchange for your life.”

C. (:5-7) Israel is Preserved by God – Will Be Regathered to the Promised Land

1. Take Confidence in the Presence of God

“Do not fear, for I am with you;”

2. Anticipate Worldwide Regathering

a. From the Four Corners of the Globe

“I will bring your offspring from the east,

And gather you from the west.

I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’

And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’”

Constable: Worldwide scattering would not prevent Him from fulfilling His promises and giving them a future in the Promised Land (cf. 11:11-12; 27:13; 49:12; 60:4; Deut. 30:3- 6). He would reassemble His sons and daughters from the ends of the earth (cf. Jer. 30:10-11; Ezek. 37). Return from Babylonian captivity would not be from the four compass points and so does not qualify as the complete fulfillment. He will do this when Jesus Christ returns to the earth (cf. 5:26; Matt. 24:31). Amillennialists often take this as the spiritual gathering of lost sinners to Jesus Christ.

Motyer: Just as once the choice was between the captor, Egypt and the threatened Israel, so if the world were to turn captor, Israel would still be chosen, for such is the Lord’s love for his people. Isaiah is therefore looking far beyond any threat that Babylon might impose.

b. From the Most Remote Regions

“Bring My sons from afar,

And My daughters from the ends of the earth,”

3. Rest in God’s Character and Purposes

a. Designed to Glorify God’s Character

“Everyone who is called by My name,

And whom I have created for My glory,”

Oswalt: called and created for one purpose: the glory of God. Because of these factors the people of God cannot be left in bondage. God’s name is on them. What happens or does not happen, to them is directly attributable to him. But more than that, their whole purpose in existing as a people is that they might reveal the Holy One, whose glory alone fills the earth (6:3). Unless God delivers and purifies them, that purpose will not only fail but will also be directly contravened, because the world will say that the Lord is not just one more of the gods, but he is a particularly despicable one because he alone makes the arrogant (and now patently false) claim to be the only god (43:11-13; Ezek. 36:20-25; Jer. 10:12-16).

b. Created to Fulfill God’s Purposes

“Whom I have formed,

even whom I have made.”

Constable: Their condition reflects on Him, and unless He restores them they cannot fulfill His purpose for them in the world.

Beall: The three words “create,” “form,” and “make” used in v. 7 are all taken from the Genesis 1 creation account, thus showing the significance of this statement: as Young notes, “it is God alone who performs the wonder of a new creation, the redemption of His elect people” (3:146).


A. (:8-9) Courtroom Scene of Competing Witnesses

1. (:8) Call Spiritually Ignorant Israel as God’s Witnesses

“Bring out the people who are blind, even though they have eyes,

And the deaf, even though they have ears.”

Constable: Isaiah summoned an unidentified authority to bring out the Israelites: the spiritually blind and deaf (cf. 42:18-25; cf. Deut. 29:4; Jer. 5:21). The setting of this scene is a courtroom. The prophet was summoning them so God could address them (v. 10) as His witnesses. Imagine calling blind and deaf people as witnesses in a court of law! Yet the Lord would use even them to testify to His greatness.

Beall: It is clear from v. 8 that the Lord is under no delusion as to Israel’s current spiritual condition: they are blind (though they have eyes) and deaf (though they have ears–i.e., it is not the Creator’s fault that they can’t see or hear!), just as the Lord had pronounced them in the previous chapter (Isa 42:18-20).

2. (:9) Command the Gentile Nations to Call Their Witnesses

“All the nations have gathered together In order that the peoples may be assembled. Who among them can declare this And proclaim to us the former things? Let them present their witnesses that they may be justified, Or let them hear and say, ‘It is true.’”

Contrast between “people” in the singular (Israel) and “peoples” in the plural (Gentile nations)

B. (:10-13) Compelling Testimony to the Certainty of God’s Promises

1. (:10a) Testimony Based on Personal Knowledge of God

“’You are My witnesses,’ declares the LORD, ‘And My servant whom I have chosen, In order that you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He.’”

Young: The knowledge of God is the possession only of those whom God chooses. It is a fruit of the divine election and so a gift of His free grace.

2. (:10b-11) Testimony Focused on God’s Unique Role in Redemption

“Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.

I, even I, am the LORD; And there is no savior besides Me.”

Beall: The simple statement in v. 11, that there is no one apart from the Lord, is repeated six times in chapter 45. The phrase is probably taken from Deut 32:39 (“Now see that I, even I, am He, and there is no God besides Me . . . ), but the word “savior” is used instead of “God.”

This word, “Savior” ([;yviAm), is a favorite of Isaiah’s (17:10; 43:3, 11; 45:15, 21; 49:26; 60:16; 62:11; and 63:8), and shows the prophet’s stress on the Lord’s redemption.

Young: The true God can explain the past and interpret the future, but also He can manifest power in the deliverance of His people. Not only could He predict salvation; He could also actually save.

Oswalt: In a series of dramatic assertions God declares His absolute sovereignty (v. 13), His absolute saviorhood (vv. 11-12), and His absolute knowledge of the future (v. 12) – in short, His absolute unlikeness to any other being in the cosmos. He is unlimited and unyielding but also unfailing. Why should Israel doubt that He would either want to or would be able to deliver them?

3. (:12) Testimony Focused on God’s Sovereign Role in Redemption

“’It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed, And there was no strange god among you; So you are My witnesses,’ declares the LORD, ‘And I am God.’”

Constable: Yahweh pointed to the people of Israel, His servant, as those who would be His witnesses that He could predict the future and bring it to pass. For example, He had promised to make Abraham a great nation, to deliver the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, to give them Canaan, and to make David’s dynasty secure. He had fulfilled all these promises and more. In the process He had made the Israelites His witnesses so they would learn that He alone is the true God (cf. Exod. 3:14). Similarly, Jesus told His disciples that they would be His witnesses (Acts 1:8). They had witnessed His works for several years and could testify to His uniqueness, even His deity. Thus the early confession of the church became “Jesus is Lord.” Yahweh alone, among all the “gods,” is the only real deliverer, the one who knows the future, and the sovereign. He is unique. None of the idols was Yahweh. The Israelites could bear witness to that, but they were blind and deaf. Therefore the Lord had to testify in His own behalf.

4. (:13) Testimony Grounded in the Certainty of God’s Eternal Decrees

“Even from eternity I am He; And there is none who can deliver out of My hand;

I act and who can reverse it?”

Job 42:2 “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted”

Beall: v. 13b indicates that no one can reverse the work of the Lord–in judgment or redemption.


Romans 8:28-39