-God, the Creator and Former of Israel, is the Redeemer who calls His people by name so they are commanded not to fear. When His people pass through the waters, their Redeemer will be with them and the rivers will not overflow them in a destroying flood. When they walk through the fire, they will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn them. For the Holy One of Israel will save them and give their enemies (Egypt, Cush, and Seba) as their ransom. His people are precious in His sight; they are honored and loved by the Father. They (Everyone called by the Name of the LORD created for His glory) will be gathered back into the land from the north, south, east, and west, all the ends of the earth (Isaiah 43:1-7). *Application* God’s call for the redeemed is certainly not limited to the Jewish race, though they have a special place in His economy. All who have believed in the Messiah are invited, even here in the Old Testament, to participate by faith in the Kingdom of God. Do not fear, He is with us. Pass through the waters of tribulation and the fires of trials knowing you won’t drown or be burned.
-The next section can be labeled Israel, God’s Witness. The plea is given in verse eight to bring out the people who are blind though they have eyes and deaf though they have ears. This is to be interpreted as spiritual misperception and hardness. All the nations have gathered to hear the declaration and proclamation of the former things, but there is none to speak for their justification and truth. It is the Jewish people that He has revealed His plan through in clarity. They are the servant that He has chosen so that all may know and believe in Him (God, Jesus) and understand that He is the One. There is none before or after. He alone is God. There is no Savior besides Him. It is the LORD that has declared and saved and proclaimed. There was no strange substitute in any other god among His revelation to His people; so they are His witnesses by the LORD’s declaration. God is eternal, keeps what’s His, and all-powerful. None can reverse His righteous acts (Isaiah 43:8-13). *Application* Justification by faith in the eternal Son of God is God’s plan for salvation given through the covenant to His people for all the world to know.
-The Redeemer of Israel, who is the Holy One, will bring down Babylon (the world system set up against God and His people, this has literal and symbolic significance). God makes the way possible. The former captivity are things of the past. “Behold, I (the LORD) will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” The beasts like the jackals and the ostriches will glorify the LORD because of His abundant resources in a parched land, which will give drink to His chosen people. The people whom God formed for Himself will declare His praise (Isaiah 41:17-20; 43:14-21, Matthew 24:15-21, Mark 13:14-19, Luke 21:20-24, Revelation 12:6). *Application* God will bring us through every tribulation in our lives, even the Great Tribulation, for His glory. He has a plan and a purpose for everything.
-Even though God had been at work through His people from the start and would use them for His ultimate glory at the end of the age, they, at the time of Isaiah’s writing, had not called on Him and had become weary of Him. They didn’t bring burnt offerings (a sign of repentance and a whole heart) or honor (fear, reverence, awe) to the LORD with sacrifices. They had not filled God with praise, but had burdened Him with their sins and wearied Him with their iniquities. He, even with these imperfections listed, wipes out His people’s transgressions for His Name’s sake. He will not remember their sins. He commands that they put Him in their remembrance, and encourages them to argue together to establish the facts. They will find that they are indeed guilty and that God will be vindicated by every one of His actions (Isaiah 43:22-28). *Application* How does God see you today? Let Him establish every fact in your life. Let His cleansing flow enlighten and draw you into His good graces through the payment of the cross of Christ Jesus.
Verses to Memorize: Isaiah 43:1-2, 10, 18-19