-Israel is called out by the Spirit of God through his prophet Isaiah as this chapter begins. They are the “house of Jacob (taking hold of the heel, supplanter, layer of snares, trickster), who are named Israel (God prevails, contender, soldier of God), and who came forth from the loins of Judah (praised), who swear by the Name of the LORD and invoke the God of Israel, but NOT in truth NOR in righteousness (Isaiah 48:1).” They are called after the holy city and lean on the God of Israel, but they were obstinate despite His incredible dealings and acts to deliver and save them. They dealt treacherously with their LORD and rebelled against Him with their idolatry and waywardness. However, for the sake of His great Name and His praise, God delayed His wrath on them and restrained Himself to not cut them off (Isaiah 48:2-9). They have been refined, but not as silver; they have been tested in the furnace of affliction. For God’s sake and for His glory He has acted in faithfulness to His people even through their severe discipline (Isaiah 48:10-11). *Application* Like any good father, the LORD disciplines those whom He loves (Hebrews 12:5-14). Endure the testing of your faith as a tutor to greater things in the Kingdom of God. The LORD is gaining glory and will redeem in every situation. Do not harden your heart, but turn unto Him, the author and finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).
-Deliverance is then promised after the harsh word that Israel gets. God tells them to listen to Him, the One who called them because He is the “I Am,” the First, and also the Last. He is the One who founded the earth and spread out the heavens. They stand together at His call (Isaiah 48:12-13). He acknowledges Cyrus of the Persian, who delivered the Jewish people from the Babylonians in verses 14 and 15. This must have been a shocking statement to the Israeli audience when given, but it did indeed come to pass in time. The LORD loves him (Cyrus) and will use him to carry out His good pleasure on Babylon and the Chaldeans in the release of the Jewish people. Cyrus was called, and his ways were made successful by the LORD God. For more on Cyrus, read in 2 Chronicles 36:22-23, along with the books of Ezra and Daniel.
-God has not spoken in secret. He wants His people to draw near and listen; over and over again He calls out to them for their attention. He was, is, will be always there by His Spirit. He is the great Redeemer, Holy One, and LORD who teaches them to profit and leads them in the way that they should go. If they would only pay attention and give Him His just glory, all would be well like a mighty river with righteousness as powerful as the waves of the sea. Their descendants would be as numerous as the sand, and their name would never be cut off or destroyed from His presence. This great God, who led the captives through the desert without thirst making water flow out of the rock, is willing and ready to do His redeeming work once again for His servant Jacob (Exodus 17:6). But, there will be no peace for the wicked, which is a dire warning to the wretched in the land of Israel (Isaiah 48:16-22). *Application* God calls to us in the same way He did with the children of Israel in the Old Testament. His ways have been opened up to the Gentiles in this age (Isaiah 56:7, Mark 11:17, Acts 10:34-35, Romans 9-11), and He desires for all mankind to come to Him, the Redeemer (John 3:16, 2 Peter 3:9).
Verses to Memorize: Isaiah 48:10-11, 17