We are in the Prophetic Stream in the book of Isaiah today reading from the God’s Word Translation.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Lord God, do your work in us. May we serve you with our whole heart and allow ourselves to be blessed as you serve us through your Spirit, Amen.
Pausing to look at the big picture, the northern Kingdom has been hauled off by Assyria and scattered. This was, by now a generation or two prior. Babylon is going to capture the south in about a century or so. God is going to let Babylon seize Jerusalem and Judah/the southern Kingdom since they will not yield and obey God. He makes it plain in the first section of ch. 46 that He has the whole picture in mind.
46 – Babylon, with their false gods is going to rule for a bit and execute their plans over Israel. It’s almost like God is telling the Hebrews, “…So,you like dabbling with false gods, huh? Well guess where that will lead you… to being overtaken by a nation who really follows their false gods. Let me know how you feel as false gods and their frothing followers bust into your homes, towns, and your whole lives!” Isaiah has a skill for keeping the fate of the wicked ever in front of us, the Lord’s impatience with rebellion, HIS faithfulness that will redeem – these things continue to be juggled in the literature and we are reminded of them throughout Isaiah’s writing. “I am God, and there’s no one like me.” is especially good in v. 9
47 – Babylon’s day is coming too. [remember we are looking about a century ahead] They have done their deeds against the Jews and here’s what’s next for them: They will be thrown in the dirt, dethroned, stripped, driven away, destroyed, they will be widowed, bereft of children, their witchcraft will betray them, Babylon had been a refined and decorated culture, a powerful and wealthy Kingdom. But God is done with Babylon. Their deeds and behavior have come full circle (by the time this prophecy is fulfilled and they will be well on their way to being an archaeological site.)
48 – This chapter reads like a visit to an incarcerated person you knew when they were once free. God tells His children (while captive in Babylon) what they need to hear before they are to be released from Babylon. People who are not reformed before they are freed again simply go back to what they were deviant in and perhaps are even worse in their ways. But God has some beautiful and sobering reminders of what the destiny of His nation is. As they return, the Lord will teach them, and guide them, there will be worship. And they must remember their LORD and follow Him and not stray again. This ends Isaiah’s run of prophecies that have gone on for nine chapters simultaneously. The point being driven at is that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the God to go to for answers and direction. The rest of the gods are false and lead people on the road to nothing.
49 – The thinking that encompasses 49-55 is the “Servant of God”. The Messiah concept and the nation of Israel both feather together intermittently to reveal this truth. Messiah will come and serve God- Isaiah is saying this 650-700 years before Jesus arrives. And Israel’s role of serving God is ongoing. The assignment for those who serve God is to come to God and bring others also who will serve Him. The Servant brings back the Tribes to God, he is also a Light to the nations. The task of serving God and being served by Him involves faith, favor, salvation, freedom, supply, satisfaction and comfort. The faithful will be brought to God, reunited like a family, This will be the mighty work of God