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Default Day 214. Isaiah 40-42 - 10-16-2009, 04:44 PM

Isaiah 40-42

Isaiah 40

Today we start the second part of Isaiah. Some people think it's a different Isaiah. Most "scholars" believe this part to be written near the end of the Babylonian captivity. Remember in our previous reading, Hezekiah had just shown his treasures to the king of Babylon, Isaiah came running in asking "what did you do?" Hezekiah said he was just showing a well wisher his toys, so Isaiah said that it, and everything else will then be taken to Babylon.

Up to Isaiah 55, is considered to be written by the second Isaiah. Scholars say this because the tone has changed. But, remember, Isaiah is a prophet, so it's ok for him to speak of future events as though they already happened. Also, a tonal change doesn't indicate a new author. Think back to Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, and Song of Solomon, all were written by Solomon, and they all had a different style. Proverbs expounded wisdom, Song of Solomon talked of love and nookie, Ecclesiastes was about not wasting your short time on earth. I don't have a problem with it being one author.

1 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.

Comfort? How can this be the same Isaiah? He was talking about burdens, now he's talking about comfort.

3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Most people claim that John the Baptist was the voice in the wilderness, that prepared the way for Jesus.

6The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:

This is eerily like Ecclesiastes, "all flesh is grass". Has the same feel of a person without hope.

7 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.

Vanity, all is vanity...

10 Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

Well, Ecclesiastes didn't have much prophecy in it, and not any messianic prophecy.

11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

This is why you see images of Jesus as a shepherd, oddly, Jesus spoke of sheep and never of carpentry.

17 All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.

Holy crap, it is Ecclesiastes!

22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

Circle of earth, doesn't necessarily say globe, or sphere. A circle doesn't have depth.

25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.

God is talking about idolatry, and other gods here.

28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

All those other genuine gods, like from Rome, Greece, Babylon, Egypt, Iran... they are all genuine, God is the one who did it all. God is not weary, he didn't HAVE to rest on the 7th day; he just kind of did. God took a "me" day.

30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 41

1 Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment.

God is calling nations to judgment, and he's saying "Order in the court".

2 Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow.

Who is the righteous man from the east? It could be Cyrus. But who was it that made Cyrus great? Well, that was God.

4 Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.

Here, our God gives himself the credit that he so rightly deserves, being God and all.

8 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.

9 Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.

No, God never cast them away... except for the several times that he did.

10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

You can imagine the author sitting around, hearing about this conquering army moving through almost all of the known world. He knows that Babylon is the next area that the man from the east is going to attack. He hates his current condition, and figures that it HAS to be better with the new guy.

11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.

In 539, Cyrus captured Babylon. He was named the King of Babylonia in 538. The once proud Babylonians were overtaken by Persia. The Persian rule of Babylon lased over 200 years. Alexander the Great captured it in 330, the Greek reign lasted for another 200 years. The Babylonians were pretty much nothing after that.

17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.

God now mentions that he will provide for his people.

19 I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together:

An OIL tree?

God then challenges the gods of other countries to a proof of existence test.

23 Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.

God doesn't care if it's a god of good, or a god of evil, he just wants some proof.

24 Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you.

Like scientologists, muslimis, hindu, buddhists, devil worshippers, all their gods are nothing, and people that choose those worthless gods, they are abominations.

29 Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing: their molten images are wind and confusion.

Wind here might actually mean a fart.

Isaiah 42

1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.

Gentiles are anyone who isn't a jew. Here, we have a messianic prophecy. Although during his life, Jesus didn't really judge the gentiles.

6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

This may have come as a shock to the jews. That THEIR God, the real God, would be available to everyone else.

8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

So, the reason that God is going to allow himself to be worshiped by everyone else, is because he's tired of people calling other things god. It just made him angry to hear a worthless piece of metal being called god, when he's the only god.

10 Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.

God has decided that it's time for everyone to sing his praises. Some claim that God doesn't change, but here we see a transformation of God from being just the god of Abraham, to the declaration that he now wants to open himself up to being praised by everyone.

13 The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.

God is going to go out and mess some stuff up.

21 The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.

Nothing makes God happier, than his own righteousness.

So what have we learned today?

1. The (possibly) new Isaiah seems to like the word vanity, just like Solomon did when he got older.

2. Other gods are worthless.

3. In around the year 540 BC, God decided that it was about time for him to be praised by everyone. This happily coincided with the invasion of Babylon by Cyrus, who then wanted to learn of this mysterious jewish people, and their "ONE TRUE" God.


Judges 9:21 And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.
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