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Book of Isaiah
Chapters 49-57 give us God’s gracious provision of redemption. This second section (chapters 49-57) points to an effective cure for their (and our) real problems. On the outside, Israel’s exile would seem to be the bad guy ruining their lives. But, if from section one they can understand that their judgment is because of their sin, then they will look for relief not only in a return to their homeland but in the healing of their sins, and ONLY God alone can provide this healing.
Although they are comforted about their return to Palestine, it is just a small part of the complete worldwide plan of healing that Almighty God will provide through His gracious and Humble Servant. The Servant serves as the Center of Hope in these chapters. Because of this awesome Servant, Israel can be assured that God has not forsaken them. In reality, the Servant will lead ALL nations to serve God. Slowly this Majestic Servant is introduced. His work is not easy, but He finds strength in the LORD God.
Through the multitude of verses describing the Suffering Servant, the Israelites (and we as well), should begin to realize the cost of salvation. It is easy enough to arrange for their passage back to Judah as the first section emphasized using Cyrus the Persian emperor as His servant. But, this Suffering Servant, brings God’s people back through sufferings which climax with His death on the cross, and in this way He has become their Saviour (and ours). He died for their sins. What should have been OUR sufferings, became His sufferings. Do you honestly realize just what Jesus did for us? For you and for me? And because He faithfully did and does His work, He prospers and leads all those who are made righteous (justified) by Him (Rom.3:24; 5:1, 9).
God ever so patiently taught the Jews that His plan was to incorporate people all around the world. The many was to include people from all around the world . . . Jews AND Gentiles! The every one in chapter 55:1 is all-encompassing. Chapter 56 deliberately assures these strangers (Gentiles) not to feel inferior or unimportant. Consider the following:
#1. Man looks for political freedom; God provides spiritual freedom in the kingdom of God.
#2.Man thinks only of his own race. God helps people from every tongue and race.
How great and immeasurable is God’s grace! Chapter 57 brings us back to the operating table. God spreads out our wickedness right before our eyes, and IF you sincerely want salvation of your soul, and long for hope of everlasting life, you must be willing to hear what the LORD has to say to you. Are you listening???
Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (KJV)
Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (KJV) . . . This is very important, because Jesus says it again!
Luke 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (KJV)
Ch.40-48: Isaiah 48:22 There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked. (KJV)
Ch.49-57: Isaiah 57:21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. (KJV)
Ch.58-66: Isaiah 66:24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. (KJV)
All three of these last sections end with the same idea . . . there shall be no peace, to the wicked. The Messiah brings peace, but any and all who reject Him will NEVER know peace. Turning TO idols is turning AWAY from the Messiah. As we have seen, this section has majored in a condemnation and rebuke of idolatry. Idolatry is a road that leads to Babylon. The LORD, in the Book of Isaiah, is traveling the lonely road to Calvary. BEWARE!!! ALL idolatry and witchcraft are an abomination to the LORD: (Deut.27:15; 1 Ki.11:7; 23:13; Isa.44:19; Jer.32:35; Eze.18:12; Dan.12:11; Mal.2:11; Rev.21:27)
ISAIAH 50 parallels with PHILIPPIANS. Philippians is the book of the racer (Phil.2:16). Isaiah 50:5-7 shows Christ's suffering and purpose of heart, who set His face like a flint to win the race. Compare that with the racer in Phil. 3:7-14, and with Christ's humiliation as in Phil. 2:8. The remnant will be the actual racers in Israel. Isaiah 50:5 The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. Psalm 40:6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
Heb. 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: . . . His Body was pierced, that Special, Perfect Body was for sacrifice. Phil. 2:7-8 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. . . . He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of that horrid Cross.
Isaiah Chapter 50 correctly consists of two parts:
Part #1. The first includes verses 1-3, and contains a statement of the reasons WHY the Jews had been rejected and punished. They are to be regarded as in exile in Babylon. It might be thought by some of the unbelieving Jews, that the calamities that came upon them was not proof that they were suffering under His righteous displeasure. This is to show them the real reason of their suffering: God tells them:
(a). Their sufferings were not the result of impulse on His part, as a husband often puts away his wife without any good reason (vs.1).
(b). There was a direct reason for their rejection by Him, and that reason was their sins. It was their fault, not His!
(c). It was not for lack of power on the part of God to save them. His Hand was not shortened, and He had abundantly shown that He had power to defend His people (vs.2-3). He was able to dry up the sea, and to make the rivers a desert, and He clothed the heavens with blackness, so He was well able, therefore, to save His people.
Part #2. The second part of chapter 50 includes verses 4-11. This speaks of a different subject; and in respect to it, there have been many interpretations. A speaker is introduced who claims to be very qualified for office to which He was called (vs.4); who has been amply endowed by God for the mission on which He is sent (vs.5); who meets with opposition, but who accepts it all with meekness (vs.6); who puts His trust in God, and confides in Him alone (vs.7-9); and who calls on all who fear the LORD to hear Him (vs.10); and who threatens to inflict punishment on all who do not listen to Him (vs.11). This part of the chapter has been referred, by different interpreters, to different individuals: some say it refers to the prophet Isaiah; others say it refers either to the prophet or to some other one living in exile at the time of the captivity. The more common interpretation is that it refers to the Messiah, and this is what I believe.
The Passage, if it refers to the Messiah, as I believe it does, relates above all to His humiliation and sufferings, and agrees with that in Isaiah Chapter 53, which embraces the following points:
#1. He was gifted for His work, and especially suited to comfort the afflicted and weary (vs.4).
#2. He totally obeyed God, and submitted to all His appointments cheerfully (vs.5).
#3. He willingly submitted with meekness to all the injuries inflicted upon Him by others, even to their deepest contempt, disrespect and ridicule (vs.6).
#4. He persisted in these terrible trials because He put His faith and trust in God, and believed that He could and would deliver Him (vs.7-9).
#5. He calls upon all who feared God to put their trust in Him, and stand firm in Him, which was a statement to the pious portion of Israel (vs.10).
#6. He warns those who trusted in themselves, and those who were seeking only their own welfare, that He, Himself would inflict a devastating punishment on them, and that they would lie down in sorrow (vs.11).
Theme: The reason for the rejection of Israel: Israel's rejection of Christ.
Israel's rejection of Christ is the real hurdle that they must get over, before there can ever be any blessing for them. He came as their Messiah; He actually was one of them. John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (KJV) . . . Christ came to His own people, the Jews, and His own people denied Him and refused to receive Him as their Messiah.
God the Father States the Reason (50:1-2)
Isaiah 50:1 Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away. (KJV)
Thus saith the Lord . . . to the Jews in Babylon, this is another sermon begun here, and continued into the next chapter. The main idea is to prove God's justice, and to convince the Jews that they were the cause of all their calamities which they imputed to God.
Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement? . . . God here speaks of Himself as the Husband of His people, as having married Israel to Himself, meaning the tender affection which He had for His people. This figure is often used in the Bible. As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee (Isa.2:5); For thy Maker is thy husband (Isa.54:5); Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord, for I am married unto you (Jer.3:14). The church is called the bride, the Lamb‘s wife (Rev.31:9).
Or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you . . . among the Hebrews, a father had the right, by the law of Moses, if he was oppressed with debt, to sell his children (Ex.21:7; Neh.5:5), and too, if a man had stolen anything, and had nothing to make restitution, he might be sold for the theft (Ex.22:3). If a man also was poor and unable to pay his debts, he might be sold (Lev.25:39; 2 Ki.4:1; Mat.18:25). In this Passage, God says that He had not been ruled by any such motives in His dealings with His people. He had NOT dealt with them as a poor parent sometimes felt himself under a necessity of doing, when he sold his children, or as a creditor did when a man was not able to pay him. He had been governed by different motives, and He had punished them only because of their transgressions.
Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves . . . you have sold yourselves, meaning that they went into captivity because of their sins. It was their own actions that caused them to become slaves to a foreign power. It was their choice alone, NOT God’s choice. It was Israel who had willingly disobeyed the LORD (Jer.25:7-12; 29:10). Your iniquities . . . they could blame NO one but themselves and their sins for their captivity and misery.
*****Under a Mosaic Law (Deut.24:1), a man could put away his wife for the smallest excuse. A cruel, hardhearted man could use this law to get rid of his wife. The God of Israel asks them if they know on what grounds He had set them aside. God is NEVER cruel or brutal to His people, but He certainly will chastise them (Jn.15:2; 1 Cor.11:32; Heb.12:5; Rev.3:19). Israel is spoken of as the wife of God, which is the theme in the Book of Hosea. It was NOT a hateful whim or impulse of God that caused Israel to be set aside . . . God makes it very clear that it was their sin brought about their rejection. http://www.godcannotlie.org/hos_intro.htm
Isaiah 50:2 Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst. (KJV)
Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? . . . the prophets that prophesied to Israel, tried to bring them to repentance, that the LORD might be said to come by His prophets, for they truly were His messengers . . . BUT Israel did NOT receive the prophets nor their messages, and instead they were despised and rejected and therefore were carried captive (2 Chron.36:15-21). I think that it may be best to understand this of the Coming of Christ in the Flesh; when there were none that would receive Him, none would come to Him, but they hid their faces from Him. Israel wanted none to gather unto Christ, nor attend His ministry. They would neither go in themselves into the kingdom of the Messiah, nor let others go in that were entering (Jn.1:11; 3:19; 5:40, 44; 8:45-46; 12:37-41).
When I called, was there none to answer? . . . none obeyed, none considered His Voice through the prophets. It certainly was NOT God’s fault that they had been punished . . . it was because they did NOT listen to the prophets who brought messages which the LORD Himself had sent to them.
Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver?. . . the meaning is, that it was NOT because God was unable to save them, that they had been so punished. The hand in the Scriptures, is a symbol of strength, just as it is the instrument by which we accomplish our purposes. To shorten the hand, is a symbol of decreasing or destroying our ability to execute any purpose (Num.11:23; Isa.59:1). It was not because the LORD was less able to save them than He had been in former times, that they were sold into captivity, it was because of their sin.
Behold, at my rebuke, I make the rivers a wilderness . . . just as a father rebukes a disobedient child, the LORD would dry up the rivers. Similar language is used of the Saviour when He stilled the tempest on the sea (Mat.8:26). The reference here is to doubt, to the fact that God dried up the Red Sea, or made a way for the children of Israel to pass through it (Ex.14:21-22). The idea is, that the LORD who had power to perform such a astonishing miracle as that, also had power to deliver His people at ANY time, and that it was NOT for lack of power in Him that the Jews were suffering in exile.
Their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst . . . the fish die and stink when the rivers dry up. The idea here is, that it was God’s power to dry up those streams and rivers, and that He who could do that, could save and uphold His people.
*****When I came . . . WHEN did God come directly to His people? Not through His prophets but by Himself, to Israel! And when did He expect a welcome? It was NOT when He descended on Mount Sinai to give them the Mosaic Law. He wanted no welcome then, but commanded that they keep their distance (Ex.19:11-13). But when the Son of God came as a Humble Man, there was NO reception of Him at all. Israel did NOT welcome Him at His Birth; nor did they receive Him when He began His ministry; instead they rejected Him and demanded that He be crucified (Mk.15:13-14; Lk.23:21-23; Jn.19:6, 15). The Jews killed their Messiah. Simon Peter told it just like it was:
Acts 2:22-24 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. (KJV)
Acts 4:10-12 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (KJV)
The One and Only TRUE and Almighty GOD makes it very clear that because Israel rejected their Messiah, they have been set aside . . . but that too, is just another detour in their journey. They shall indeed be restored in the last days!
Isaiah 50:3 I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering. (KJV)
I clothe the heavens with blackness . . . with dark clouds of a tempest, possibly a reference to the remarkable clouds and tempests that encircled the summit of Sinai when He gave the Law (Ex.19:18; 20:18; Deut.4:11-12). Or maybe this refers to the thick darkness which He brought over the land of Egypt (Ex.10:21); and also in the last days (Rev.16:10-11). Verse 2 refers to the exhibitions of His great power; here He refers to the exhibition of His power in the sky; and the fact is, that He who had the power to spread darkness over the face of the sky, also had power to deliver His people.
And I make sackcloth their covering . . . referring to the clouds. Sackcloth was a coarse and dark cloth which was usually worn as a symbol of mourning (Isa.15:3). The same image is used in (Rev.6:12). To say that the heavens were clothed with sackcloth, is a most shocking and extraordinary figure to say the least.
God the Son Speaks of His Humiliation (50:4-6)
Isaiah 50:4 The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. (KJV)
The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned . . . this verse starts a new subject, and the Deliverer is directly introduced as Messiah Himself speaking. The reasons why this is considered to refer to the Messiah, have been given in the introduction above. Those reasons will be supported by observing the specific expressions in the Passage, and by showing in what way they apply to Him. I believe that the reference is to the Messiah; and we shall see that it is a beautiful description of His character, and of some of the main events of His Life. I think that this verse is intended to state just how well that He was suited for the special work for which He was called. His whole ability and gift is traced back to God, His Father, for it was He who had called Him; He who had given Him the tongue of the learned, and He who had carefully and attentively qualified Him for His work as Man. NO one on the subject of religion ever spoke like Jesus; and NO one else was ever so well qualified to instruct mankind.
That I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary . . . burdened with the sense of his sad and deplorable condition, where a word of comfort is most welcome and acceptable. The proper and principal plan of Christ's ministry was to give rest and comfort to distressed souls, according to what is said with respect to this (Mat.11:28); and all the doctrines, reproofs, and warnings of Christ were directed to make people fit for comfort and salvation.
He wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned . . . He wakens me early every morning. The idea is, that the Redeemer would be exceptionally endowed to instruct and guide in His work. He would be One who was, so to speak, in the school of God; and who was infinitely qualified to impart instruction to others.
Isaiah 50:5 The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. (KJV)
The Lord God hath opened mine ear . . . has revealed to Me; or has given Me a power and will to hear and receive His commands (Ps.40:6; Isa.35:5).
And I was not rebellious, neither turned away back . . . I willingly undertook the task of communicating the divine will of God to mankind. The statement here agrees with all that is said of the Messiah, that He was willing to come and do the will of God, and that whatever trials the work involved He was prepared to meet them (Ps.40:6-8; Heb.10:4-12). Neither turned away back . . . the same thing repeated in other words. Christ did not turn away His Ear from hearing any of God's commands, nor His Feet from going where God sent Him, no matter how difficult or dangerous the job was. He seems to refer to the former prophets, many who had shrunk back, and for a time refused such work as God called them to, such as Moses (Ex.3:11,13), and others. What about YOU? Do you go ye therefore? (Mat.28:19-20).
Isaiah 50:6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. (KJV)
I gave my back to the smiters . . . I willingly submitted to be scourged, or whipped. This is one of the parts of this chapter which can be applied to absolutely NO other person except the Messiah. There is not one tiny bit of evidence, that Isaiah was ever subjected to any such trial as this, or that he was scourged in a public manner. This was literally fulfilled in the LORD Jesus Christ (Mat.27:26-27; Lk.18:33). Smiters with scourges and with the open hand (Mk.14:65). To pluck the hair is the highest insult that can be offered an Oriental (2 Sam.10:4; Lam.3:30; Mat.5:39).
And my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair . . . Plucked off the hair; which was a punishment inflicted upon criminals (Neh.13:25).
I hid not my face from shame and spitting . . . to spit on anyone was thought among the Orientals, as it is everywhere else, as an act of highest insult and dishonor. Spitting in a man's face was a symbol of contempt and detestation, and this was literally fulfilled in Christ:
(Deut.25:9; Num.12:14; Job 30:10; Isa.50:6; Mat.26:67; 27:30; Mk.10:34; 14:65; 15:19; Lk.18:32-33; 22:64; Jn.18:22; 10:3; Acts 23:2).
*****All this was literally fulfilled when Jesus was arrested. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all record the fact that He was spit upon, scourged, buffeted and smitten. This is something people do not want to think about and would much prefer to go to a more pleasant topic, but it was literally fulfilled by the LORD Jesus Christ, the Suffering Servant!
Isaiah 50:7 For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. (KJV)
For the Lord GOD will help me . . . He will stand by and comfort Me amidst all these words of contempt and scorn.
Therefore shall I not be confounded . . . I will not be confused or irritated; I will stand firm with all assurance of God’s favor and protection.
Therefore have I set my face like a flint . . . to harden the face, the brow, the forehead, might be used either in a bad sense (Isa.48:4; Eze.3:7-9) meaning arrogance or shamelessness; or a good sense meaning courage, firmness, resolution. It is used in this good sense here; and it means that the Messiah would be firm and determined during all the contempt and scorn which He would meet, and would not shrink back from any kind or degree of suffering which would be necessary to accomplish the great work in which He was given (Jn.19:10-11)
Isaiah 50:8 He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. (KJV)
He is near that justifieth me . . . meaning God the Father will defend My character, and approve of what I do. He does not leave nor forsake me (Heb.13:5), and I can with assurance commit Myself and My cause to Him (Isa.49:4). Justify is not used here in the sense in which it is often in the Scriptures, to mean the act by which a sinner is justified before God (Rom.3:24; 5:1) . . . but in the proper, legal sense, where God would declare His Servant to be righteous; He would defend and support His character, and clearly show Him to be innocent.
Who will contend with me? . . . this indicates the Servant’s confidence in God, and in the goodness of His own character. The language is taken from transactions in the courts of justice; and it is a solemn call, on any who would dare to oppose Him, to enter into a trial, and declare accusations against Him before the tribunal of a Holy God.
Let us stand together . . . before the seat of judgment as in a court (Isa.41:1).
Who is mine adversary? . . . means not just one who has a reason, but one who has a claim, and demands that the judgment should be in their favor. The call here is on any who should have such a claim to prefer against the Messiah; any who should have any real ground of accusation against Him. This is a claim of His innocence.
Let him come near to me . . . let My enemy come and make his charges, and enter into the trial.
I challenge all my accusers to stand and appear before the Judge Face to face, to produce all their charges against Me; for I know that I am innocent, and I know that God will rule in My favor.
Isaiah 50:9 Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up. (KJV)
The Lord GOD will help me . . . in the Hebrew this is, The Lord GOD, as it is in (vs.7). These are among the places where some say that translators have improperly rendered the word yehovâh (Jehovah) by the word God.
Who is he that shall condemn me? . . . If the Lord GOD is my Advocate and Friend, my cause must be right. Similar language is used in Psalms and by the apostle Paul: Psalm 118:6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? (KJV) Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (KJV) . . . If God be for us, who can be against us? What can man do to me?
They all shall wax old . . . all my enemies shall pass away, as a garment is worn out and cast aside. The idea is that the Messiah would survive all their attacks. His cause, His Truth and His reputation would live, while all the power, influence and reputation of His adversaries would vanish as a garment that is worn out and thrown away.
The moth shall eat them up . . . (Isa.51:8). The moth is a well-known insect dedicated mainly to wool clothes, and which soon consumes them (Job 4:19; 13:28; Hos.5:12). In eastern countries, wealth often consisted largely in changes of clothing, and the destructions of the moth would be especially to be feared, and because of this, it is frequently referred to in the Bible. The idea here is, that the enemies of the Messiah would be completely destroyed.
Trust God, Not Yourselves (50:10-11)
Isaiah 50:10 Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God. (KJV)
Who is among you that feareth the LORD? . . . He now turns His speech from the unbelieving and rebellious Jews to those who were or should be pious and true to God. It is the language of the Messiah, calling on the one class to put their trust in the LORD, and threatening the other with disapproval and wrath. The advice in this verse is made in view of what is said in the previous verses. It is the appeal of the Redeemer to all who love and fear God, and who may be placed in circumstances of trial and darkness as He was. He had been afflicted, persecuted and forsaken by people (vs.6), but He had always trusted in God and committed His cause to Him; and God had NEVER left Him nor forsaken Him (Heb.13:5). That feareth the Lord, are those who worship God.
That obeyeth the voice of his servant . . . the Messiah (Isa.42:1). This is another characteristic of faithfulness. They who fear the LORD will also obey the Voice of the Redeemer (Jn.5:23).
That walketh in darkness, and hath no light . . . In a manner similar to the Messiah (vs.6), God’s true people experience afflictions like others, and often have trials mainly their own. They are sometimes in deep darkness of mind, and see no light. Comfort seems to have forsaken them, and their days and nights are passed in misery.
Let him trust in the name of the LORD . . . not in himself, nor in any creature, but in the LORD Himself; in the perfections of His nature, His mercy, His grace and His goodness. The Messiah had done this (vs.8-9), and He urgently encourages all others to do it, for by doing this they would obtain divine assistance, and would find that He would never leave nor forsake them (Heb.13:5).
And stay upon his God . . . lean on Him, as one does on a cane, staff or other support. This also may be still regarded as the language of the merciful Redeemer, appealing to free grace, mercy and faithfulness of the LORD, declared in His Word; and in His interest in God, who by the mediation of this Servant is reconciled to Him, and made His God. The covenant interest continues in the darkest dispensation. The LORD is still the believer's God; and faith is our stay as we lean on Him. He is what we depend on, His power will protect us, His wisdom will guide us, and His grace and goodness supply all our needs.
Isaiah 50:11 Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow. (KJV)
Behold, all ye that kindle a fire . . . see that you enjoy the light and comfort of it . . . you that reject the light which God hath set up, and refuse the counsel of His Servant. You seek for comfort and safety, and think that you can enjoy His favor, by your own inventions. This was the common error of the Jews in all ages, and especially in the days of the Messiah, when they denied and refused Him, who was the only Way of righteousness and salvation (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12), which He appointed, and rested upon their own traditions and devices. This verse refers to the wicked. In the previous verse, the Messiah had called upon all the pious to put their trust in God, and it is there implied that they would do so. But it would not be so with the wicked. In times of darkness and calamity, instead of trusting in God they would confide in their own resources, and try to kindle a light for themselves in which they might walk. But the result would be, that they would find no comfort, and would ultimately under His Hand lie down in sorrow. The pious who are in darkness wait patiently for the light which the LORD shall kindle for them, but not so with the wicked. They try to kindle a light for themselves, and to try to walk in that which shall soon burn out!
That compass yourselves about with sparks . . . compass, or surround yourself, with sparks or with firebrands, as this very word is fitly rendered (Pro.26:18), which is better than sparks or flames, because only firebrands, and not sparks or flames, are capable of being thrown by one man at another. The wicked only trust in themselves (Ecc.11:7-10). They light fires trying to lighten the darkness, but their efforts lead only to their own destruction. Sparks . . . is difficult to understand, the word may be loosely rendered fiery dart (Eph.6:16) which would be used in battle. Firebrand (Judg.7:16, 20; 15:4-5; Pro.26:18; Isa.7:4; Amos 4:11; Zec.3:2) is the burnt end of a stick, or a lamp or torch.
Walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled . . . you will walk in that light. This is not a command but a statement intended to direct their attention to the fact that if they did this they would lie down in sorrow. The idea is, that this course would lead to ruin. It is implied that they would walk on in this way, and would be destroyed.
This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow . . . as the result of this, you shall lie down in sorrow. How simple and yet how beautiful an expression this is! The Messiah has only to lift His Hand and the lights of the wicked are quenched. His enemies lie down sad and miserable, in darkness and sorrow. The idea is, that they would receive their destiny from His Holy Hand, and that it would be as easy for Him as lifting up His Hand, to quench all their lights, and condemn them to eternal grief (Matthew Ch. 25).
John Wesley called himself a brand plucked out of the burning. I too, think of myself as such! When I look back on my rejection of Christ, my disobedience to God in doing so, and all the evil things that I thought, said and did, it just did not seem possible that He would save me! BUT, He did! I was just like "a brand plucked out of the fire." This can be said of any sinner who comes to Christ . . . that he is a brand plucked out of the fire. Thank You Jesus! Amos 4:11 I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. (KJV)
*****The summary of the Gospel is: He that believes shall be saved but he that believes not shall be damned (Jn.3:18, 36; 8:24; 14:6; Acts 4:12; Heb.2:3; 10:26-29; 1 Jn.5:10-12). Even though for a while a person may walk in the light of his own fire, but in the end, he shall lie down (eternally) in sorrow in the pits of Hell. YES! There is a Hell! http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_hell_is_it_there.htm
See our poem: HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT HELL? http://www.hisservantsministry.org/Poems_H.html
Comfort is here spoken to unhappy saints, going through hard times. They are encouraged to trust in God's grace (vs.10). Consider:
#1. What is always the character of a child of God? He fears the LORD with a godly fear. He stands in awe of His majesty and is terrified of bringing on His displeasure. They tremble at His Word (Isa.66:2), and are afraid of His judgments (Ps.119:120). He that obeys the voice of God's Servant, is willing to be ruled by the Lord Jesus Christ, as God's Servant in the great work of man's redemption, one that yields a sincere obedience to the law of Christ and cheerfully comes up to the terms of His Covenant. Those that truly fear God will obey the voice of Christ.
#2. What is sometimes the case of a child of God? It is thought that although he has in his heart the fear of God, and faith in Christ, yet for a time he walks in darkness and has no light, is disquieted and has little or no comfort. Who is it that does this? I think that this could refer to what sometimes happens among the professors of religion. It is no new thing for the children and heirs of light to sometimes walk in darkness, and for a time, they do not have even a tiny glimmer of light. They walk in darkness when their proofs for a Heavenly Home are clouded, their joy in God is interrupted, the testimony of the Spirit is suspended, and the light of God's countenance is hidden. Do NOT quench or vex the Holy Spirit: (Ps.78:8,40,49,56; 95:9-11; Isa.63:10; Eze.6:9; Acts 7:51; Eph.4:30;1 Thes.5:19) .
Fifteen Predictions, Fulfilled in Isaiah Ch.50:
1. Judah will be put away (vs.1).
2. No man will be able to help in the day when Judah is being put away (vs.2).
3. Only the Messiah alone has power to redeem and deliver (vs.2-3).
4. God has given Me (Messiah) the tongue of the learned that I may know how to help the weary (vs.4).
5. He wakens Me morning by morning to hear as the learned (vs.4).
6. He has opened My ear, and I was not rebellious, neither did I turn away (vs.5).
7. I gave My back to the smiters, and My cheeks to them that plucked out the hair (vs.6).
8. I hid not My face from shame and spitting (vs.6).
9. The LORD will help Me (vs.7, 9).
10. I will not be confounded (vs.7).
11. I have set My face like a flint (vs.7).
12. I know I will not be ashamed (vs.7).
13. He is near that justifies Me, so who will dare contend with Me (vs.8)?
14. Those that condemn Me will be destroyed (vs.9).
15. Those who do not fear the LORD or obey His servant, who walk in darkness and in the light of their own fire, will regret it (vs.10-11).
This whole prophecy, like many others in Isaiah, was written mainly in the past tense, but it was not fulfilled until many years later. The divorce between God and Judah took place about 133 years after these predictions, while the events concerning the Messiah took place over 700 years later.
Book of Isaiah . . Isaiah's Mini-Bible
Isaiah Ch.1 . . Isaiah Ch.2 . . Isaiah Ch.3 . . Isaiah Ch.4 . . Isaiah Ch.5 . . Isaiah Ch.6 . . Isaiah Ch.7 . . Isaiah Ch.8 . . Isaiah Ch.9 . . Isa.Ch.10 . . Isa.Ch.11 . . Isa.Ch12 . . Home Page
JUDGMENT ON THE NATIONS . . . . . Isaiah Ch.13 . . Isaiah Ch.14 . . Isaiah Ch.15 . . Isaiah Ch.16 . . Isaiah Ch.17 . . Isaiah Ch.18 . . Isaiah Ch.19 . . Isaiah Ch.20 . . Isaiah Ch.21 . . Isaiah Ch.22 . . Isaiah Ch.23 . . Home Page
ISAIAH’S APOCALYPSE . . . . . Isaiah Ch.24 . . Isaiah Ch.25 . . Isaiah Ch.26 . . Isaiah Ch.27 . . Home Page
ISAIAH'S SIX WOES . . . Isaiah Ch.28 . . Isaiah Ch.29 . . Isaiah Ch.30 . . Isaiah Ch.31 . . Isaiah Ch.32 . . Isaiah Ch.33 . . Isaiah Ch.34 . . Isaiah Ch.35 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Historic Part . . Isaiah Ch.36 . . Isaiah Ch.37 . . Isaiah Ch.38 . . Isaiah Ch.39 . . Home Page
Isaiah Speaks of Messiah's Incarnation. . Isaiah Ch.40 . . Isaiah Ch.41 . . Isaiah Ch.42 . . Isaiah Ch.43 . . Isaiah Ch.44 . . Isaiah Ch.45 . . Isaiah Ch.46 . . Isaiah Ch.47 . . Isaiah Ch.48 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Introduction to the Suffering Servant
Isaiah's Suffering Servant Prophecy. . . Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Isaiah's Redemption Through the Suffering Servant . . . Isaiah Ch.49 . . Isaiah Ch.50 . . Isaiah Ch.51 . . Isaiah Ch.52 . . Isaiah Ch.53 . . Isaiah Ch.54 . . Isaiah Ch.55 . . Isaiah Ch.56 . . Isaiah Ch.57 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Vision of the Dispersion . . . Isaiah Ch.58 . . Isaiah Ch59 . . Isaiah Ch.60 . . Isaiah Ch.61 . . Isaiah Ch.62 . . Isaiah Ch.63 . . Isaiah Ch.64 . . Isaiah Ch.65 . . Isaiah Ch.66 . . Home Page