Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Our Great God cont. - Isaiah 44

Even more declarations from God as He declares Himself to His people.

Is. 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

Again, the prophet identifies YHWH as the King of Israel. He is the One who reigns in sovereign authority in Israel whether they choose to acknowledge Him or not. Again, He is identified as their Redeemer, their Deliverer, the One who will ransom them with the blood of His Son. I missed the word and the first time through. This message is from YHWH and His redeemer, Jesus the Son, the Lord of hosts; Jesus is the Commander in Chief of the armies of God. Both can identify themselves as the first and the last; Jesus identifies Himself that way four times in the book of Revelation:

Rev. 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

Rev. 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

Rev. 2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

Rev. 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Again, YHWH identifies Himself as the One and Only God—there is no other. There is no room for debate in this statement; it is an absolute.

Is. 44:7 And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.

YHWH alone can bring forth witnesses to His unique ability to tell His purposes for the future and bring it to pass in just the way He foretold. No idol or false god can make that claim.

“since I appointed the ancient people” – This seems to be a statement that references the fact that God did not reveal this unique ability of His until He appointed/called out the ancient people, His chosen people who would descend through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God has often used His prophets to declare His actions concerning His nation (and/or their enemies), and history reflects the complete accuracy of His predictions.

Is. 44:8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

“from that time” = the time “since I appointed the ancient people”
“Fear ye not” – Beginning with Abraham, the man singled out by God to father the nation through which would come the Messiah, God has promised to bless His people.

Gen. 12:1-3 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

This promise was unconditional; there were no strings attached. It did not preclude, however, the need for God to chastise/punish His people when they blatantly rebelled against Him. Always the punishment came with a promise to preserve a remnant. There is coming a time in the future that Israel will no longer be rebellious, but will rejoice to live in blessing with Messiah on the throne. God’s dealings with the nation of Israel have served as a witness to the Gentile nations. His actions on behalf of His nation give proof that He is the One and Only God; there is NO OTHER. God is all-knowing, and He doesn’t know of any other “god.”

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