Israel’s Only Salvation – Isaiah 43:1-13
But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.
4 Because you are precious in my sight,
and honored, and I love you,
I give people in return for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
5 Do not fear, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
and from the west I will gather you;
6 I will say to the north, “Give them up,”
and to the south, “Do not withhold;
bring my sons from far away
and my daughters from the end of the earth—
7 everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”
8 Bring forth the people who are blind, yet have eyes,
who are deaf, yet have ears!
9 Let all the nations gather together,
and let the peoples assemble.
Who among them declared this,
and foretold to us the former things?
Let them bring their witnesses to justify them,
and let them hear and say, “It is true.”
10 You are my witnesses, says the Lord,
and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me.
11 I, I am the Lord,
and besides me there is no savior.
12 I declared and saved and proclaimed,
when there was no strange god among you;
and you are my witnesses, says the Lord.
13 I am God, and also henceforth I am He;
there is no one who can deliver from my hand;
I work and who can hinder it?
What does the passage say?
V. 1-4 God’s redeeming act for God’s people. God promises God’s people that God will save them. God’s promise was shown through God’s mighty hand working through Exodus. God promises that God will protect God’s people from the waters and fire. In the Message it says, “I’d sell off the whole world o get you back, trade the creation just for you” (v.4 The Message), and God truly did this by sending God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
V. 5-10 God promises to bring God’s people together. God’s invitation extends to the whole nation, confirming the covenant God made with Abraham. (Genesis 12:1-3). God created all people in the world, and all creation is called to be the witness of God’s love. “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he” (v. 10 NIV).
V. 8-13 God wants the people to know and believe that salvation only comes from God. Maybe God is even frustrated that people follow things that are created by the world.
What does the passage say?
“I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior” (v. 11 NRSV)
Many people tend to find a saving place beside God. Like the Israelites, they will believe in God but still follow other gods. The other gods in this world show up in forms of enjoyment, leisure, and anything that will fill up our desires. If we don’t stop in chasing these things to fill up our desires, we are not different from the Israelites.
God emphasise to God’s people that there is no salvation beside God. Salvation is not limited to what happens when we die but also means the freedom of life in this world. The freedom is not living according to whatever we want, but to live according to God’s will.
Through our submission to God, we can fulfill the covenant of God making us a blessing to this world. Why do we chase other gods abandoning this promise?
What are your thoughts?
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