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(A verse-by-verse commentary)




 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15


ISAIAH 44:1-8

This text is written with Israel in mind.  God will literally bless her with these many benefits in millennial days to come!  However, I believe that the principles of God's blessings apply even to us today in this age of Grace! These dear word pictures sound so much to me like "real revival" that I just had to study them.  Let's pray that God will yet revive his Church in these last days!  First of all here's the whole text:

1)  Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen:     2) Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.  3)  For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:  4)  And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.  5)  One shall say, I am the LORD'S; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the LORD, and surname himself by the name of Israel.  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.  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.  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.



Scripture says in Isaiah 44:1 --- "Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen." That verb "hear" is an imperative verb --- expressing one of God's commands to us! He wants us to HEAR His Word! I pray this Friday as you read these Bible study pages you also will be a "hearer" of the Word! (You must be a hearer before you can be a doer!) To "hear" must be something we can do (with the aid of the Holy Spirit). Otherwise it would not be so commanded us! Its first use in all of Scripture is found in Genesis 3:8 where it is said of Adam and Eve: "And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day." That pretty well tells us WHOM we are to hear! Notice also in our verse today the two names God gives Israel. First He calls them by the name of one of their forefathers, Jacob. The name means "supplanter," but in today's terminology that means "crook," or "one who takes from another!" (That's what we all were when God found us! We were a bunch of lost "crooks" on our way to Hell!) But ... LOOK at what Jacob's name becomes by the time God is through (?) with him: Israel! The (?) means: "Is God ever really through with us ... until we get to Glory?" "Israel" means "God is my Ruler, or God is my Prince!" G. Campbell Morgan used to say that it literally means "Princed (Ruled) by God!" Jacob (via the Grace of God) has gone from being a "crook" to "a man controlled by Almighty God!" Grace! Grace! Good Grace! I trust you see the "progression," the growth in the spiritual life here. Also note that God calls Jacob His "servant." The word is Hebrew "ebed" and just means slave! (It comes from a root stem that means "to work! God is looking for some workers!) It is thought the word describes those who were "the very lowest" of all the slaves! Paul loved to call himself a "servant" (slave) of Jesus Christ! See too that God has "chosen" His sons and daughters! The verb here is in the active voice (Qal stem). God Himself did the choosing. It is (in the sense of time) a "perfect" verb suggesting that the action (God's choosing) is already completed! He chose us before we chose Him! (In fact ... He loved us before we loved Him!) 1 John 4:19 says: "We love him, because he first loved us." The verse has but one command in it! HEAR what the Lord says! If you read the verses that follow our verse for today ... you'll see WHY! The Lord has some GOOD THINGS planned for His children! More on that tomorrow, Lord willing!




I love to discover passages of Scripture that speak to my heart in a new and fresh way! The Bible is such a vast book no one person can master it all! Today's verse belongs in this category. It sits like a diamond in an eight verse cluster of precious stones! Isaiah 44:2 says: "Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen." The verse is just "loaded" with truths! Who makes the great promise housed in our verse? God Himself does! The Lord (Jehovah) "saith." The verb is "amar" (to speak) and is in Qal perfect form. This statement of God is completed! (All the Word of God is completed! No new Scripture is being added! The Bible is done ... and is perfect I might add!) God only has to say something ONCE anyway! He cannot lie (Titus 1:2)! God did two things for Israel here. (I believe He has done the same two things for YOU dear friend.) He "made" (Hebrew = "asah") His people. The term is a Qal participle. God did the work Himself ... but the action is on-going! Made means "to perform a work." It may indicate "detailed" labor. God has been doing this since our very birth! Furthermore God "formed" us as well! The verb here is "yatszar" (another participle, the action is continuing) which means "to squeeze into shape, to mode and fashion!" He is the Potter ... we are the clay! While the preposition "from" does NOT mean "in" the womb ... it still strongly suggests that God DOES oversee and even control our pre-natal development. However, this is not our strongest verse to prove that life begins at conception (rather than at birth). "Womb" means an open cavity! ("beten") Thirty times (KJV) it is translated "belly" and twice "within!" BUT note the little embedded promise here. God will "help" thee! The verb ("azar") means to support, to succour, to surround, to protect! (Glory!) THIS verb is a Qal "imperfect" --- teaching us that this HELP is constant! The first Bible use of azar is in Genesis 2:18 where God promises Adam a "help meet!" FEAR NOT uses the standard verb ("yare") in a Qal imperfect form. Do not allow fear to be a constant part of your life! Keep on "not fearing!" As usual, God gives the command before He explains the reason behind it! If He is God (which He is) ... why do we need a reason to keep His commandments? He does not always choose to explain! However (so far just sticking to our verse for today) ... God relieves our fear partly by reminding us of two "positions" we hold! Let me explain. First He calls Jacob His "servant!" The noun ("ebed") just means a lowly slave! A common laborer (from the root verb = to work)! Now that is demeaning to some today. BUT remember please that a Master did have to meet some needs in the lives of his slaves! Food, clothing, shelter, medical care, etc. (And our Lord is a GOOD MASTER!) Slavery to Jesus has great benefits! Why should I fear anything? Any problem I have belongs to my Master in reality! I'll just turn my burdens over to Him! The He calls Israel His "chosen." We saw that word in verse one. (To accept, to appoint, to elect!) The action here is "perfect," meaning completed! God has already decided about you dear Believer! You are "IN" ... if you're washed in the Blood! (There is nothing the devil or hell can do about it!) It is a finished act of the God of Grace! Why should I fear? I am "chosen" of God! Let Paul speak: "If God be for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31 Lastly, notice the "names" God calls His people! First in our verse the Jews are labeled by their forefather "Jacob." This name virtually means a "crook!" Lastly they are called "Jesurun." That name means "righteous one! (A BIG change!) From a crooked man to a godly man ... by the Grace of God! Now 3 names have been used for the Jews in these first two verses of Isaiah 44: Jacob (crook), Israel (ruled by God) and Jesurun (righteous ones)! What growth! What a God we serve! Lord willing, more tomorrow morning!




An Old Testament passage truly caught my attention one day earlier this week. In it our Lord is speaking. Among other wonderful things, He says to Israel: "For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring." (Isaiah 44:3) What a promise this is! I believe that it refers interpretively to the Millennium when believing Israel (having repented and turned to the Lord Jesus) will enjoy these blessings literally and spiritually. (What a day that will be!) However, today I would like for us old Gentile believers to look at these promises and at least draw some encouragement from them. I do not want to mix Gentiles and Jews here in a wrong way. I seek to "rightly divide the Word" in both preaching and teaching Scripture. BUT surely there are some tastes of honey even we can enjoy for this rock of Bible truth! First notice that God is only going to give these blessings to those who are "thirsty!" Only God can make us thirsty as we should be. (If He can do it no other way, prolonged dryness seems to have a good success rate!) How we ought to pray, "Lord make me thirsty for the Water of Thy Word and for the flowing Streams of Thy Holy Spirit!" Look at what God will do for the thirsty ones. He will "pour" water upon them! It means: To make to flow out! To overflow! The verb's first Bible use is in Genesis 28:18 where Jacob "poured" oil upon his rock pillow in worship to God! This verb, being in this particular Hebrew form, reveals that God will do this continually for His people! The "water" (normal noun for water "mayim") I believe is a picture or type of either the Word of God (Ephesians 5:26) or the Holy Spirit Himself (Acts 2:17)! The parallel noun "floods" is from a root word meaning "to gush, to stream or to drop!" When God pours, He apparently really POURS ! (The verbs are intensifying as we progress!) "Dry ground" translates only one Hebrew word: "yabbashah." It is only found 14 times in the whole Old Testament and is always translated: dry, land, dry land or dry ground. "Pour" (the second time in this one verse) is the same word in the same form as before. The second use of our verb in the Bible is still from the life of Jacob (as was the first use.) And he is still worshipping God by this time pouring a drink offering upon a rock altar! See Genesis 35:14! Seems that God's pouring out blessings upon us ... should prompt us to pour out love and adoration and thanks to Him in return! Here God specifically identifies the Agent being poured as His Holy Spirit! (Behold a greater that Pentecost is here!) This is NOT a prophecy of the Pentecost of Luke's day (50 days following Jesus' Resurrection). It is a prophecy of a coming day in Israel's bright future during the millennium. That's why the term "thy seed" is used. It's for future generations! Is it not thrilling to think that God is able to bless not only us ... but our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren in ages to come! (Someone should frame this promise into a prayer today!) The word "blessing: is in Hebrew ("barachah") a derivative from "barak" meaning to kneel and bless! God has come down to where we are and blessed us in the Lord Jesus Christ! (Truly in this sense all we believers have been abundantly blessed through Abraham's seed!) "Offspring" (future posterity) is fashioned from a root that means to issue (or go out) from a person. (The children of one's family) This is as good as an Old Testament promise can get if one remembers that all these blessings ("showers of blessings") are through the gracious Lord Jesus Christ and His victory on Calvary! Friend, this Lord's Day may you receive in measure what God promises here in full to Israel. May your dry soul be flooded with the rich water of the Word of God. May your preacher enjoy great power today as he proclaims the truth. And may the ever flowing Holy Spirit inundate your innermost being with His abundant-life producing strength as well!




The "Bible Nuggets" Page is prepared for you this first Monday in March. You may study it anytime. (Just "click" on "Bible Nuggets" above in our "Heading") Also the "Sermons" Page has been updated to reflect the next verse in our journey through Psalm 3. (It only has 8 verses.) But I am equally excited about writing this "Home Page" article today! Isaiah 44:4 is our verse this morning. Here it is: "And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses." Yesterday morning we saw verse 3 where God poured the water of His Spirit (and perhaps also the water of His Word) upon dry and thirsty souls! Today we see the result of such a blessing from the Lord. What do the Spirit and the Word do for a Believer? They produce spiritual growth! They "revive!" The specific term here is to "spring up!" The Hebrew ("tzsmach") verb means "to sprout forth! To bud! To grow! Or even to bear (fruit)! That sure sounds like REVIVAL to me! The word "grass" is interesting. It literally is the word the Jews used for a "courtyard." (Probably the courtyards were green with luxuriant, well-kept grass!) Whatever may be involved here ... this grass is royal grass, isn't it? Praise the Lord! (We ARE children of the King! We are bound for a city with mansions!) I recently saw a book on the Beatitudes of Matthew 5 which was entitled: "Live Like a King!" We should! Notice that the text does NOT say that we are like the grass. But that we shall spring up among the grass! We here may be more like lilies or other gorgeous flowers! (Jesus did compare us to the lilies of the field in Matthew 6:28!) Then God's people are compared to "willows" by the water courses! We don't have a lot of word information to work with here. The noun is used only 5 times in the Bible, each time being translated "willows." Every time the tree is mentioned in Scripture ... it is by a water source (brooks or rivers)! It could be a spiritual picture of a believer who thrives when near the Word of God and the dear Holy Spirit! "Courses" of water are just streams (rivers). The word is derived from a verb that means "to flow." Here's PLENTY of water for spiritual refreshment and growth. Now I fully realize that we today have been "spiritualizing" this text. It is primarily and essentially a picture of further blessing (literally) for Israel. I am just glad that the grace of God was also extended to an old Gentile like me ... who believed it and was saved! Willows in Scripture often seem to indicate "sorrow or grief." (We today even have a tree called the "weeping willow!") Listen to Psalm 137:1 and 2 --- "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof." Isn't it good to know that even in times of lowliness and sorrow ... the "waters" of the Spirit and God's dear Word can reach us and help us! Also the bark of willow trees is believed to have certain medicinal properties. In fact, aspirin comes from such bark! Christians are to have a soothing healing effect (in a spiritual sense) on their brothers and sisters in Christ! (It wouldn't hurt us to remove a little pain everywhere we go also!) I am sometimes amazed at the little "word pictures" found in just one verse of Scripture! Fellow Bible students, may YOU today "spring up as among the grass and as willows by the water courses." If you do ... it will be because God has chosen to "pour" upon you the water of His Word and His Spirit!




What an interesting verse we have today! Itís found in Isaiah 44:5 Let me share it with you here: "One shall say, I am the LORD'S; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the LORD, and surname himself by the name of Israel." I see in this beautiful verse several truths this cloudy Tuesday in March. This whole paragraph in Isaiah 44 is one of blessing and abundance. Our verse hints at Israelís response to Godís richly bestowed grace. The verb "say" ("amar" in Hebrew) is in the active voice and the "tense" employed suggests this old sinner saved by grace just keeps on "saying" and then "says" some more! (He canít quit talking about the fact that he now belongs to God!) "Amar" simply means to "utter" or to "speak." What is this ex-sinner yelling so loudly? "I ... the LORDíS!" He just canít get over it: "I ... the LORDíS" I am reminded of these words: "Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy." Psalm 107:2 Yet another person calls himself ("Qara" = to cry out loud) by the name of Jacob! Thatís definitely the OLD NAME of the people of God. Their name at the first ... when (spiritually speaking) they were lost! Jacob actually means "supplanter," a thief, a crook! It points to what one USED to be! This Believer now rejoices in what God has done for him ... bringing him from what he WAS to what he IS in the Lord His God! (This is much like saying: "Iím an old hell-bound sinner ... but have been saved by Grace!") Folks, look WHERE He has brought us from! Yet a third follower of the Lord "subscribes" himself unto the Lord! What does that mean? The verb suggests: to write, to inscribe, to engrave or to record! This man writes with his hand the Name of the Lord ... and does so gladly! This is obviously some VISIBLE indicator that he is the Lord Godís! (With Israel of old this could indicate such things as observing the sacrificial offerings, eating according to the Mosaic regulations, dressing according to Godís standards, going to Jerusalem three times a year to the great feasts and a whole lot more. To us today such outward "subscribing" might involve: Believerís baptism, separated living, faithful church attendance, and more!) This "subscribing" however could be something else. I have read that in those days a slave was often "branded" on his hand (or forehead, etc.) by the name of his master! Here is perhaps an example of being voluntarily "branded" for Jesus! These old ex-sinners are glad to carry His Name on their very bodies! (Paul did. Galatians 6:17 --- "From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.") Every New Testament Christian should be "marked" by the dear Holy Spirit of God also! One more thing here ... the little noun "hand" is the Hebrew word "yad." The Hebrew term (or at least one of them) for "praise" is "yadah." There is an etymological link between "hand" and "praise" in the Hebrew language! Perhaps one way to subscribe the Lord with your hand is to lift it in praise and adoration to His dear Name! Lastly, someone "surnames" himself. This ("kanah" or "canah") means to give a "title" to someone! This Jew names himself by the very Lord who brought him ("bought" him or "redeemed" him) out of Egypt! This is taking the Lordís Name with you everywhere you go for sure! Listen to this New Testament verse: "And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." Acts 11:26 (Twice in the Book of Job this word is translated "flattering titles!") I guess bearing Godís very name IS a flattering title! Just in case someone thinks this rejoicing son of Israel here has taken too much upon himself, listen to Isaiah 45:4 where God says --- "For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me." (Wow!) This passage today sounds almost "Pauline" in its scope and style! What an honor is ours to take the name of Jesus with us everywhere we go! Letís be careful to treat it with honor and dignity! By the way, after the Spirit was so very "poured out" back in verse 3 of our passage (just as the Spirit was poured out at Pentecost) ... perhaps the verse today records the in-gathering of multitudes of lost souls to the Lord God (as also occurred back at Pentecost). Some of the old Puritans believed that this verse "hinted" at the salvation of multitudes of (not Jews, but ...) Gentiles, who then took upon themselves the precious Name of the Lord! I'm so glad God loves old Gentiles too!




I never cease to be amazed at the beautiful truths of Scripture. There are times when the Old Testament Prophets are just eloquent in their descriptions of the Lord God Almighty! We have such a case today. "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." Isaiah 44:6 First of all notice the wording of the description of God in this verse! He is both the Lord the King AND the Redeemer Lord of Hosts! That is a compound subject! Yet the pronouns (subjects to the independent clauses which follow) are singular! This is a clear presentation of the Doctrine of the Godhead! In fact, of the complete Trinity! "The Lord the King of Israel" is God the Father. The Redeemer the Lord of Hosts is God the Son! And the silent Member here is the Holy Ghost of God Who is the Author (The Writer) of Scripture! (The Holy Spirit often chooses to be silent and work behind the scenes!) This is GOD talking! Thus "saith" the Lord! The verb "saith" is "amar" in Hebrew. Itís first use in the Bible: Genesis 1:3 --- "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." With God words have POWER! (Dear friends, our words have power too! Solomon declares: "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof." Proverbs 18:21) The same God Who spoke the worlds into existence also spoke this verse into Scripture. We had best believe whatís being said here. In fact, we had better believe ALL the Word of God says! Notice that the LORD (Jehovah, the One Whose Name is "I am!") here is also the King! The word ("melech") means one who reigns! (From the verb = to reign) But look! The devil wants to reign also! Notice some of the other "names" in the Old Testament that come from this noun "melech." Moloch, who is a false god, an idol, derives his name from the word for King! See Amos 5:26. "Malcham," another false god also comes from the Hebrew word for King! See Zephaniah 1:5. (The devil even names some of his cohorts "king!") God is here associated with Israel ("yisrael"). The term combines two Hebrew words which mean God ("el") and rules ("sarah")! Kings do rule! AND is a conjunction! It is a part of speech that links two entities! Here God is mentioned along with His REDEEMER! The Hebrew grammar textbook says that these are "parallel" ideas! God the Father and God the Son are "parallel!" Now this is not theology yet ... just grammar! God the Father and God the Son are co-equal! (Now, itís theology!) JESUS IS GOD! The noun "Redeemer" ("gaal") means to purchase by payment! Or some lexicons say: To play the part of a Kinsman! Here we have the definite "shadows" of Blood Redemption being presented in an Old Testament setting! Jesus is our Kinsman too! He left Heaven and took upon Himself human flesh like you and me! This necessitated the Virgin Birth! He had to be both God and man! He bought me out of my poverty and sin and degradation and loneliness! (Read the Book of Ruth and study the type of Christ, Boaz!) Get this definition of Redeemer: "To be the next of kin and as such to buy back a relativeís property, marry his widow, etc." The Redeemer is also the Lord of HOSTS! Jehovah of Hosts! The word "hosts" ("tzsaba") means "a mass of persons organized for war!" In the King James Version this word is translated "army" 29 times! Jesus on the Cross said: "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matthew 26:53) This statement alone gives us some idea of the "hosts" of Heaven at His command! BUT letís look at what God (The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) says. "I am the first." Here God uses the personal Pronoun to describe Himself! I wonder how many time that happens in Scripture. (I don't know a search tool that can fathom that question!) The little "am" is italicized in our King James Bibles. These translators were so precise! They are telling us that the Hebrew (Masoretic Text) reads: "I THE FIRST!" The word ("rishon") means first in place, time or rank! (WOW!) It means The Beginning! It comes from the noun "rosh" which means HEAD, the CAPTAIN, the CHIEF! But then quickly God adds: "And I am the Last!" (I THE LAST!) Last ("acharon") means behind, following, subsequent! Once in the King James it is translated "rereward." That means the battle troops behind your people who guard you from sneak attack! (1 Samuel 29:2) Twice our word is translated "end!" I wonder if Jesus had this verse in mind when He said in Revelation 21:6 and 22:13 "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." Lastly, Jehovah says: "And beside Me there is no God!" Beside means "apart from, except, without!" "No" means to "not exist." (To be nothing!) And, very appropriately in this context (for sure), the Name for God here is NOT Jehovah, NOT Adonai, NOT El Elyon ... BUT ELOHIM! The Name of God that indicates His great Strength and is PLURAL! He is a plurality in One! It speaks of the Trinity! One God ... manifesting Himself in Three Persons! What a verse. If God allows, I MUST peach it some day soon!




We have this week been in one glorious passage! Isaiah is indeed the "Statesman" Prophet. I can see why he was "at home" in the royal courts and palaces of the Kings of Judah. Today we arrive at the next-to-last verse in this paragraph. It says: "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." Isaiah 44:7 The Lord is still speaking here. We are going to be shown a view of His great sovereignty! Donít be afraid of that word, either. It means that there is NO ONE above our God in Heaven. He is the Supreme Ruler of the universe (all creation). It seems that the verse is declaring to us two of the things God controls! They are "the people" and "the things" of this world! That opening verb "call" is (Hebrew = qara") a word meaning to encounter a person! Literally it has the idea of accosting a person! God can just "apprehend" someone anytime He chooses! (He "got" me one day! The old-timers used to say that when they got saved ... God "arrested" their souls! It is a Biblical idea!) We are being told that God can "accost" a nation or a war or a political campaign or an earthquake, etc. (anything that fits into the category of people or things) anytime He pleases! But He not only "calls" ... He "declares too! That verb ("nagad") means to to "front" something (to boldly stand out opposite it)! Also: to announce (always by word of mouth to someone present), to expose, to predict, or even to explain! Twice in the King James it is translated "expound." To "set in order" (Hebrew = "arak") means to "set in a row." Or to arrange. Here God is being pictured as setting in order the ages of history (and prophecy) and the peoples (plural because of many nationalities) who have lived (and will live)! Wow! This gives new meaning to the word "dispensations!" God freely admits that He "appointed" the ancient people. To appoint (Hebrew = "sum") is a synonym of our last verb and means "to put, to place, to ordain, to constitute." The first use of this verb is in Genesis 2:8 where God planted a Garden (Eden) and PUT man in it! Our verse says God has PUT people where He wants them ever since! The little adjective "ancient" comes from the same semantic field as does the word "for ever." It means to the vanishing point. As far as one can see and then some more! "People" (Hebrew = "am") just means "a congregated unit!" But quickly notice that God also controls "things that are coming!" ("athah") The meaning: to arrive! By implication: to assent! Anything that comes ... God at least gives "assent" to its arrival! (He can STOP anything He chooses!) One lexicon says it means to come (with hostile purpose)! There ARE some difficult days ahead for this old world according to the Bible! (And for America too!) Then are mentioned things that "shall come." This is a different verb altogether! It is in Hebrew "bo" and means to enter (or to go)! I believe God has His mighty Hand on things going and coming! (Movement in space from one place to another!) This verb DOES NOT necessarily imply bad things ... but all things! I believe that the grammatical implication of these two verbs for "coming" is this: The first verb relates to things coming more immediately ... and second verb relates to things coming ultimately! Remember, every word is inspired! God has His mighty Hands on things coming tomorrow ... and a thousand years from tomorrow too! By this final word "shew" (which is the same Hebrew verb "nagad" as was translated "delare" earlier) God says to any imitators ... "YOU show the future if you can! But you will fail!" Today appearing on the world scene are certain men who call themselves "futurists." Even magazines that claim to foretell certain world-wide trends are now being published. None will be completely accurate! (Plus the "quacks" who read palms and tea leaves and consult spirits ... demons!) Only God is omniscient! Only God knows the ending from the beginning! I donít know what these truths are doing to you, dear friend ... but they are giving me a greater sense of peace and encouragement! My God is BIGGER than I have ever thought!




Today we notice the last verse of our paragraph in Isaiah (44:1-8). Read it with me. "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." Isaiah 44:8 Obviously God is speaking. And we see here an outstanding trait of His Character. God is a Jealous God! (And rightly so!) He says in Isaiah 42:8 --- "I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images." The paragraph following our Isaiah verse mocks the false gods (idols) of the world! We begin with two words for fear. "Fear not" translates the Hebrew word "pachad", to tremble, to dread, to shake! It is a Qal imperfect verb, suggesting that the action is incomplete. "Fear not" now ... and keep on "fearing not" in the future! Strongís says our verb means: to be startled! "Be afraid" is a different verb altogether. "Rahah" means "to fear." It is one of the few verbs for which one can find little help with its history (etymology)! Perhaps it is a synonym for "pachad" which was just used earlier. It has some linkage with the Hebrew verb that means "to throw or to shoot!" It MAY mean do not worry about those who would attack you (throw and shoot at you) even in your innocence. If so, the dangers implied here are intensifying as time progresses! Such situations naturally produce fear. Only God can remove it! "Told" is the verb "shama" (which means to hear ... but in this particular verb stem) means to "cause to hear." (That's the Hiphil stem.) Parallel with the previous verb "told" is another verb: "declared." This one means to make known, to announce, to report or even to expound! God is an Expositor of His Own Uniqueness. There is none like Him! Next God acknowledges the presence of "witnesses" to His words! The noun used ("ed") implies a legal witness such as one would find in a courtroom. God alone is God ... and His people know it! And the particular form for Godís Name here is unusual. God is the Hebrew word "eloah." (Usually we have Elohim.) The name stems from a Hebrew root ("el") that means strength! God is the strong One! (The God of ALL strength and power!) "Beside" means "apart from" or "except." And the second use of the proper noun "God" is derived from the Hebrew word "tzsur," which really means rock! Of course, God is our Rock! (First use, Exodus 17:6 where God told Moses to smite the ROCK and water would flow forth for the thirsty people to drink!) Our Lord is a Rock higher than we are! Psalm 61:2 No other true God exists. God plainly says: There is no other God. I "know" not any! That verb "know" is the Hebrew "yada" and means to know in a variety of ways. It can mean to know closely and experientially! I believe God knows everything! If there were another god ... our Lord would certainly know it! (But ... Iíve got it fresh and straight from God Himself, there is no other!) This is as clear a statement about the existence and power of God as one will ever see in Scripture. Next begins one stinging rebuke of false gods and idols! None of them can compare to our Lord God Almighty! Iím staying with the Real One! Praise His Name!

(When all eight of these verses are placed together, they make one great text about God's true plan for Revival!  May the Lord grant such to His people!)

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



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