Isaiah 42:21- 43:7
Imagine you are in exile in Babylon. What do you think that feels like?
Powerless, rejected by God.
No land, no temple, no king – They attached their relationship with God to these.
God mocked or God’s People are defeated – Babylon’s gods are stronger than YHWH
This would cause them to be angry and confused, they had been taught YHWH was the only God, the strongest.
How does 42:21-25 speak of Israel’s past? Present?
v. 21 – Gave them the Law, glorious Law for His righteousness’ sake – a gift to them.
v. 22 – Chaos, plundered, scattered, killed, trapped. In Babylon they are trapped from their belief? EXILE.
v. 23 – Telling them to work out why they are in exile, to think about it.
v. 24-25 – God handed them over as punishment for disobeying Him – God explaining why. So their current state is God’s punishment.
Read 43:2. In light of 42:21-25, what does this promise mean? How have things changed?
God will be with them, they won’t be overwhelmed. Like Israel passing through the Red Sea and flooded Jordan, Daniel and the fire.
God has redeemed them, now he’s calling them back (end of v. 22 – now it is Him)
Read 43:3-6. How does YHWH speak of His relationship with Israel and His purposes for them?
v. 3: He’s still their God, their saviour. Promises and Gifts of nations in their place.
- He wants to bring His children back – close relationship.
v. 4: Precious, honoured in His sight. He loves them.
v. 5: Close relationship. He is with them. Everyone called in His name called back from the ends of the earth.
Read 43:1&7. What makes the change v. 2 and the valuing of Israel in vv. 3-6 possible?
Change = God will redeem them, before He was punishing them, handing them over for punishment.
v. 1: Created them, called them His own – we are His children.
Gave them His name – a seal, created them for His glory. His name, His glory. Treats them well so He can be glorified and they are His, He chose them.
What does this mean for Israel in exile? For us?
Hope – God’s promise (God’s promise to Abraham), it can be counted on (He’s done it before – Egypt, waters).
He created them for His glory (didn’t choose them because they were OK – if He did He could/would then ‘throw them out’ when they turn away and not good enough any longer).
Created a nation out of Jacob, He built a nation (effort) – For His glory. Built Babylon to punish Israel (Habakkuk). Isaiah 40:17, 23&24