Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go. 48:17
Israel’s Stubbornness; 48:1-11. In the past God has foretold events and spoken of yet future judgments. But Israel refuses to respond to him: God’s people are as stiff-necked as though their sinews were cast in iron. Isaiah’s fresh burst of prophecy contains a revelation of plans hidden earlier from God’s people.
Israel Freed: 48:12-22. Among the new messages is the promise of deliverance from Babylon through God’s chosen ally (Cyrus). The day will come when Israel’s captives leave Babylon with shouts of joy.
Credit 48:5 It was not enough that Israel stubbornly refused to respond to God. They tended to credit His works to other gods. Spiritual blindness persists, and today we may credit gracious acts of God in our own lives to luck or to our own genius or hard work. How important to sense God’s had in our lives, to be responsive to Him, and to acknowledge His works for us.
5 Even from the beginning I have declared it to you; Before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you, Lest you should say, ‘My idol has done them, And my carved image and my molded image Have commanded them.’
⇒ Robin Cook, my favorite author, used to be a Christian. Not anymore. In his recent book “Genesis” on the first page, he describes “snowflakes” as the handiwork of “nature.” A former professor of medicine at Harvard University, he wrote his novels to inform the public about the medicine and the current situation in the field of medicine (e.g. harmful influence of the insurance industry on people getting good medical services). His focus was on the truth and on human beings. Now he is different. He does not give credit to God anymore while describing the “miracle” of wonders of creation.
Thus, on this nasty New York night, one of the most astounding miracles of the known universe had been initiated: human genesis. Although such episodes of fertilization currently occur in the staggering neighborhood of 350,000 times a day on a worldwide basis, which clouds people’s appreciation by its repetition, it begins a process of truly wonderous, dumbfounding complexity. As a single cell that can barely be seen by the naked eye, the human zygote contains all the data and instructions in its microscopic DNA library necessary to form and operate a human body. That means without any additional input, the single-celled zygote is capable of orchestrating the origin of some 37 trillion cells of two hundred different varieties as well as several billion extraordinarily specific, large-molecule proteins that must be formed according to exacting standards at just the right tie, in just the right amount and at just the right location. The human brain alone, with its 100 billion cells and more than 100 trillion synaptic connections, might be the most complex structure in the universe.
By March eleventh, five days after the lovemaking that initiated this particular ongoing miracle of human genesis, the rapidly developing conceptus reached the uterus to begin its implantation in the uterus wall. Soon it would make its presence known, proclaiming that a pregnancy had begun. From then on, all that was needed for the birth of a human infant in approximately nine months was maintenance of basic nutrients, the removal of waste, and physical protection. Excerpt from Genesis by Robin Cook
Doesn’t one hear “Hallelujah” (Beethoven Symphony No. 9) when reading this? Why do people not see God’s handiwork in this and give him the credit due him?
The Lord’s chosen ally 48:14 The naming of Cyrus as the one to overthrow Babylon and free the Jews some 150 years before the event made it clear that God alone should receive credit for the return of the future captives.
14 “All of you, assemble yourselves, and hear! Who among them has declared these things? The Lord loves him; He shall do His pleasure on Babylon, And His arm shall be against the Chaldeans.
What is best for you 48:17 What a vital insight ito divine law and morality. God did not establish moral law to frustrate “natural” human desires. God sets standards to show us “what is best for you.” Man can be good and happy. Man cannot be bad and happy. Let’s let God direct us in the way we should go, and experience that “peace like a river.”
17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go.
Israel’s Unfaithfulness Rebuked
48 1 “Hear this, O house of Jacob, Who are called by the name of Israel, And have come forth from the wellsprings of Judah; Who swear by the name of the Lord, And make mention of the God of Israel, But not in truth or in righteousness; 2 For they call themselves after the holy city, And lean on the God of Israel; The Lord of hosts is His name: 3 “I have declared the former things from the beginning; They went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to hear it. Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass. 4 Because I knew that you were obstinate, And your neck was an iron sinew, And your brow bronze, 5 Even from the beginning I have declared it to you; Before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you, Lest you should say, ‘My idol has done them, And my carved image and my molded image Have commanded them.’ 6 “You have heard; See all this. And will you not declare it? I have made you hear new things from this time, Even hidden things, and you did not know them. 7 They are created now and not from the beginning; And before this day you have not heard them, Lest you should say, ‘Of course I knew them.’ 8 Surely you did not hear, Surely you did not know; Surely from long ago your ear was not opened. For I knew that you would deal very treacherously, And were called a transgressor from the womb.
9 “For My name’s sake I will defer My anger, And for My praise I will restrain it from you, So that I do not cut you off. 10 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. 11 For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it; For how should My name be profaned? And I will not give My glory to another. 12 “Listen to Me, O Jacob, And Israel, My called: I am He, I am the First, I am also the Last. 13 Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, And My right hand has stretched out the heavens; When I call to them, They stand up together. 14 “All of you, assemble yourselves, and hear! Who among them has declared these things? The Lord loves him; He shall do His pleasure on Babylon, And His arm shall be against the Chaldeans. 15 I, even I, have spoken; Yes, I have called him, I have brought him, and his way will prosper.
16 “Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; From the time that it was, I was there. And now the Lord God and His Spirit Have sent Me.” 17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go. 18 Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea. 19 Your descendants also would have been like the sand, And the offspring of your body like the grains of sand; His name would not have been cut off Nor destroyed from before Me.” 20 Go forth from Babylon! Flee from the Chaldeans! With a voice of singing, Declare, proclaim this, Utter it to the end of the earth; Say, “The Lord has redeemed His servant Jacob!” 21 And they did not thirst When He led them through the deserts; He caused the waters to flow from the rock for them; He also split the rock, and the waters gushed out. 22 “There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”