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Isaiah 48 (Judah)

The Ryrie Study Bible titles this section "In Releasing Judah from Babylon." The Lord was speaking to Cyrus, Israel's deliverer from Babylon; then He spoke directly to Babylon. Now He speaks to Israel.

In verse, He calls to Israel, son of Jacob from the loins of Judah. He points out that they invoke His name; but not in righteousness. We can call on the Lord, but He knows our heart and He knows if we're really relying on other gods.

In verse 3-5 He reminds them of all that He spoke long ago and how He brought them to pass to prevent the people from attributing these things to their own idols. He told them He was going to send them into Babylonian captivity and promises to bring them out. He wants us to remember so we understand who He is and what He deserves. We're quick to attribute luck or some other agent of fortune before giving glory to God.

Starting in verse 6, He transitions from the past prophesy about the captivity into Babylon to a new thing. Something newly created that they had not known or heard because they would claim to have already known it, dealing treacherously with the Lord. He points out that they have been a rebel since birth.

It's worth ntoing that God shows here that He revealtions come in an ongling manner. Now begins a new revelation. However, it's also important to remember that o new revelation is going to contradict the old.

For the sake of My name I delay My wrath, and for My praise I restrain it for you, in order to not cut you off.

Isaiah 48:9

In verse 10 He tells the that He has refined them, testing them in the furnace of affliction.

He acts for His own sake; He will not share His glory or let His name be profaned.

Verse 12 starts another paragraph in a similar way as He starts the chapter, calling to Israel, the son of Jacob.

He declares that He is the first and the last.

Surely My hand founded the earth, and My right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand together.

Isaiah 48: 13

This verse makes me think of something we recently heard in a Jason Liles video. God didn't just make creation and walk away like a clock maker. He calls to it. It stands together because He calls to it.

Starting in verse 14 He calls the assembly together to declare the new thing, He seems to be declaring that He loves Cyrus and announces Cyrus' defeat of Babylon. He will make Cyrus successful.

Come near to Me, listen to this: from the first, I have not spoken in secret, from the time it took place, I was there. And now the Lord God has sent Me, and His Spirit.

Isaiah 48:16


That's quite a verse. That has to be Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in one verse, right?

It's interesting because there is a Ryrie footnote for verse 14 in which the Lord says that He loves the one who will be carrying out the destruction of Babylon. It sort of seems odd because Cyrus never seems to come around to fully believing in the Lord as the One God. But the Lord called Cyrus Deliverer and Savior previously. I think Cyrus is just a placeholder for Jesus. A picture of Jesus saving Israel and defeating Babylon in the end.

This says the Lord, your Redeemer, the holy One of Israel; I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.

Isaiah 48:17

In verse 17 and 18 He reflects back on the missed opportunities for Israel because of the choices they made.

  • their well-being would have been like a river
  • their righteousness like waves of the sea
  • descendants like sand
  • offspring like grains
  • their name never cut off or destroyed from His presence

But even so, even though they failed to obey His commandments, He's made a way for them. Hallelujah! And hallelujah for all of us who failed to obey His commandments. For His name sake, He makes a way.

He tells them to leave Babylon...flee. Declare with joyful shouting that His servant Jacob has been redemed.

And then He tells them that He will provide for them as they head back home through the desert. He will provide water from rocks.

However, verse 49 seems to be saying that if you don't flee Babylon when Cyrus delivers you out, if you voluntarily stay in captivity, you will have no peace.

Not hard to understand the full meaning of that.

If you like you sin more than you want your redemption, you're not going to have real peace.

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