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Isaiah 59

The continuation of sin, its consequences, and the mercy of the Lord.

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short
That it cannot save;
Nor is His ear so dull
That it cannot hear.
But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.

Isaiah 59: 1-2

The Lord can do anything and He can save anyone and He hears those who are afflicted. But we have to remember, that although He's carrying the lion's share of the covenant- we do have a part to play and when we rebel and sin, we're damaging that relationship.

Specifically, He lists their sins:

  • blood on their hands
  • fingers covered in iniquity
  • liars
  • wicked tongues
  • unrighteous behaviors in the court
  • "They trust in confusion, and speak lies..."
  • conceive mischief
  • act as poisonous snakes and make poisonous offspring

He goes on to describe their sins and the consequences.

  • because their work is iniquity, it won't lead to their covering
  • violence is in their hands
  • their feet run to evil
  • they quickly shed innocent blood
  • even their thoughts are covered in iniquity
  • "devastation and destruction are in their highways."

They do not know the way of peace,
And there is no justice in their tracks;
They have made their paths crooked,
Whoever treads on them does not know peace.

Isaiah 59:8

It paints such a complete picture of how far they had fallen and why the Lord finally turned them over to Babylon.

But not only were they that far from God's will, but even in their own lives, they didn't have peace. The Lord isn't going to let us be comfortable in our sin. When we lose our peace, it is so important to draw near to Him and ask if there is sin causing it.

Next Isaiah speaks for Israel in response to the charges from the Lord:

  • justice is far from us
  • we can't find righteousness
  • we hope for light and see darkness and gloom
  • we grope like the blind
  • stumbling even in the middle of the day
  • even our vigorous are like the dead
  • we growl and moan like animals
  • no justice or salvation

In verses 12-13 they do seem to move from just lamenting the consequences to more of a confession:

Verses 14 and 15 blend further actions and outcomes, justice and righteousness are affected, truth stumbles, and those who turn aside from evil become prey.

Now the Lord saw, and it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice.

Isaiah 59:15b

But God.

And He saw that there was no man,
And was astonished that there was no one to intercede;
Then His own arm brought salvation to Him,
And His righteousness upheld Him.
17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate,
And a helmet of salvation on His head;
And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing
And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle.

Isaiah 59:16-17

When there was no man to intercede in this helplessly sinful situation, He sent His own. Thank you, Jesus!

I didn't now the breastplate of righteousness and the helmet of salvation had roots in the Old Testament. So beautiful. He who promises is faithful.

Now we have access to the things that were lacking, not because we're better; but because we have the Holy Spirit because of what Jesus did for us. Blessed, blessed, blessed.

I really do love Isaiah. It's been a slog; but it's been so rewarding.

Verses 18 and 19 assures us that along with salvation for those who believe, He will repay those who are His enemies. Just as reassuring as our own salvation is that evil will be stopped.

And then it ends with a powerful conclusion:

“A Redeemer will come to Zion,
And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” declares the Lord. “As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from now and forever.”

Isaiah 59: 20-21

Hallelujah! My Redeemer lives and his Spirit is upon me. And because of that, everything has changed.

It is better this way.

A Ryrie Study Bible footnote mentions that "redeemer" in verse 20 is the kinsman redeemer, so it has to be relative. Jesus is my brother because I have been adopted and am a child of God. Too much to fully comprehend; but so grateful.


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