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It would be easy for us to rush through Isaiah and jump from one majestic snowcapped mountain peak to another and miss some important truths hidden away in short verses that tell about our Savior and the salvation He provides. There are many passages that reinforce the over all message of hope in the coming of the Messiah when brought together as a whole. They may not "stand on their own," but when seen in the context of the whole they are significant and very profound.
After presenting the great work of salvation in chapter eleven, Isaiah breaks forth in thanksgiving and praise to Yahweh. The prophet can contain himself no longer. In 12:2-3 Isaiah admonishes his listeners to draw from the springs of salvation God has provided.
Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For the LORD God is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.
Therefore you will joyously draw water
From the springs of salvation.
"Waters" is plural in the original and indicates the fullness and all-sufficiency of the blessings that Yahweh gives to His people. The waters flow from the springs of salvation.
We enjoy the sweet waters of salvation because of what God
accomplished for us on the cross through Jesus' death and resurrection from the
dead. Our Lord Jesus spoke of the water of life in His conversation with the
woman of Samaria who came to draw water from Jacob's well. "If you knew the gift
of God," Jesus told her, "and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you
would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water" (John 4:10). As
the conversation progressed Jesus said, "Everyone who drinks of this water [from
Jacob's well] shall thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I shall
give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in
him a well of water springing up to eternal life" (vv. 13-14). Later in His
ministry, on the last day of the feast of the Tabernacles Jesus stood in the
Temple and cried out,
If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me, and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, "From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water." But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:37-39).
Compare these words of Jesus with Isaiah 44:3; 55:1; 1 Corinthians 10:4; Rev. 7:16; 21:6; 22:17.
Do you thirst for the waters that only Jesus can give? All other fountains leave you thirsting for more. Only Jesus satisfies! Learn to draw daily, moment by moment from His refreshing waters of salvation.
A Faithful Judge
Judgment came swift on the descendents of Moab who created more havoc to Israel than her bitterest enemies did (Isaiah 16:6-7). Isaiah draws from the context of God's judgment upon the descendents of Lot to remind his people of a faithful judge. "A throne will even be established in lovingkindness, and a judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David; Moreover, he will seek justice and be prompt in righteousness" (v. 5). These words reinforce 9:6, 7; 11:1-10; 32:1; 55:4; Amos 9:11; 2 Samuel 7:12-16 etc. The throne of David is superior to a Moabitic dynasty. The "Son of the Most High" will sit on the "throne of His father David and reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom shall have no end" (Luke 1:32-33). The ancient Jewish Targum represents this passage as Messianic. The throne in the tent of David belongs to Christ. Israel has a throne with a future (Jeremiah 33:15-17). When the Lord Jesus returns He will dispense righteousness and justice as "the LORD our righteousness." He will do that which is right. How refreshing this thought is in our evil day of injustice. He is faithful and true. The whole book of Revelation is a reminder of how He will dispense justice on the nations of the world.
A Savior and Champion in Egypt
The Egyptian religion was a complex polytheism. However, in Isaiah chapter nineteen Isaiah sees Egyptians worshipping Yahweh. It is interesting that by the first century A.D. there were over a million Jews living in Egypt, and Onias IV built a Jewish Temple in Egypt in 160 B.C. The Roman emperor Vespasian closed it in A.D. 71. Before the coming of Christ there were Jewish synagogues covering the land of Egypt, and the Old Testament was translated into Greek at Alexandria.
However, the passage as a whole is not talking about Jews worshiping in Egypt, but the Egyptians worshiping Yahweh. "In that day," says Isaiah, "there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD near its border" (Isa. 19:19). "And it will become a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Champion, and He will deliver them. Thus the LORD will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day. They will even worship with sacrifice and offering, and will make a vow to the LORD and perform it" (vv. 20-21).
This "Savior and Champion," literally "Mighty One," is the Lord Jesus Christ. Isaiah knows only one Deliverer. This passage is Messianic. Men have carried the message of salvation to Egypt and the people have believed. The good news has been preached there and men have believed on the Lord. The LORD God has made Himself known to the Egyptians. At Pentecost the knowledge of the Lord went out to the land and people believed on the Deliverer, the Mighty One. Before Egypt fell prey to Islam in 640 A.D. there was a flourishing church in Egypt. Will there also be a time in the future when it will again flourish? Let's pray to that end.
Perhaps Isaiah 22:22 may be considered more of a messianic application than a specific messianic prophecy. However, the description of the key to the house or dynasty of David is applied to the risen Christ in Revelation 3:7. Just as the master of the house has a key and complete authority over it, Eliakim has been entrusted with the key to the house of David. The responsibility of the government, security and safety rests on his shoulders. Jesus Christ, as the Anointed of Yahweh, bears the complete responsibility for the Kingdom of God. Christ exercises complete sovereign authority over the Kingdom. He alone is the Head of the house of David.
In chapter twenty Isaiah says the nation has misplaced its confidence in the false security of Egypt. The Lord declares that He will provide His chosen foundation for Israel as opposed to the proud drunken kings of Ephraim and the fading flower of her glory.
Therefore thus says the Lord God,
Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone,
A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.
He who believes in it will not be disturbed.
The leadership staggers under the influence of existentialism and relativism, which believes in its falsehood and deception. God, however, provides a measuring-line for a sure foundation. In "His counsel wonderful and His wisdom great" the Lord cancels Jerusalem's covenant with death and warns her of coming judgment.
The very names God uses of Himself indicates the seriousness of the situation. The "Lord" (Adonay) LORD (Yahweh) is the one who is speaking.
The costly, tested stone is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the "costly cornerstone for the foundation." The Lord God is the one who has "firmly placed" this foundation stone.
"He who believes in it will not be disturbed." We could replace the italicized words with Him referring to the Lord Jesus. He is the only sure foundation in life. Peter resolutely declared to the religious leaders, "Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead . . . He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDER, but WHICH BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:10-12).
The apostle Paul borrowed Isaiah's idea and declared, "For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:11). In Ephesians 2:20-22 he reminds the Ephesian church, "Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit." Peter uses the same allegory when writing about the church as a living stone. "BEHOLD I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED" (1 Peter 2:6). Cf. Romans 9:33; 10:11; with Psalm 118:22; Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17).
Neither will you be disappointed when you put your faith in Jesus Christ. You can receive Him as your personal Savior right now. Here is A Free Gift for You.
Title: Isaiah 12–40 One Liners in Isaiah
Series: Christ in the Old Testament
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2008. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.
Unless otherwise noted “Scripture quotations taken from the NASB." "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.
Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries for ten years. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Honduras.
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