This chapter contains prophecies concerning Cyrus (the deliverer of the Jews from captivity) and the great things God would do for him and by him (Vs.1-3). The reasons God would do these things were for the sake of Israel and that He might be known to be THE ONLY TRUE GOD, who is the maker and owner of all things (Vs. 4-7). A declaration is made of the Messiah as the author of salvation and righteousness (Vs. 8), and the contention and murmuring of the Jews about the Messiah, son of man (Vs. 9-10). Christ is the antitype of Cyrus; and the Lord says, "Ask of me and expect great things to be done by me through the Messiah, whom I have raised up in righteousness. He shall build my city" (Vs. 11-13). The conversion of the Gentiles is prophesied, who shall come over to the CHURCH, subdued and conquered by the grace of God, saying, "God, the only God, is in thee" (Vs. 14). God is sovereign in mercy and will reveal Himself as Saviour WHEN and TO WHOM He will (Vs. 15). But the makers of idols and worshippers of false gods shall be confounded and ashamed forever (Vs.16).
(Vs. 17) "But ISRAEL shall be saved in the Lord." The word "Israel" is used in the Bible over 2500 times. Most of the time it refers to the NATION Israel, the typical people. But here and in many other places it refers to SPIRITUAL Israelthe true people of God among all nations. True Israel are the sons of Abraham in CHRIST, THE SEED (Rom. 4:16; Gal. 3:7, 16, 29). He is not a Jew (Israel) which is one outwardly (Rom. 2:28-29; 9:7-8). All who are given to Christ, for whom He died, who are called to repentance and faith, are Israel and shall be saved with an everlasting salvation (Mal. 3:6; Rom. 11:29; John 6:37-39). They shall never BE ashamed nor PUT to shame, forever!
(Vs. 18) This is no idle promise! God's creation is not in vain. He created the heavens and the earth; and out of all of it will come His new heaven and new earth, which He formed to be inhabited by a people conformed to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:19-23, 29-30). The end of all things is decreed and determined by our God before one stone was laid in the earth's foundations (Isa. 46:9-11; Eph. 1:3-6).
(Vs. 19) This covenant of grace and plan of redemption is no secret plan! God said,"I did not whisper the way of life in secret; I did not hide it in a dark place, nor did I say in vain to the sons of Jacob, seek ye the Lord." God, the Lord, speaks in righteousness and justice to all the earth. He has made known His law, His righteousness and holiness, and His mercy to sinners by His grace through the one great Mediator, High Priest, and atonement, which enables Him to be both just and justifier (Rom. 3:19-26). The scriptures (translated into 2000 languages) are clear to all who read, but "ye will not come to Christ" (John 5:39-40).
(Vs. 20) Men who turn from the Almighty God to their own gods and ways of salvation have no knowledge, for they pray to and preach about an IMPOTENT GOD who cannot save. The god of men cannot do his will but must wait upon the will of the creature. The living God cannot lie and can do nothing contrary to His nature; but HE CAN SAVE SINNERS, for in His infinite wisdom and power He has provided in Christ a righteousness which enables Him to be a "just God and a Saviour" (Rom. 10:1-4).
(Vs. 21) He has declared this glorious salvation from ancient times, from before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:3-4: II Thess. 2:13; Matt. 25:34; I Peter 1:20; Rev. 13:8). Who can do this? Who only can declare the end from the beginning? Only the sovereign, almighty, omnipotent God; and there is none beside Him. But here is a keya truth to be learnedHe is a "just God AND a Saviour." In saving sinners God cannot, will not, and does not compromise His holiness. That is why Christ, the God-man, must come, must obey the law, must die on the crossto enable God to be holy as well as merciful (Rom. 3:25-26; II Cor. 5:21; Rom. 1:16-17).
(Vs. 22) Then to whom SHOULD we look if we would be saved? To whom MUST we look if we would be saved? TO HIM!
1. The word is LOOK, not work, labor, nor serve. These things are the results of salvation, but salvation and eternal life is the GIFT of God through the person and work of Christ. Only believe and live! (John 3:14-16, 36; Acts 13:38-39).
2. "All the ends of the earth." All men died in Adam, all men are under the curse of sin,and all men (Jew or Gentile) will look to Christ and be saved or they will perish (John 14:6; Acts 4:11-12).
(Vs. 23) Christ, being the true God, can swear by no greater (Heb. 6:13). This shows that what follows is of the greatest importance. "The word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness," concerning how men are to be saved, agreeable to truth and justice, "and will not return" nor be changed. "Unto Christ Jesus shall every knee bow and every tongue confess that HE IS LORD (Phil. 2: 9-11). Men will repent, believe, and own Christ to be their Lord now and be saved Rom. 10:9-10); or they will, in the day of judgment, confess it in their utter damnation.
(Vs. 24) This is the confession of all believers, "In the Lord Jesus Christ we have righteousness, acceptance, and strength." We came to Him; and in coming to Him, we came to God (I Peter 3:18). WE were at one time "incensed against Him" and are ashamed of our unbelief, and those who continue to reject Him shall eternally be ashamed.
(Vs. 25) All of spiritual Israel, whether Jew or Gentile, given to Christ, represented by Christ, redeemed by Christ, and interceded for by Christ shall be JUSTIFIED IN HIM and shall glory in Him, not in themselves but in Him who is made unto us all we need (I Cor. 1:30-31).
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