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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Isaiah 41

Verses 1-29

  1. Intro:
    1. Prayer: Scott & Pam Harris’ son David(Lesie). (Auto accident)
    2. CCM I hereby summon you for Jury duty tonight?
      1. I was just summoned again for Jury duty this time to Federal Court.
        1. I just serve on one last year regarding a guy manufacturing & distributing methamphetamines.
      2. Well, the Lord is asking us to sit in tonight on a jury.
      3. Who is being subpoenaed? The 2 defendants are…The Nations, & later their Idols, find themselves on God’s Court Calendar.
        1. In between the 2 proceedings the judge will stop to address the audience…(i.e.) the Nation of Israel.
        2. The Custodian of Record is Isaiah.
    3. Outline: [1] The Nations Take The Stand! [2] The Judge Addresses The Audience! [3] The Idols Take The Stand!
      1. "Do you swear or affirm that you will try the matter in dispute and give a true verdict according to the evidence?"
      2. God gets the opening statement…(Read vs.1)
  2. PRESENTING THE CASE! (1-12)
    1. [1] The Nations Take The Stand! (1-7)
      1. (2) God would raise up Cyrus from the East(Persia). But will bring him down from the North(after he conquered the Medes, v.25).
      2. (4) (Message) I’m first on the scene. I’m also the last to leave.
      3. (5-7) Jehovah is asking for them to determine whether He or some idol of the heathen, is the true God?
        1. The test is a simple one “Who”? – Who can most precisely predict the future?
    2. While this great arbitration is in process, God spins in His seat & faces the audience, His people, & comforts them w/tender assurance!
    3. [2] The Judge Addresses The Audience! (8-20)
    4. Reason for God’s Choice! (8,9)
      1. It’s Who You Know! (8,9)
        1. Saints, we also are the friends of God.
        2. Jacob was chosen to be the father of Israel; & Abraham, its founder, was a special friend of God.
    5. Results for God’s Choice! (10-20)
      1. Divine protection(10–16)
      2. This life holds many fears! The fear of life’s uncertainties, insecurities, fears of the unknown. Loss of employment, sickness, being left alone, failure of being accepted.
        1. Some can’t cope with it & check out in many different ways.
        2. Some check out w/Sitcoms, others permanently w/Suicide.
      3. If Satan can keep you fearful, then he robs you of trusting in the Lord!
        1. ​​​​​​​He can keep you fearful if he steals from your mind the assurance of Gods personal interest in you!
        2. Fear Not!
      4. (10) No fear because?… God is with us(not was or will be, He is our present companion). He is working out His purposes. He will strengthen us. He holds us as He helps us. He will not forsake us. He will redeem us(14). We belong to Him(I am your God).
        1. Or, just remember “I am” & “I will”!
      5. (11-13) During their time of captivity they were poor & were surrounded by crafty foes.
        1. He will strengthen, help, and uphold his people. Anyone who opposes them will be cut off by the Lord.
      6. (14,15) They found themselves to be as powerless as a worm.
        1. But nothing will be able to separate us from His love.
        2. “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Ps.73:26)
        3. Yes, difficulties would come & even appear insurmountable, but He would Help!
      7. He will take you when you feel as weak as worms & will give you teeth! (Yep, he’s talking…Worms with Teeth! - Biting Worms? – Yes, Attack Worms!!!)
        1. I’m transforming you from worm to harrow, from insect to iron. (Message)
        2. I can remember a 4’ Great Barracuda I pulled aboard in Florida, his teeth I watched. But a worm? (Gardening, opps!)
        3. I remember: Ooey Gooey was a worm, A mighty worm was he. He climbed upon a rail road track, To see what he could see. Ooey Gooey!!!
        4. But I don’t remember any Worm Super Heroes. 2.5.7.4.1.He would turn the “worm” into a “threshing-machine” and even remove mountains! [mountain moving worms!] {W}
      8. Divine provision(17–20)
      9. What the Lord’s hand does for the needy!
      10. He will accomplish this in the Millennium for sure.
        1. But God also did it for Israel when they purchased the North “swamp land”. (planted Eucalyptus Trees & it soaked up all the water)
        2. Also, we will find spiritual refreshment in Him.
        3. Q: Do you need some of that tonight?
          1. He never holds that back…only our lifestyle does!
      11. Faith’s Eye: To the ordinary eye there might appear no outward change in your forbidding circumstance; but faith’s eye always beholds paradise of beauty where other eyes see only straightened circumstances & a trying lot. (F.B.Meyer; pg.304)
      12. How does Faith see?
        1. [1] Faith is conscious that God is there.
        2. [2] Faith knows there is a loving purpose behind every moment of trial, & every degree of heat!
        3. [3] Faith realizes that others are learning from her experiences & lessons.
        4. [4] Faith constantly asks the question, how will God be glorified in this?
        5. [5] Faith submits to the fact that the Lord has done this!(20)
      13. Wrap your mind & heart around verse 20!
    6. [3] The Idols Take The Stand! (21-29)
    7. The Idols are asked to take the stand & say or do something to prove they are divine!
      1. ​​​​​​​Hideyoshi, a Japanese warlord who ruled over Japan in the late 1500s, commissioned a colossal statue of Buddha for a shrine in Kyoto. It took 50,000 men five years to build, but the work had scarcely been completed when the earthquake of 1596 brought the roof of the shrine crashing down and wrecked the statue. In a rage Hideyoshi shot an arrow at the fallen colossus. “I put you here at great expense,” he shouted, “and you can’t even look after your own temple.” (Today in the Word, MBI, August, 1991, p. 23 Galaxie Software. (2002; 2002). 10,000 Sermon Illustrations. Biblical Studies Press.)
    8. (24) The Idols have no response!(surprise!) So, comes the crushing verdict in vs.24!
    9. Q: What other gods could we have besides the Lord? Plenty!
      1. For Israel there were the Canaanite Baals, whose worship was a rampage of gluttony, drunkenness, and ritual prostitution.
      2. For us there are still the great gods “Sex, Shekels, and Stomach”
        1. ​​​​​​​An unholy trinity constituting one god: self!
        2. Today’s idols are more in the self than on the shelf.
      3. And the other enslaving trio, “Pleasure, Possessions, and Position”, whose worship is described as “The lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life”.
      4. Indeed the list of other gods is endless…for anything that anyone allows to run his life is his god.
      5. Idolatry is worshipping anything that ought to be used, or using anything that ought to be worshipped. – Augustine
    10. (24) Since The idols could not plan and control future events he moves on to vs.25 & shares one of is own predictions.
      1. The one from the East is Cyrus the Mede.
      2. This would be fulfilled before this generation passed away.
        1. “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” (2 Pet.1:19)
      3. Only the Holy One of Israel can predict the future, for He has planned it all, & brings it to pass.
        1. If God in fact planned something, then it is pretty easy for Him to predict it, & then make it come to pass.
      4. (29) It’s all smoke and hot air - sham gods, hollow gods, no-gods.
        1. They are No Match!
    11. Trust in the God who planned it all, predicted it all, will bring it to pass.
      1. His promises to His friends are the same today: I have chosen you, I am with you, I’m your God, I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you…Fear Not!
        1. Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Lk.12:32)
      2. Comfort you heart. Wait patiently. Let faith have her way. Hope to the end for the grace to be brought unto you. Ponder these things till what seems only a desert to other eyes, to yours shall be as the garden of the Lord! (Adapted from F.B.Meyer; pg.32; Christ in Isaiah.)
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Isaiah 41". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/isaiah-41.html. 2017.