Partner with as God uses us to make a difference for those displaced by Russia's war on Ukraine.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Isaiah 48

Verses 1-22

  1. LEAN ON ME! (1-22)
    1. Personal! (1-11)
    2. (1) I swear to God!
      1. Didn’t you stop saying this when you got saved? Why?
        1. Your yes became your yes! (I hope)
    3. (2a) They call themselves – name only (posers).
      1. Their pedigree is impeccable, right words in worship, but there is no truth or righteousness in them.
        1. As Jesus gave the same charge to the religious leaders of his day, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. Mark 7:6,7
      2. It is always dangerous using the right formula(vs.2).
      3. It is easy to get into “a rut of a religious routine” of church attendance, giving, singing, worshiping…but all w/o heart.
      4. It is a privilege to bear the name of God.
        1. With privilege comes responsibility. (armed services)
    4. (2b) Lean on God – Like a crutch!
      1. D.C. Talk remade that song, “Lean on me, when you're not strong And I'll be your friend - I'll help you carry on - For it won't be long - 'Til I'm gonna need - Somebody to lean on”
        1. Yet this “Somebody” here, isn’t leaning on a friend, but on God Himself!
      2. Q: What is a crutch? – A walking aid, something providing help or support.
        1. A cane, or crutch, or walking stick, usually points to a weakness in the leg in which one needs to lean their weight upon it for balance, or strength.
      3. No matter how weak you are(or feel), you can lean on Him!
      4. “You say He’s a crutch, then I’m going to lean on him!”
      5. Heb.11:21 “By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.”
    5. Israel = means “struggles with God” (Jacob wrestling) [Gen.32:28]
    6. (4a) Obstinate – hard, stubborn, cruel, difficult.
      1. They were indicted for their hypocrisy & obstinacy.
    7. (4b) Iron sinew – once flexible now stiff. (like y C-6 Discectomy, now cage)
      1. Sinew = a tissue that attaches a muscle to the bone. Means to stretch. A.k.a. tendon, which gives muscle & bone its flexibility.
        1. No flexibility, like wearing a suit of armor.
    8. (5) He didn’t want some idol getting the glory!
    9. (8) A constant refrain of history. The problem of all mankind…a sinner from the womb!
      1. Ps.51:5 “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.”
      2. Ps.58:3 “The wicked are estranged from the womb; They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.”
      3. Jn.3:6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
        1. But also remember God can change a Jacob into an Israel, a Simon into a Peter!
    10. (9,11) I will defer(delay) My anger – Longsuffering.
      1. Can we purpose the same?
      2. Q: How would it help if we did?
    11. God is acting in concert with His name in bringing them back to the land!
    12. (10) The furnace of affliction – Is it hot in here?
      1. God disciplined them & refined them in the fire of the affliction in Babylon.
      2. [Ask] Q: What fire might he refine you in today? [job fires, family fires, relationship fires, friend’s fire, etc.]
      3. Resist God’s flame, the fire will burn you!
      4. Submit to God’s flame, & you’ll be purified & refined!
      5. Daniel 3:17 “If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.”
      6. Daniel 3:27 “and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.”
        1. It was a very real furnace through which Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego passed, & found God in the heart of it.
    13. Nature teaches us this so well:
      1. A lumberman occasionally jabbed his sharp hook into a log, separating it from the others that were floating down a mountain stream. He let’s pass the trees that grew in a valley where they were always protected from the storms. Their grain is coarse. The ones he hooks and keeps apart from the rest come from high up on the mountains. [From the time they were small, they were beaten by strong winds. This toughens the trees and gives them a fine and beautiful grain. They’re saved for choice work. They're too good to make into plain lumber]
        1. God often allows some of His dearest saints to be bent by trial or buffeted by the winds of adversity so that they may be strengthened for His service and prepared to fulfill His highest purposes!
      2. The queen bee lays each egg in a six-sided cell which is filled with enough pollen and honey to feed upon until it reaches a certain stage of maturity. The top is then sealed with a capsule of wax.
        When the occupant has exhausted its supply of nourishment, the time has come for the tiny creature to be released from its confinement. But what wrestling and straining it endures to get through that wax seal. The opening is so narrow that in the agony of exit, the bee rubs off the membrane that encases its wings.Thus, when it finally does emerge, it is able to fly!
      3. Oyster & Pearl - (A sand irritant gets in, nacre kicks in, a pearl begins)
        1. An oyster which has not been hurt does not grow a pearl --For a pearl is a healed wound!
      4. Butterfly & Cocoon –
      5. Allow God’s Word be a soft rain shower to you dispelling the fury of the flames.
        1. His presence is both your comfort & safety.
      6. The H.S. has given you fire-proof armor against which the heat is powerless. (fireman’s turnouts “Bunker Gear”, still hot/can’t burn{up to 1200 F})
    14. But this burden of suffering is so heavy, like a millstone hung around my neck. Yet in reality it is simply the weight necessary to hold the diver down while he is searching for pearls.(adapted from; Streams in the Desert; July 9th)
    15. (11) Q: Been sharing in any of His Glory lately?
    16. Proofs! (12-16)
    17. (12) Two proofs of being the only true God.
      1. His creative power! (13)
      2. His ability to foretell the future! (14)
    18. (16) OT Trinity!
    19. Peace! (17-22)
    20. (17,18) Who leads you – Hear the parental disappointment here.
      1. “Oh, what could have been!”
    21. Ok, so what conditions does God lay down that are necessary to experience the fullness of His peace? {18a obedience!}
      1. Just like Deut.28 – Obedience brings blessings, & disobedience brings chastisement.
    22. Peace like a river. (i.e. wide, deep, moving, flowing, curving)
      1. Q: What would your peace be likened unto?
        1. A small brook, a little stream, a trickle?
        2. We sing, “I’ve got peace like a river(fountain, ocean) in my soul!” [Old African American Spiritual]
      2. Q: Which is more accurate for your peace today?
        1. “I’ve got peace like a puddle?”
        2. Or, “I’ve got peace like a drip drop?”
        3. Or, “I’ve got peace like a drizzle?”
        4. Or, “like a River?”
      3. Enjoy His peace!
    23. (21) Provider!
      1. ​​​​​​​As the Lord provided for Israel in the wilderness as they fled Egypt, so He will provide for them fleeing from Babylon. And for you & I as we return unto Him from our wanderings or even backsliding.
    24. (22) No peace for the wicked –
      1. Q: What does this say then about bringing peace to our contemporary world?
        1. Only by Jesus! “Peace I leave with you My peace I give you!” Do you rent or own peace?
        2. Pray for the Peace of Israel…how? (Messiah)
      2. Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, who supervised the creation of the first atomic bomb, appeared before a Congressional Committee. They inquired of him if there were any defense against the weapon. “Certainly,” the great physicist replied. “And that is—” Dr. Oppenheimer looked over the hushed, expectant audience and said softly: “Peace.”
        1. There is only one weapon against an Atomic or Nuclear bomb, & there is only one weapon against our anxieties, fears, unrest…Peace! ... His Peace!
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 48". "Bell's Commentary". 2017.