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Bible Commentaries

Wells of Living Water Commentary
Isaiah 40

 

 

Verses 1-11

The Deity of Christ in Isaiah

Isaiah 40:1-11 , Isaiah 40:25-28

INTRODUCTORY WORDS

We suggest a threefold vision of the Deity of Christ as an introduction to the sermon proper.

1. The Deity of Christ as seen in the Gospels. The Gospels abound in proofs that Jesus Christ was God. John tells us, in the Spirit, that Christ was the Word, and that the Word was God, and that the Word was made flesh.

The angels announced to the shepherds that the One born in Bethlehem was Christ the Lord. John the Baptist gave testimony that Jesus was the Son of God, and, the Lamb of God. He even said that Christ was preferred before him, because He was before him; thus proclaiming Christ's eternity. When Jesus Himself began to teach, He bore witness to Himself, that He had come forth from the Father. He said that no one came to the Father, except through Him. He taught that He spoke the words of the Father, did the works of the Father, and fulfilled the will of the Father. He made every claim to Deity, stating that He was the Resurrection and the Life; that He was the Light of the world; and, the "Way, the Truth, and the Life."

The Gospels also give the Father's testimony to Christ's sovereignty. First they record God's words at His baptism when He said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Words similar were spoken at the transfiguration, and even stronger words were given on the occasion of the visit of the Greeks.

2. The Deity of Christ as seen in the Epistles. We ask you to notice the little Book of Titus. There, three times, the Lord Jesus is acclaimed as God. In Titus 1:3 we read the words, "God our Saviour." In Titus 1:4 we read the words, "The Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour." Thus, putting the two verses together the Lord Jesus Christ is acclaimed God.

In Titus 2:10 we read again the words, "God our Saviour," and in Titus 2:13 we read, "God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" In these verses Jesus Christ is proclaimed Saviour, and the Saviour is proclaimed God.

In the third chapter of Titus, Titus 3:4 and Titus 3:6 , once more Jesus Christ is pronounced Saviour, and the Saviour is pronounced God. Therefore, God is Christ and Christ is God.

In Hebrews 1:8 the Father says unto the Son, "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever." Once more Christ's sovereignty stands forth.

In 1 John 5:20 we read these words: "His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life."

The Book of Jude proclaims, in Judges 1:25 , that the only wise God is our Saviour, This is the message of all of the Epistles. The Holy Spirit in Philippians, in speaking of Christ Jesus, says: "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God."

3. The sovereignty and sufferings of Christ as set forth in Isaiah. When the birth of Christ was announced by the Holy Spirit through the Prophets it was stated, "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His Name Immanuel, (God with us)" (Isaiah 7:14 ).

In Isaiah 9:6 the Child born, and the Son given, is called, "The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

In Isaiah 25:9 the prophecy is given of Christ swallowing up death in victory, and then we read, "It shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God."

In Isaiah 40:1-3 , God is telling of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, and He says, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God."

When Isaiah speaks of Christ's coming (as described in Revelation 22:12 ) he says, "Say unto the cities of Judah Behold your God," then he adds, "Behold, the Lord God will come with a strong hand * * His reward is with Him."

Thus the story of Isaiah continues through many chapters proclaiming the sovereignty of Christ.

I. ISAIAH'S PROPHECY OF CHRIST'S DEITY AS TOLD BY FORERUNNER (Isaiah 40:3 )

We have before us one of the marvelous statements of the Bible. We cannot see how any one could fail to see the inspiration of Scripture in such verses as the one before us. Here is God proclaiming, through Isaiah, centuries before John was born, the fact that he was to be the voice of one that cried in the wilderness, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God."

1. Zacharias, the father of John, recognized the Deity of Christ. When Zacharias gave his magnificat at the birth of his son John, he said, "And thou, child, shalt be called the Prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways."

Does it not strike you as very wonderful that this priest, who was father to John the Baptist, should have gone back to Isaiah and have quoted the very verse which is now before us? Not only, however, did he quote this verse, but he spoke of Christ as "The Highest," and as "The Lord." Thus positively declaring the Deity of the One whom John was to proclaim.

2. John the Baptist announced the Deity of Christ thirty years after Zacharias. John affirmed, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the Prophet Esaias."

John went even further than his father had gone. Zacharias quoted from Isaiah, but John referred to Isaiah.

The Prophet Isaiah had declared that the forerunner of Christ would make straight in the desert a highway for "our God." John plainly stated that Jesus was God. He did this as follows:

"He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me: * * for He was before me."

"Behold the Lamb of God."

"I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God."

Whatever others may think, John corroborated the testimony of Isaiah and proclaimed Christ as God.

II. ISAIAH'S PROPHECY CONCERNING CHRIST'S DEITY AT HIS SECOND COMING (Isaiah 40:9-10 )

We have passed from the third verse of Isaiah forty, to the ninth and tenth verses of the same chapter. These verses cover but a short space on the Bible record, yet they carry us from the First Coming of Christ to the Second Coming, in Bible chronology.

1. In verses nine and ten the Second Coming is plainly before us. This is seen in verse ten, which reads: "Behold, the Lord God will come with strong" hand, and His arm shall rule for Him: behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him."

The Bible student cannot read these words without immediately remembering that last and wonderful threefold promise which Christ made in the Book of Revelation, the last chapter.

"Behold, I come quickly" (Revelation 22:7 ).

"Behold, I come quickly" (Revelation 22:12 ).

"Surely I come quickly" (Revelation 22:20 ).

It is in connection with the second of these promises, which the risen Christ made of His Second Coming, that He said, "Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me."

Thus, we have seen that the Prophet Isaiah was referring to the Second Advent a period that lay at least eighteen hundred years beyond the prophecy of Isaiah 40:3 ; and the Prophet declared that the Coming Christ was God.

2. In the verses before us we have Christ definitely proclaimed as God. The cry is made from Heaven, "Say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!"

During the centuries following the times of Isaiah, the Jews anticipated the coming of a Redeemer and Deliverer. When He came, however, they "knew Him not." They crucified Him upon the Tree, in utter repudiation of His Deity.

Since Christ's ascension to the Father the Chosen People have rejected Christ as God. When He comes, however, and they behold the One with the nail-pierced hands, and when they hear the cry of God's second forerunner, saying, "Behold your God"; then, they will mourn for. Him as an only son, and receive Him as God.

III. ISAIAH'S PROPHECY OF CHRIST THE EVERLASTING GOD (Isaiah 40:28 )

The casual reading of these words may at first cause the reader to think of the Father, and not of the Son. A more careful reading, however, will connect verse twenty-eight with verses one, nine, and ten. It is the same God in each case, and the same Lord.

1. Jesus Christ is the EVERLASTING GOD. This is plainly set forth in the Gospel of John which reads:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

That the expression, "The Everlasting God" refers to Christ is not new in Isaiah, for he, through the Spirit, had already said, "Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; * * and His Name shall be called * * The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father."

The Lord Jesus personally spoke of His coming forth from the Father, and of going back to the Father. He even said, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." Jesus Christ, therefore, was God in the eternities past.

2. Jesus Christ was the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth. The Father bore testimony to the Son that all things were created by Him, and for Him; and that in Him all things "consist," are "held together."

In Hebrews God particularly bore testimony that His Son had made the world. That in the beginning He had laid the foundation of the earth, and that the heavens were the works of His hands.

IV. ISAIAH PROCLAIMS THE SOLIDARITY OF CHRIST'S DEITY (Isaiah 42:8 )

1. It is remarkable the way Isaiah forty-two opens:

"Behold My servant, whom I uphold; Mine Elect, in whom My soul delighteth; I have put My Spirit upon Him."

(1) We know that these words refer to Christ. This is settled in the Epistle to the Hebrews. "Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience" as a servant. This, as we see it, was the key-word in Christ's "Kenosis"; that is, this was the essence of His "emptying Himself." He was God, yet He became a Man, taking upon Himself the form of a servant, and becoming obedient unto death.

(2) He was not merely a servant, whose ears were "bored" in abject obedience to the Father, but He was also the Father's Elect. Now our minds immediately go to the thrice-blessed recognition of the Father's approval of the Son.

(a) At the baptism, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

(b) At the Transfiguration, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him."

(c) At the visit of the Greeks, "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again."

(3) He was not only a Servant, approved of God, and Elect: He was also anointed of the Spirit. After the baptism of Christ, the Spirit of God descended like a dove and rested upon Christ.

2. It is striking how Isaiah forty-two continues in verse five.

"Thus saith God the Lord, He that created the heavens, and * * the earth * * I the Lord have called Thee in righteousness * * for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison."

We have quoted only enough of this wonderful paragraph to show that the Father is still speaking of Christ the very Christ who moved among men, to open the prison bars, and to be a light to the Gentiles.

3. It is worthy of note how Isaiah now says,

"I am the Lord: that is My Name: and My glory will I not give to another."

Following these words the Prophet says, "Sing unto the Lord a new song." Afterward he cries, "Let them give glory unto the Lord." The Deity of Christ is plainly set forth in all of this. Our God would not give His glory to another, nor His praise to graven images. He, did, however, give His glory to Christ; and when He dwelt among men we "beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

In all of this God proclaimed, through His Prophet, that Jesus Christ His Servant, His Elect, was approved of Him and was equal with God. God never would have raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His own right hand, if Christ, according to His oft-repeated claim, had not been very God of very God.

V. ISAIAH ATTESTS THE DEITY OF CHRIST WHEN HE ANNOUNCES THAT THE LORD, ISRAEL'S GOD, IS HER SAVIOUR (Isaiah 43:10-12 )

There can be no doubt that the Prophet is now speaking of Christ for the following reasons:

1. He is speaking of the Saviour of Israel. He says, "I, even I, am the Lord; and beside Me there is no Saviour."

We remember how, when Christ was born, He was called Jesus because He would save His people from their sins. Peter did not hesitate to say, "There is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

2. He is speaking of the great I Am. Verse thirteen says, "Yea, before the day was I am He." This title, "I am He," is the Jehovah title. It is the peculiar claim of Christ during His earth life. He said, "Before Abraham was, I am." Isaiah said of Him, "Before the day was I Am." The Lord said again, "If ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins." It is of this great I Am that we read in our key text.

"I am He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside Me there is no Saviour."

After these words, just quoted, the Prophet cries as he speaks to his people Israel, "Therefore ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God."

Israel may not now acknowledge Him God, but when verse fifteen is fulfilled, she will do so. The verse reads:

"I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King."

How wonderful that the God of Israel, the great I Am, the Lord Jesus Christ, is seen in our Scripture as the only Saviour of His people Israel. He says: "I have declared, and have saved." The day is coming when a nation will be born in a day.

VI. ISAIAH MAGNIFIES THE DEITY OF CHRIST IN HIS REDEEMERSHIP (Isaiah 44:6 )

1. The Prophet is now describing the Lord, the King of Israel; and the Lord, the Redeemer. These words must refer to the Lord Jesus because He alone is both Israel's destined King and Redeemer.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the seed of David David's greater Son. To him God has sworn, and will not repent: "Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion." The heathen may rage, and the people imagine a vain thing; the kings of the earth may set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against God's Anointed; yet, in spite of all their ravings Christ Jesus shall some day take the throne.

The promise is plainly written in the Word, "Unto us a Christ is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder * * upon the throne of David, and upon His Kingdom, to order it, and to establish it."

Thank God, "the zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this" in spite of every human or satanic opposition.

The angel positively told Mary that the Lord God would give unto her Son (who was to be begotten of the Holy Ghost) the throne of His father David. The angel also said that He would rule over the House of Jacob, and that of His Kingdom there would be no end. We know that this is true, because when God hath spoken no man can disannul it.

2. The Prophet is beyond doubt describing Christ, because the words he next uses refer to the Lord Jesus when quoted in the Book of Revelation. Let us observe the last clause of our key-text.

"I am the First, and I am the Last; and beside Me there is no God."

The One who is "God," is He who is also "the First" and "the Last." Who is "the First" and "the Last"? We reply, He is God. Who is God? In order to answer this second query we quote from Revelation 1:17 ,Revelation 1:18 .

"And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the First and the Last : I am He that liveth, and was dead ; and, behold, I am alive for evermore."

There is no doubt now but that these words refer to Christ, inasmuch as Christ died and rose again; therefore, Christ is God.

VII. ISAIAH ASSERTS THE DEITY OF CHRIST, IN ASSERTING THAT EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL SWEAR UNTO HIM (Isaiah 45:21-23 )

1. In the opening statement of these verses, Isaiah declares that there is no God beside our God. That He is a just God, and a Saviour.

Some young people may inquire: "If Christ is God, and the Father also is God, how then can the Lord our God be one Lord?" We reply, that the triune God is one: but that the one God is manifested in three Persons the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Do you not remember how in David the Holy Spirit said, "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, until I make Thy foes Thy footstool"?

Here both the Father and the Son are spoken of as "Lord." The Father who said to the Son; that is, the Lord said unto the Lord, "Sit Thou on My right hand." That the Father is addressing the Son is plain, because He is addressing One, described as a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec Thus in our key-verse the Lord is God, because He is a Saviour! and no other one could be a Saviour except God the Son.

2. In the second statement Christ is proclaimed God, because of the universality of salvation's call. Isaiah continues to say:

"Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God."

None other than God could say such words; and yet, Christ said words of similar import.

"Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

Christ also said, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink."

3. In the closing statement of our key-text the Deity of Christ is established in that Christ is accorded Divine worship. Verse twenty-three concludes with the words:

"That unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear."

The quotation above is again found in Philippians, where it is ascribed to Jesus Christ. Its enlarged form magnifies its force.

"That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

With this before us we dare hold no further doubt that Christ is God, and that the Prophet Isaiah proclaimed Him so.

AN ILLUSTRATION

You sit with your hands upon the ivory keys of life, which God made for music. Some there are, who bang the keys with jazz, and verily they make much sound. Others moan out a funeral dirge. Then there are those who play with precise exactitude, keeping all the rules, faultily faultless, icily, puritanically regular, never doing anything "wrong." Yet none of it is music, not even the product of perfect propriety never a strain of real and soulful music!

Said the great musician to his young pupil: "I have taught you all I can. Your technique is perfect. But you'll never be a musician until you fall in love." One day, as she played, he turned to her: "Who is it?" and she blushed in confusion because of the new and wonderful thing that had come to her.

I could imagine Moses saying: "I have taught you all I can. I have given you the technique of proper living, advising you what to avoid. There is nothing to be added except this: "The secret of great music comes only as you fall in love with something higher than I can give."

Then, one day, there steps into the soul, One whose face is radiant as the light-blessed skies of Galilee, whose lips speak melody as soft and deep and stirring as the waves of the Galilean lake, and in that hallowed hour the soul awakens to its Eternal Mate. It realizes the fragmentariness and inconsequence which life has hitherto had; but its completeness and purpose at last have come. It never knew before that the tones of Christ could thrill like this, never suspected the scope and power of the truths He tells. It has fallen in love with Christ. It bends over the keys with fresh zest and begins to sweep from them symphonies which fill life and mount to Heaven and prove what multitudes have found: that the spirit of truest amusement, finally, is found only in trueness of life. Selected.


Verses 25-28

The Deity of Christ in Isaiah

Isaiah 40:1-11 , Isaiah 40:25-28

INTRODUCTORY WORDS

We suggest a threefold vision of the Deity of Christ as an introduction to the sermon proper.

1. The Deity of Christ as seen in the Gospels. The Gospels abound in proofs that Jesus Christ was God. John tells us, in the Spirit, that Christ was the Word, and that the Word was God, and that the Word was made flesh.

The angels announced to the shepherds that the One born in Bethlehem was Christ the Lord. John the Baptist gave testimony that Jesus was the Son of God, and, the Lamb of God. He even said that Christ was preferred before him, because He was before him; thus proclaiming Christ's eternity. When Jesus Himself began to teach, He bore witness to Himself, that He had come forth from the Father. He said that no one came to the Father, except through Him. He taught that He spoke the words of the Father, did the works of the Father, and fulfilled the will of the Father. He made every claim to Deity, stating that He was the Resurrection and the Life; that He was the Light of the world; and, the "Way, the Truth, and the Life."

The Gospels also give the Father's testimony to Christ's sovereignty. First they record God's words at His baptism when He said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Words similar were spoken at the transfiguration, and even stronger words were given on the occasion of the visit of the Greeks.

2. The Deity of Christ as seen in the Epistles. We ask you to notice the little Book of Titus. There, three times, the Lord Jesus is acclaimed as God. In Titus 1:3 we read the words, "God our Saviour." In Titus 1:4 we read the words, "The Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour." Thus, putting the two verses together the Lord Jesus Christ is acclaimed God.

In Titus 2:10 we read again the words, "God our Saviour," and in Titus 2:13 we read, "God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" In these verses Jesus Christ is proclaimed Saviour, and the Saviour is proclaimed God.

In the third chapter of Titus, Titus 3:4 and Titus 3:6 , once more Jesus Christ is pronounced Saviour, and the Saviour is pronounced God. Therefore, God is Christ and Christ is God.

In Hebrews 1:8 the Father says unto the Son, "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever." Once more Christ's sovereignty stands forth.

In 1 John 5:20 we read these words: "His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life."

The Book of Jude proclaims, in Judges 1:25 , that the only wise God is our Saviour, This is the message of all of the Epistles. The Holy Spirit in Philippians, in speaking of Christ Jesus, says: "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God."

3. The sovereignty and sufferings of Christ as set forth in Isaiah. When the birth of Christ was announced by the Holy Spirit through the Prophets it was stated, "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His Name Immanuel, (God with us)" (Isaiah 7:14 ).

In Isaiah 9:6 the Child born, and the Son given, is called, "The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

In Isaiah 25:9 the prophecy is given of Christ swallowing up death in victory, and then we read, "It shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God."

In Isaiah 40:1-3 , God is telling of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, and He says, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God."

When Isaiah speaks of Christ's coming (as described in Revelation 22:12 ) he says, "Say unto the cities of Judah Behold your God," then he adds, "Behold, the Lord God will come with a strong hand * * His reward is with Him."

Thus the story of Isaiah continues through many chapters proclaiming the sovereignty of Christ.

I. ISAIAH'S PROPHECY OF CHRIST'S DEITY AS TOLD BY FORERUNNER (Isaiah 40:3 )

We have before us one of the marvelous statements of the Bible. We cannot see how any one could fail to see the inspiration of Scripture in such verses as the one before us. Here is God proclaiming, through Isaiah, centuries before John was born, the fact that he was to be the voice of one that cried in the wilderness, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God."

1. Zacharias, the father of John, recognized the Deity of Christ. When Zacharias gave his magnificat at the birth of his son John, he said, "And thou, child, shalt be called the Prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways."

Does it not strike you as very wonderful that this priest, who was father to John the Baptist, should have gone back to Isaiah and have quoted the very verse which is now before us? Not only, however, did he quote this verse, but he spoke of Christ as "The Highest," and as "The Lord." Thus positively declaring the Deity of the One whom John was to proclaim.

2. John the Baptist announced the Deity of Christ thirty years after Zacharias. John affirmed, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the Prophet Esaias."

John went even further than his father had gone. Zacharias quoted from Isaiah, but John referred to Isaiah.

The Prophet Isaiah had declared that the forerunner of Christ would make straight in the desert a highway for "our God." John plainly stated that Jesus was God. He did this as follows:

"He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me: * * for He was before me."

"Behold the Lamb of God."

"I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God."

Whatever others may think, John corroborated the testimony of Isaiah and proclaimed Christ as God.

II. ISAIAH'S PROPHECY CONCERNING CHRIST'S DEITY AT HIS SECOND COMING (Isaiah 40:9-10 )

We have passed from the third verse of Isaiah forty, to the ninth and tenth verses of the same chapter. These verses cover but a short space on the Bible record, yet they carry us from the First Coming of Christ to the Second Coming, in Bible chronology.

1. In verses nine and ten the Second Coming is plainly before us. This is seen in verse ten, which reads: "Behold, the Lord God will come with strong" hand, and His arm shall rule for Him: behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him."

The Bible student cannot read these words without immediately remembering that last and wonderful threefold promise which Christ made in the Book of Revelation, the last chapter.

"Behold, I come quickly" (Revelation 22:7 ).

"Behold, I come quickly" (Revelation 22:12 ).

"Surely I come quickly" (Revelation 22:20 ).

It is in connection with the second of these promises, which the risen Christ made of His Second Coming, that He said, "Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me."

Thus, we have seen that the Prophet Isaiah was referring to the Second Advent a period that lay at least eighteen hundred years beyond the prophecy of Isaiah 40:3 ; and the Prophet declared that the Coming Christ was God.

2. In the verses before us we have Christ definitely proclaimed as God. The cry is made from Heaven, "Say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!"

During the centuries following the times of Isaiah, the Jews anticipated the coming of a Redeemer and Deliverer. When He came, however, they "knew Him not." They crucified Him upon the Tree, in utter repudiation of His Deity.

Since Christ's ascension to the Father the Chosen People have rejected Christ as God. When He comes, however, and they behold the One with the nail-pierced hands, and when they hear the cry of God's second forerunner, saying, "Behold your God"; then, they will mourn for. Him as an only son, and receive Him as God.

III. ISAIAH'S PROPHECY OF CHRIST THE EVERLASTING GOD (Isaiah 40:28 )

The casual reading of these words may at first cause the reader to think of the Father, and not of the Son. A more careful reading, however, will connect verse twenty-eight with verses one, nine, and ten. It is the same God in each case, and the same Lord.

1. Jesus Christ is the EVERLASTING GOD. This is plainly set forth in the Gospel of John which reads:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

That the expression, "The Everlasting God" refers to Christ is not new in Isaiah, for he, through the Spirit, had already said, "Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; * * and His Name shall be called * * The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father."

The Lord Jesus personally spoke of His coming forth from the Father, and of going back to the Father. He even said, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." Jesus Christ, therefore, was God in the eternities past.

2. Jesus Christ was the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth. The Father bore testimony to the Son that all things were created by Him, and for Him; and that in Him all things "consist," are "held together."

In Hebrews God particularly bore testimony that His Son had made the world. That in the beginning He had laid the foundation of the earth, and that the heavens were the works of His hands.

IV. ISAIAH PROCLAIMS THE SOLIDARITY OF CHRIST'S DEITY (Isaiah 42:8 )

1. It is remarkable the way Isaiah forty-two opens:

"Behold My servant, whom I uphold; Mine Elect, in whom My soul delighteth; I have put My Spirit upon Him."

(1) We know that these words refer to Christ. This is settled in the Epistle to the Hebrews. "Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience" as a servant. This, as we see it, was the key-word in Christ's "Kenosis"; that is, this was the essence of His "emptying Himself." He was God, yet He became a Man, taking upon Himself the form of a servant, and becoming obedient unto death.

(2) He was not merely a servant, whose ears were "bored" in abject obedience to the Father, but He was also the Father's Elect. Now our minds immediately go to the thrice-blessed recognition of the Father's approval of the Son.

(a) At the baptism, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

(b) At the Transfiguration, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him."

(c) At the visit of the Greeks, "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again."

(3) He was not only a Servant, approved of God, and Elect: He was also anointed of the Spirit. After the baptism of Christ, the Spirit of God descended like a dove and rested upon Christ.

2. It is striking how Isaiah forty-two continues in verse five.

"Thus saith God the Lord, He that created the heavens, and * * the earth * * I the Lord have called Thee in righteousness * * for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison."

We have quoted only enough of this wonderful paragraph to show that the Father is still speaking of Christ the very Christ who moved among men, to open the prison bars, and to be a light to the Gentiles.

3. It is worthy of note how Isaiah now says,

"I am the Lord: that is My Name: and My glory will I not give to another."

Following these words the Prophet says, "Sing unto the Lord a new song." Afterward he cries, "Let them give glory unto the Lord." The Deity of Christ is plainly set forth in all of this. Our God would not give His glory to another, nor His praise to graven images. He, did, however, give His glory to Christ; and when He dwelt among men we "beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

In all of this God proclaimed, through His Prophet, that Jesus Christ His Servant, His Elect, was approved of Him and was equal with God. God never would have raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His own right hand, if Christ, according to His oft-repeated claim, had not been very God of very God.

V. ISAIAH ATTESTS THE DEITY OF CHRIST WHEN HE ANNOUNCES THAT THE LORD, ISRAEL'S GOD, IS HER SAVIOUR (Isaiah 43:10-12 )

There can be no doubt that the Prophet is now speaking of Christ for the following reasons:

1. He is speaking of the Saviour of Israel. He says, "I, even I, am the Lord; and beside Me there is no Saviour."

We remember how, when Christ was born, He was called Jesus because He would save His people from their sins. Peter did not hesitate to say, "There is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

2. He is speaking of the great I Am. Verse thirteen says, "Yea, before the day was I am He." This title, "I am He," is the Jehovah title. It is the peculiar claim of Christ during His earth life. He said, "Before Abraham was, I am." Isaiah said of Him, "Before the day was I Am." The Lord said again, "If ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins." It is of this great I Am that we read in our key text.

"I am He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside Me there is no Saviour."

After these words, just quoted, the Prophet cries as he speaks to his people Israel, "Therefore ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God."

Israel may not now acknowledge Him God, but when verse fifteen is fulfilled, she will do so. The verse reads:

"I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King."

How wonderful that the God of Israel, the great I Am, the Lord Jesus Christ, is seen in our Scripture as the only Saviour of His people Israel. He says: "I have declared, and have saved." The day is coming when a nation will be born in a day.

VI. ISAIAH MAGNIFIES THE DEITY OF CHRIST IN HIS REDEEMERSHIP (Isaiah 44:6 )

1. The Prophet is now describing the Lord, the King of Israel; and the Lord, the Redeemer. These words must refer to the Lord Jesus because He alone is both Israel's destined King and Redeemer.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the seed of David David's greater Son. To him God has sworn, and will not repent: "Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion." The heathen may rage, and the people imagine a vain thing; the kings of the earth may set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against God's Anointed; yet, in spite of all their ravings Christ Jesus shall some day take the throne.

The promise is plainly written in the Word, "Unto us a Christ is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder * * upon the throne of David, and upon His Kingdom, to order it, and to establish it."

Thank God, "the zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this" in spite of every human or satanic opposition.

The angel positively told Mary that the Lord God would give unto her Son (who was to be begotten of the Holy Ghost) the throne of His father David. The angel also said that He would rule over the House of Jacob, and that of His Kingdom there would be no end. We know that this is true, because when God hath spoken no man can disannul it.

2. The Prophet is beyond doubt describing Christ, because the words he next uses refer to the Lord Jesus when quoted in the Book of Revelation. Let us observe the last clause of our key-text.

"I am the First, and I am the Last; and beside Me there is no God."

The One who is "God," is He who is also "the First" and "the Last." Who is "the First" and "the Last"? We reply, He is God. Who is God? In order to answer this second query we quote from Revelation 1:17 ,Revelation 1:18 .

"And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the First and the Last : I am He that liveth, and was dead ; and, behold, I am alive for evermore."

There is no doubt now but that these words refer to Christ, inasmuch as Christ died and rose again; therefore, Christ is God.

VII. ISAIAH ASSERTS THE DEITY OF CHRIST, IN ASSERTING THAT EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL SWEAR UNTO HIM (Isaiah 45:21-23 )

1. In the opening statement of these verses, Isaiah declares that there is no God beside our God. That He is a just God, and a Saviour.

Some young people may inquire: "If Christ is God, and the Father also is God, how then can the Lord our God be one Lord?" We reply, that the triune God is one: but that the one God is manifested in three Persons the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Do you not remember how in David the Holy Spirit said, "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, until I make Thy foes Thy footstool"?

Here both the Father and the Son are spoken of as "Lord." The Father who said to the Son; that is, the Lord said unto the Lord, "Sit Thou on My right hand." That the Father is addressing the Son is plain, because He is addressing One, described as a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec Thus in our key-verse the Lord is God, because He is a Saviour! and no other one could be a Saviour except God the Son.

2. In the second statement Christ is proclaimed God, because of the universality of salvation's call. Isaiah continues to say:

"Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God."

None other than God could say such words; and yet, Christ said words of similar import.

"Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

Christ also said, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink."

3. In the closing statement of our key-text the Deity of Christ is established in that Christ is accorded Divine worship. Verse twenty-three concludes with the words:

"That unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear."

The quotation above is again found in Philippians, where it is ascribed to Jesus Christ. Its enlarged form magnifies its force.

"That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

With this before us we dare hold no further doubt that Christ is God, and that the Prophet Isaiah proclaimed Him so.

AN ILLUSTRATION

You sit with your hands upon the ivory keys of life, which God made for music. Some there are, who bang the keys with jazz, and verily they make much sound. Others moan out a funeral dirge. Then there are those who play with precise exactitude, keeping all the rules, faultily faultless, icily, puritanically regular, never doing anything "wrong." Yet none of it is music, not even the product of perfect propriety never a strain of real and soulful music!

Said the great musician to his young pupil: "I have taught you all I can. Your technique is perfect. But you'll never be a musician until you fall in love." One day, as she played, he turned to her: "Who is it?" and she blushed in confusion because of the new and wonderful thing that had come to her.

I could imagine Moses saying: "I have taught you all I can. I have given you the technique of proper living, advising you what to avoid. There is nothing to be added except this: "The secret of great music comes only as you fall in love with something higher than I can give."

Then, one day, there steps into the soul, One whose face is radiant as the light-blessed skies of Galilee, whose lips speak melody as soft and deep and stirring as the waves of the Galilean lake, and in that hallowed hour the soul awakens to its Eternal Mate. It realizes the fragmentariness and inconsequence which life has hitherto had; but its completeness and purpose at last have come. It never knew before that the tones of Christ could thrill like this, never suspected the scope and power of the truths He tells. It has fallen in love with Christ. It bends over the keys with fresh zest and begins to sweep from them symphonies which fill life and mount to Heaven and prove what multitudes have found: that the spirit of truest amusement, finally, is found only in trueness of life. Selected.

 


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Bibliography Information
Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on Isaiah 40:4". "Living Water". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lwc/isaiah-40.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, December 15th, 2019
the Third Week of Advent
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