corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.07.22
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
Isaiah 43

 

 

Verses 1-7

In this chapter the Lord comforts his people. By his divine foresight he perceives that there are great and varied trials a little way ahead, and therefore he prepares them for the ordeal. They are to go through rushing waters and flaming fires; and he kindly bids them not to be afraid. How often in God’s word do We read those tender, gracious words, “Fear not!” Should not the trembling ones listen to the voice of their God, and obey it when he saith to them “Fear not”? It is not right for you who fear God to fear anything else. Once brought to know the Lord, who can harm you? Abiding under the shadow of the Almighty, what danger need you dread? Nay, rather, be of good comfort, and press forward with peaceful confidence, though floods and flames await you. To encourage his people to rise superior to their fears, the gracious God goes on to issue matchless promises: “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee.” Present good- “I will be with thee” absent danger- “they shall not overflow thee.” God stays his people’s hearts by his own promises. In proportion to their faith those promises must lift them up. If you do not believe the promise, you shall not be established by it; but if, with childlike confidence, you accept every word of God as true, then his word shall be to you the joy of your heart, and the delight of your spirit, and you shall be a stranger to fear. The Lord proceeds, after giving those promises, to set before them what he himself is, and what he has done for them, and what they are to him. He is speaking, of course, to Israel; and he says of Israel, his chosen nation, “I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.” What cause for fear now remains? All believers are of the true Israel. Abraham was the father of the faithful. The faithful, or the believing, are therefore Abraham’s seed, according to the promise. The seed was not after the flesh, else would the children of Ishmael have been the heirs of the covenant; but the true seed was born according to promise, and in the power of God; for Isaac was born when his parents were old, by faith in the power of God. Isaac was not the child of flesh, but he was born according to promise, so that we who are not born of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God, by his Spirit, and according to the divine promise, are the true children of Abraham. We are the spiritual Israel. Though after the flesh Abraham be ignorant of us, and Sarah acknowledge us not, yet are we the true seed of him who was the father of believers. The literal Israel was the type of those chosen and favored ones who by faith are born again according to promise. To these heirs according to promise the Lord saith, “I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.” Let us now meditate on this passage verse by verse.

Isaiah 43:1. But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

“Fear not,” is a command of God, and is a command which brings its own power of performance with it. God, who created and formed us, says to us, “Fear not,” and a secret whisper is heard in the heart by which that heart is so comforted that fear is driven away. Observe the tender ties that bind our God to his people;-creation, the formation of them for his praise, redemption, the purchase of them for himself, and the calling of them by their name. The Lord remembers the bonds which unite us to himself even when we forget them; he recollects his eternal love, and all the deeds of mercy that have flowed from it. Though our memory is treacherous, and our faith is feeble, “yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself;” blessed be his holy name!

Isaiah 43:2. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

“When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee.” The godly have the best company in the worst places in which their lot is cast God’s presence is all that we need even in the deepest floods of tribulation; this he has promised to us. He does not say what he will do for us, but he does tell us that he will be with us, and that is more than enough to meet all our necessities. “When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” That is a wonderful picture of a man walking through the fire, and yet not being burned; but there was a greater wonder, that was seen by Moses, which may well comfort us. He saw a bush that burned with fire, and yet was not consumed. Now a bush, in the desert, is usually so dry that, at the first application of fire, it flames, and glows, and is speedily gone: yet you and I, who are, spiritually, just as dry and combustible as that bush was naturally, may burn, and burn, and burn, and yet we shall not be consumed, because the God, who was in the bush, is also with us, and in us. “Neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” Thou shalt come out of the furnace as the three holy children did, with not so much as the smell of fire upon thee; for, where God is, all is safe.

Isaiah 43:3. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.

“For I am the Lord thy God.” This is the grandest possible reason for not fearing. Fall back upon this when you have nothing else upon which to rely. If you have no goods, you have a God. If thy gourd is withered, thy God is still the same as he ever was: “For I am Jehovah, thy God.” “I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.” And he has given infinitely more than that for us who are his people now, for he gave his only begotten Son that he might redeem us with his precious blood. Now that we have cost him so much, is it likely that he will ever forsake us? It is not possible.

Isaiah 43:4. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.

How sweetly this verse comes home to those whose characters have been disreputable! As soon as they are truly converted to Christ, they become “honourable.” “Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable.” God does not call his people by their old names of dishonour, but he gives them the title of “Right Honourable,” and makes them the nobility of his Court. “Unto you that believe he is an honour;” and you have honour in him and from him.

Isaiah 43:5-7. Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

“Fear not: for I am with thee.” This is the second time that the blessed words, “Fear not,” ring out like the notes of the silver trumpet proclaiming the jubilee to poor trembling hearts: “Fear not, for I am with thee.” The Lord seems to say to each troubled believer, “My honour is pledged to secure thy safety, all my attributes are engaged on thy behalf right to the end, yea, I am myself with thee, therefore, fear not.” “I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, my daughter from the ends of the earth; every one that is called by my name.” Whatever happens, God will be with his Church. His own chosen people shall all be gathered in. There shall be no frustration of the diving purpose. From east or west, north or south, all his sons and daughters shall come unto him, even every one that is called by his name. “For I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” And God will be glorified in his people; the object of their creation is the glory of their God, and that end shall, somehow or other, be answered in the Lord’s good time. The Lord seems to dwell upon that note of the creation of his children for his own glory. This accounts for many of our troubles, and for all our deliverances; it is that God may be glorified by bringing his children through the fires and through the floods. A life that was never tested by trial and trouble would not be a life out of which God would get much glory, but they that do business in the great waters see the works of God, and his wonders in the deep, and they give him praise; and, besides, when they come to their desired haven, then they praise the Lord for his goodness, and God is thereby glorified.


Verses 1-19

Isaiah 43:1. But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel,

The Lord reminds us that he first created us, and that he afterwards molded us; we are like Jacob by nature, but he has made us Israel by grace.

Isaiah 43:1. Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

Redemption is a deep well of comfort. If the Lord has indeed bought us with his blood, he will not think lightly of us; and if he has called us by name, and declared that we belong to him, we may rest assured that he will not lose his own property, but that he will preserve it to the end.

Isaiah 43:2. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflowr thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

The Lord does not promise us immunity from trial and trouble; we shall have to go through waters and rivers, and shall have to pass through fires and flames; it is through much tribulation that we must enter the kingdom of God; but he does promise that no harm shall come to us from it all. “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God;” — that waters, rivers, fires, and flames bring us benefits and blessings, and that they shall none of them bring a course upon us.

Isaiah 43:3-4. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable,

God puts honour upon his beloved ones; they were in themselves dishonourable, for they had nothing of goodness about them until the Lord imparted it to them.

Isaiah 43:4. And I have loved thee:

God loved his ancient people Israel; he has always loved his Church; and he loves believers still.

Isaiah 43:4-5. Therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not: for I am with thee:-

It is enough for a child that his mother is near him, or that his father is with him; then is it not enough for you, O child of God, that God is with you? Israel was scattered when Isaiah wrote this prophecy, and would be afterwards scattered far and wide over the face of the earth; so God gave this comforting assurance, “fear not: for I am with thee:” —

Isaiah 43:5-6. I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;

God’s chosen ones have wandered very far away from him, but the great Shepherd of the sheep, who bought them with his blood, will gather them, and there shall be one flock and one Shepherd.

Isaiah 43:7. Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

Three expressions are here used concerning the man who is called by God’s name. First, “I have created him,” — made him out of nothing. Then, “I have formed him” — fashioned him, made him into his proper shape. The last sentence may be read, “Yea, I have completed him.” When God begins his work in us, we are in the rough; as he goes on working in us, we gradually take the form of his dear Son; and by-and-by he will complete us, and then we shall wake up in his likeness. Blessed be his name for this!

Isaiah 43:8. Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.

Some think that the Lord refers here to those who were once blind, but to whom he has given eyes; and to those who were deaf, to whom he has given ears. Many of us are of that order. One thing I know is that, whereas I was once spiritually blind, now I can see; and another thing I know is that, whereas I was once spiritually deaf, now I can hear the voice of God.

Isaiah 43:9. Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled:-

As though there was to be a great debate as to who God is, and what God is, he first summons all his people whose blind eyes and deaf ears he has opened, and then he calls for all the nations to be gathered together, and gives them this challenge: —

Isaiah 43:9. Who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth.

Where else have we any true knowledge of God except in his Word and among his people? The myths and mysteries of the heathen, how dark how indistinct and shadowy they are! What true prophecy did their oracles ever give? Ask Greece and Rome, the most polished of the ancient nations, what did their so-called gods ever foretell? Let them bring any holy book of theirs which reveals the future, and which is true.

Isaiah 43:10. Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD,-

The chosen people of God have become witnesses for Jehovah that he, and he alone, is the true God; that he, and he alone has truly foretold the future. Let the heathen prove that their gods have done the same if they can; we know that they cannot. “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, —

Isaiah 43:10. And my servant whom I have chosen:

That great Servant of God, you know his name, even Christ Jesus the faithful and true Witness, bears better witness for God than the whole nation of the Jews, or the Lord’s chosen people in all ages, can bear.

Isaiah 43:10-11. That ye may know and believe me, and understand that 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.

Look the whole world over, and see where there is any Saviour for sinners except Jesus Christ. Does any other religion even profess to have a Saviour? Destroyers they have, but where is their Saviour?

Isaiah 43:12. I have declared, and have saved,

“I said that I would save, and I have saved.”

Isaiah 43:12. And I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.

When, in Hezekiah’s day, the idols had been destroyed, God told Hezekiah that he would deliver him from Sennacherib, and he did so.

Isaiah 43:13. Yea, before the day was I am he;

When there was no day, there was the Ancient of days.

Isaiah 43:13. And there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?

(who shall hinder it?)

“When he makes bare his arm,

What shall his work withstand?

When he his people’s cause defends,

Who, who shall stay his hand?”

14. Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships.

Up the broad river Euphrates, and down to the Persian Gulf, Babylon and Chaldea gloried in their greatness, but God sent the Medo-Persian power to break them in pieces for the sake of his people, that Cyrus might let them go free.

Isaiah 43:15-17. I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King. Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow.

Like the wick of a lamp, soon put out. Here is, probably, an illusion to the overthrowing of Egypt at the Red Sea; they came out with their horses and chariots, but they were made to lie down together in the sea. God overcame his people’s enemies then, and he can and will do the same to the end of the chapter.

Isaiah 43:18. Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.

Do not look merely upon what God has done; but look to the future, and remember that be is able to do the same again.

Isaiah 43:19. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

O dear child of God, have you got into the wilderness, and have you no comfort there? Are all your wells dried up? God will work a new miracle for you, you shall have a new manifestation of his gracious power.


Verses 1-25

Isaiah 43:1. But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

I cannot pause to comment upon each of the precious sentences here, but every word is full of marrow and fatness. Ask the Lord to enable you to feed upon each sentence as it passes before your mind.

Isaiah 43:2-5. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou was precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not: for I am with thee:

That always seems to me to be the master-consolation: “I am with thee.” What more does the most troubled heart need than God’s presence?

Isaiah 43:5. I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;

O Church of God, thine elect members shall all, in due time, be fetched in, however far they may have wandered!

Isaiah 43:6-7. I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

And that in a double sense, for God’s people are twice made; — made first in creation, but marred by the fall; and then new-made as “new creatures in Christ Jesus.”

Isaiah 43:8. Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.

There are plenty of them, for our proverb is true, “There are none so blind as those that will not see, and none so deaf as those that will not hear.” But even to such people as these God makes his appeal.

Isaiah 43:9. Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth.

God challenges all the false gods and their worshippers to produce a single fulfilled prophecy, — to show one instance in which they have truly and correctly foretold any event or a chain of event; but all Jehovah’s prophecies have been fulfilled, or will be, in due season.

Isaiah 43:10-13. Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that 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. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God. Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?

It is a great blessing to know that the Lord is God; and not merely to know that as a matter of fact, but to feel it, to realize it, and to trust in God and act towards him conscious that he, and he alone, is the living and true God.

Isaiah 43:14-17. Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships. I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King. Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow.

You know what happened to the army of Sennacherib when it came against Jerusalem. Horses and chariots were there in vast numbers, and all the pomp and pageantry of a vast host of armed men; but they slept their last sleep, from which they never rose again, when the angel of the Lord flew through their ranks. So was it with Babylon itself. When the set time came, that long-established empire, with its colossal power, was swept away like a vision of the night. It blazed like tow, and then was quenched for ever. What cannot God do for his people when he uplifts his almighty arm?

Isaiah 43:18. Remember ye not the former thing, neither consider the things of old..

For something better is going to be done in the future than all that God has done in the past. He will eclipse all his previous achievements, and outdo the mightiest of his own miracles.

Isaiah 43:19-20. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it. I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field shall honour me,

As it slakes its thirst at an unwonted spring, —

Isaiah 43:20. The dragons and the owls:

Alarmed and startled, as God’s people pass by on their way to the land which God would give them, —

Isaiah 43:20-22. Because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; —

Have any of you restrained prayer of late? Has your path to the mercy-seat been but little trodden? Then, listen to God’s gentle rebuke: “Thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob;” —

Isaiah 43:22. But thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.

Weary of God! Have any of us grown weary of fellowship with him, weary of his truth, weary of his day, weary of his service? Oh, what strange ingratitude this is on our part!

Isaiah 43:23. Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings; neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices.

There are some of God’s people, at any rate, who forget to offer their sacrifices unto God. If they do love Christ at all, their love is not practical, not self-sacrificing; it does not lead them to bring love-gifts unto him.

Isaiah 43:23. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense.

“I have made no irksome tax of it. I have not demanded anything of you. I have left it to your own free will to give according as your love suggests.”

Isaiah 43:24. Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but —

Alas! instead of good, there has been evil.

Isaiah 43:24. Thou hast made me to serve with thy sins,

What! made God our servant, when we ought to have served him? Alas! I fear it is often so even with some of his own people.

Isaiah 43:24. Thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities.

O sirs, how sad it is when God’s people are weary of him and he is weary of them! What shall we read after this? Surely the next sentence will be a thunder-clap, and a lightning flash will blaze out of the sacred page! Listen, and be amazed at the mercy of the Lord.

Isaiah 43:25. I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

What a blessed God to deal so graciously with his ungrateful erring people!


Verses 14-28

Isaiah 43:14-16. Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships. I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King. Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty water;

Great events in history all have some connection with the Church of Christ. We may not always be able to see it, but we may rest assured that it is so. The rise and fall of empires have a great deal to do with the chosen people of God. So here he reminds them of what he did in the ancient days when he smote Egypt at the Red sea, and made a path for his people through the mighty waters.

Isaiah 43:17. Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow.

There is a little blaze and a little smoke, and then all is over with the tow. So shall it be with those who set themselves up against the Lord; he shall confound their wisdom, and humble their pride.

Isaiah 43:18-19. Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the thing of old. Behold I will do a new thing;

What God has done once, he can do again; but he can also make yet grander and more marvellous displays of his power and grace than he has ever yet given.

Isaiah 43:19-20. Now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters, in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.

If then, O child of God, thou art in sore distress; if all around thee is comfortless as a waste, howling wilderness; yet do not despair; God can make a way for thee even there, and can supply thy needs. He can open up a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the midst of the desert; joy and rejoicing may come to thee even in the depths of thy distress.

Isaiah 43:21. This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.

He will not be disappointed in his people. He made them that he might get glory out of them, and he will surely have it; none shall be able to prevent it.

Isaiah 43:22-24. But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel. Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings; neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense. Thou hast brought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities.

Remember that this is the wearied Lord who is speaking, the Lord whose patience seems to be well-nigh exhausted by the provocations of his people; yet how wonderful is his message to them!

Isaiah 43:25-26. I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for my own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Put me in remembrance. Let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.

“If thou hast anything to say in thine own defense, out with it. Come to me, and let the cause of this quarrel be removed; let me hear thy plea if thou hast one.”

Isaiah 43:27-28. Thy first father hath sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me. Therefore I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches.

God justifies himself for his heavy strokes upon Israel, tells them that the reason lay in their own sin.

This exposition consisted of readings from Isaiah 43:14-28; and Isaiah 44:1-8.


Verses 18-25

Isaiah 43:18-19. Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing: now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

Do not imagine that what God has done in the past will never be repeated. It will be excelled: he will do yet greater things. Of all the mercy and love which God has shown, we may say that these are only prophecies of what he yet will reveal. There are now things yet to come wherein the splendor of his mercy shall be yet more clearly seen than in all the former things.

Isaiah 43:20-21. The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.

However barren may your soul be, and however all your surroundings may seem to be stamped with death, God can come and make you happy and blessed, and surround you with delights, and he will do it in order that in you, whom he has formed for himself, his praise may be seen.

Isaiah 43:22. But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob.

Prayer has been neglected: praise has been suspended. There has been an ungracious negligence in the service of God. “Thou has not called upon me, O Jacob.”

Isaiah 43:22. But thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.

“You thought the service long — thought the time for prayer came round too soon — refused to give to my cause, and said it was a tax. Thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.”

Isaiah 43:23. Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings; neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense.

“I have not taxed thee. I have not drawn upon thy resources heavily.”

Isaiah 43:24. Thou has bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices:

“I left thee to give or not to give, that thy free will might be seen in all thy deeds of love, but nothing has come of it. On the contrary.”

Isaiah 43:24. But thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities.

A solemn charge this, which God lays against his people. Now see the next verse and read it with wondering eyes.

Isaiah 43:25. I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

He has pointed out the fault: he has shown that he is not forgetful of it; and then he pronounces absolution. The transgression is put away. Blessed be his name! Now let us turn to the New Testament, and read in the Epistle to the Romans, the 10th chapter, and we shall there see the way in which pardon is brought home to the soul.

This exposition consisted of readings from Isaiah 42:1-17; Isaiah 43:18-25; Romans 10:1-19.


Verses 18-28

Isaiah 43:18-19. Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing;

It is a very profitable thing to remember the things of old; it is greatly beneficial to us to study what God did in years and ages long gone by; yet God intends to do for us something in the future that shall eclipse all the past. Especially was this true in Isaiah’s day, for the coming of Christ, which was then in the future, was to be such a sun-rising of mercy that all the stars of blessing, that had shone before, would seem to be lost in the brightness of his appearing. Dear friends, do not always dwell on the past. You who are getting gray are very apt to say that the former things and former times were better than now. Do not say so, but believe this promise of Jehovah, “Behold, I will do a new thing.”

Isaiah 43:19-20. Now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls.

I have sometimes laid hold of this text, and have been comforted by it concerning the conversion of the very worst of men. Some people say, “What is the good of going among blasphemers and profane persons with the Word of God?” Well, if the beast of the field, and the dragons, and the owls, shall honour him, we need never think of leaving any of the sons of men to perish. It is not what they are, but what God is, that should give us confidence concerning them. Even if they were worse than they are, the omnipotent grace of God would still be able to reach them, and to convert them; let us have no doubt about this matter.

Isaiah 43:20. Because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.

Oh, the wonders of the love of God! Wherever he has a chosen people, there every mercy shall certainly come. If they are in the wilderness, waters shall come to them; if they are in the desert, rivers shall flow to them; but drink they shall have till they come where they can drink to the full at the living fountains of water at God’s right hand.

Isaiah 43:21. This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.

Here is this same note again. Yet mark what kind of people they had been,-a people whom God had greatly loved, but who had backslidden from him. They had wandered very far away from God, yet still his purpose of love did not change: “This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.” What a blessed “shall” that is, uttered by One who knows how to make it good by deeds of mighty grace!

Isaiah 43:22. But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou host been weary of me, O Israel.

They were not much like Jacob, for he prayed at Jabbok, and became Israel, who wrestled till he prevailed, saying to the angel, “I will not let thee go except thou bless me.” Yet here are people who hear the same name,-“Jacob” and “Israel “, yet God has to say to them, “Thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob. Thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.”

Isaiah 43:23. Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings; neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices.

Is that true of any of you? Have you restrained prayer, and have you also stinted God in your offering? Whereas he gave his Son for you, have you refused the small cattle of your burnt offerings?

Isaiah 43:23. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense.

“I have laid no tax upon you; I have not demanded so much of your income as the condition of your being members of my Church. I have left it to your love and gratitude to bring your freewill offerings unto me.”

Isaiah 43:24. Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money,

No calamus or incense that should sweeten the temple of God,-

Isaiah 43:24. Neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but

Oh, this “but-but”!

Isaiah 43:24. Thou hast made me to serve with thy sins,

You have made a servant of your Master,-treated your Redeemer as if he were your slave!

Isaiah 43:24. Thou host wearied me with thine iniquities.

Oh, what a terrible verse this is about a people whom God had formed for himself, and who shall yet show forth his praise! Alas! this is how they sometimes are still,-indifferent, ungrateful, presenting him no tokens of love; but, on the contrary, disobedient, grieving him, and vexing his Holy Spirit. What will he do with them now? “Cut them off, and reject them,” says one. Yes, that is how men would do; but that is not what God will do.

Listen

Isaiah 43:25. I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

You have forgotten his mercies; but he will forget your sins. You have grieved him, but he still has a tender heart towards you. He will blot out your sins. Oh, how this ought to melt us! How this ought to encourage us to begin again in better style, and to be much in prayer, and much in holy service, and much in self sacrifice!

Isaiah 43:26-28. Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified. Thy first father hath sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me. Therefore I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches.

This exposition consisted of readings from Isaiah 43:1-7; Isaiah 43:18-28; and Isaiah 44:1-2.


Verses 21-28

Isaiah 43:21. This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.

But A sorrowful “but”; and the strain sinks from a triumphant shout to a doleful lamentation: “But “ —

Isaiah 43:22. But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.

How sad it is that those who have been loved so much, should make such a shameful return for it all!

Isaiah 43:23. Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings;-

No kids of the goats, or lambs from the fold, —

Isaiah 43:23. Neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense.

“I have not been a cruel taskmaster, or tyrant, demanding of thee more than thou couldst give.”

Isaiah 43:24. Thou hast brought me no sweet cane with money, —

“No calamus has sent forth its perfume from mine altar,” —

Isaiah 43:24.Neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities.

These are the people whom God had loved so long and so well, those upon whom he had set his unchanging affection; yet they acted thus shamefully. What will follow upon such conduct as this? their swift destruction? No. Listen to the Lord’s gracious message, —

Isaiah 43:25. I, even if, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

Here is a great wave of mercy washing away everything that could bear witness against the people of God.

Isaiah 43:26-28. Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.Tthy first father hath sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me. Therefore I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches.

This exposition consisted of readings from ISAIAH 43. 1-7; 21-28; And 44. 1-5.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Isaiah 43:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/isaiah-43.html. 2011.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, July 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology