May 20, 2021
"And now listen Jacob My servant, Israel whom I have chosen. This is the Word of the Lord your Maker who shaped you from birth: He will help you: do not fear..."
“And now listen Jacob My servant, Israel whom I have chosen. This is the Word of the Lord your Maker who shaped you from birth: He will help you: do not fear; Jacob is My servant; I have chosen Jeshurun. For I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your descendants and My blessing on your offspring. They will sprout among the grass like poplars by the streambeds. The one will say: I am the Lord’s; another will call himself by the name of Jacob; still another will write on his hand: The Lord’s, and name himself by the name of Israel.” Isaiah 44:1-5
Chapter 43 began with redemption and ended with a rebuke. Just a few verses earlier the Lord had promised, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake and remembers your sins no more.” Isaiah 43:25
Isaiah develops this idea in chapter 44. The chapter can be divided into two sections: a promise of revival to God’s true “people”, (His greater Messianic Community, both Jew and Gentile, one in Messiah) and, a contrast between the true God (Who alone can promise salvation/revival) and the dumb, worthless idols of men.
Promises like these in today’s passage, the promise of His Spirit, provision and salvation, abound in Isaiah’s prophecy. We will read later, in chapters 63-64, how Isaiah speaks about the possibility of global revival, including both Israel and the nations.
Consider the Bible’s descriptions of the experience of God’s blessings. (Isaiah 12:3; 55:1; Psalm 42:1; Jeremiah 2:13; John 4:14; 7:37; Revelation 7:17) I have experienced seasons where I felt spiritually parched, and in those times, the Lord’s blessing is truly like refreshing water. The blessing Isaiah now speaks of is the revival of God’s people from their current morbid condition.
The Lord discloses in the Bible how, throughout history, He has advanced His people of faith by intermittent revivals. That is the primary purpose of the book of Judges. Perhaps, the most recent “revival” in our time would have been the “Jesus Movement” in the late 60’-70’s. Isaiah describes such times as periods of great blessing, underlined by the use of the name: Jeshurun, to describe not only Israel but also the community of “upright” believers-at-large. That term was used by Moses when he described the blessedness that redeemed people could expect from God. Deuteronomy 33:5, 26
I believe our generation is ripe for revival, and your getting intimate with God’s Word will no doubt play a part in your ability to be a contributor to that revival. One thing to note is WHO Isaiah says will be affected by the revival. First, there are those among the Nations who reject the gospel. Then, there are those of Israel who worship God’s Servant, Messiah Jesus, who say, “I am the Lord’s”. Next, there are those of Israel who reject Messiah, who identify with “Jacob”, Isaiah’s moniker for apostate Israel. Finally, there are those from among the Nations who believe in Jesus and take determined steps to be identified with the Lord, through faith in Him. So, which group most describes you, and what part is God preparing YOU to play in the forthcoming “revival”?