Study Guide

Book of Isaiah Chapter 43

Chapter 43

Trade In

  • God lovingly tells the people of Israel that he has already redeemed them. They can pass through rivers and fire, without drowning or being burned.
  • He will give away other nations—like Egypt and Ethiopia—in exchange for Israel. The exiles and offspring of Israel will be returned from all over the earth.
  • God says to gather together the people who are (paradoxically) blind but can see, and deaf that can hear, and gather all the nations together too.
  • God takes the stage: "Now that you're all here, go ahead and tell me about those other gods and how great they are. Oh, you can't? Because they're not?"
  • *Mic drop* 
  • We're glossing, but that's the gist. God harps on how he is the only god, the only hope for salvation, and the only one who can tell the future.
  • He calls on all the nations to witness that he, and only he, is the Big-G God.

Out with the Old Out with the Old

  • God will destroy the Babylonian Empire, turning the Babylonian shouts of victory into lamentations.
  • He compares this, implicitly, to how he parted the Red Sea to deliver his people while drowning their enemies.
  • God tells the people not to regard the old ways, since he's got some brand new goodies coming their way. He's making a way in the desert and the wilderness, and even the wild animals are acknowledging him. (Seems new to us.) He'll give water to his people so that they'll praise him.
  • But instead of giving God some juicy sacrifices, the people just keep wearying him with their sins. He reminds them by saying that he hasn't given them a very tough burden to keep up.
  • Yet, God says he's going to forgive and forget. They can bring their case against him if they want and try to take God to trial ("I won't be offended, I promise." – God, his voice dripping with sarcasm), but their ancestors really were sinners (says God). They deserved the suffering that came to them.