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Isaiah 41

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH CHAPTER 41

God calls for a champion of justice (Cyrus) and makes him ruler over 49 countries.  He pulverizes every enemy and tells Israel this in scripture, 150 years before it takes place.  The idol makers are saying “don’t worry, this will never happen to us.”  These folks are working overtime in the production of idols and the lies that go with that crowd of heathen priests.  God calls Jacob his chosen and his servant and reassures them that he will give them strength.  He lets them know who the real losers are. He claims that their enemies will be blown away.  He says that he will open up springs on mountain tops and turn dry land into springs of water.  He claims that he will plant cedars in the wilderness and olive vineyards.  God says that he will replenish the land again.  God challenges the idol worshippers to present their case and declare what the future holds.  He claims that idols are worthless and know nothing.  In the end he reveals that from Media and Persia he will raise up one who would trample down the mighty monarchs.  These things saith the first and the last.

EXPOSITION TO ISAIAH CHAPTER 41

1Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment.

Stop clamoring and be quiet─“let us come near together for judgment and decide the point of issue between us concerning the enemy advancing from the east.” AMP

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT GIVE AUTHORITIVE DATA

TO THE TEXT:

Isa 49:1  Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.   Read:  Psa 46:10; Job 38:3; Job 23:3-5

  2Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow.

This champion of justice (Cyrus)─he has victory wherever he goes─God made him ruler over 49 nations, wherever he went God gave him victory─He scattered them like dust or chaff in a violent windstorm.  Cyrus presided over the second one world government.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT CARRY WEIGHT REGARDING THE TEXT:

Isa 45:13  I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts.  Read:  Isa 46:11; Isa 45:1-6; Ezr 1:2

3He pursued them, and passed safely; even by the way that he had not gone with his feet.

He pulverized nations before him─his advances were unhindered─he routed them so quickly that it appeared as though his feet never touched the ground.

.4Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.

Who is the author to direct such marvelous feats? It is the ever-present, unchanging God who is before all and ending all.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT MAKE THE CASE:

Isa 41:26  Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, He is righteous? yea, there is none that sheweth, yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that heareth your words.  Read:  Isa 40:12; Isa 46:10

  5The isles saw it, and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came.

The remotest parts of the world heard of the victories of Cyrus and they trembled and mobilized for war.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT INDORSE THE TEXT:

Eze 26:15-16  Thus saith the Lord GOD to Tyrus; Shall not the isles shake at the sound of thy fall, when the wounded cry, when the slaughter is made in the midst of thee?  Then all the princes of the sea shall come down from their thrones, and lay away their robes, and put off their broidered garments: they shall clothe themselves with trembling; they shall sit upon the ground, and shall tremble at every moment, and be astonished at thee.

6They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage.

In their panic they tried to cheer each other─they said don’t worry, Cyrus will never conquer us.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT LEND EVIDENCE TO

THE TEXT:

Dan 3:1-7  Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.  Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.  Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.  Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,  That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:  And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.  Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

7So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the sodering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved.

It looks like overtime production in their idol workshop─new designs─new models─these folks were in the “no-god” production.  They fastened the base to the floor with nails while they hammered and smoothed the gold and gave it the finishing touches.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT DEMONSTRATE THE TEXT:

Isa 44:13-15  The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house.  He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it.  Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto. Isa 46:6  They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship.

Isa 46:7  They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place, and he standeth; from his place shall he not remove: yea, one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble.

  8But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.

You are my chosen ones─you are my family.

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THAT AUTHENTICATE THE TEXT:

Isa 44:21-22  Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me.  I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

  9Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.

I called you from the remote area of Er of the Chaldeans─He chose Abraham over the chief men─Terah and Nachor─he wanted them to know that they were still chosen even though they were exiled─he had picked them and hadn’t dropped them.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

ESTABLISH THE CERTAINTY OF THE TEXT:

Jos 24:2-4  And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.  And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.  And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.

  10Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Don’t be afraid─don’t be dismayed─I am the one who will give you strength─you are in the grip of my grace.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT PRESENT OVERWHELMING PROOF

OF THE TEXT:

Psa 27:1  A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Psa 37:24  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

11Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.

Now who are the losers─every nation that despised Israel ended up bending and bowing at their feet and calling Jerusalem the city of the LORD.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT ATTEST TO THE TEXT:

Isa 45:24  Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.

Isa 60:12  For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.  Read:  Isa 60:13-14

12Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought.

The men who contended with them are nowhere to be found─your assailants are all gone─nothing left but the memory.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT ARE CONCLUSIVE AND FINAL:

Psa 37:35-36  I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.  Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.  Read:  Job 20:7-9

13For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

God is telling you to not panic─he has a firm grip on your right hand and will not let you go.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT RATIFY THE TEXT:

Isa 45:1  Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; be.

Deu 33:26-27  There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky.  The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.

  14Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

Israel was feeling like a worm─a lowly insect but the one who was buying her back gives her reassurance.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT BEAR OUT THE TEXT:

Job 25:6  How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?

Psa 22:6  But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

  15Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff.

Israel is being transformed from a worm into a threshing instrument. When you get threshed it means you were in a fight and lost the battle─in this case Israel was threshing the heathen.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT SPEAK VOLUMES ABOUT THE TEXT:

Hab 3:12  Thou didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh the heathen in anger.

Mic 4:13  Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the LORD, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.

16Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel.

Winnowing was a process whereby grain was beaten and tossed into the air with a winnowing shovel and the grains which were heavier than the chaff fell back into the hopper and the wind blew the chaff away.  The prophet likens the heathen to chaff that was blown away.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT SHED LIGHT ON THE TEXT:

Psa 1:4  The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Jer 15:7  And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children, I will destroy my people, since they return not from their ways.

Jer 51:2  And will send unto Babylon fanners, that shall fan her, and shall empty her land: for in the day of trouble they shall be against her round about.

Mat 3:12  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

17When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.

The oppressed with parched lips will not seek water in vain. God will not refuse them a hearing nor abandon them.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT VERIFY THE TEXT:

Psa 72:12-13  For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper.  He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.

Isa 55:1  Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Exo 17:6  Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

18I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.

God provided special care for Israel when they escaped from captivity.  Take a look at the historical marsh lands close to Babylon and you will see that this once was parched ground.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT GIVE COUNTEREVIDENCE TO THE TEXT:

Isa 30:25  And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.

Isa 49:9-10  That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.  They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.

Psa 107:35  He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings.

19I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together:

The land had lain idle for seventy years and was nothing but a wilderness inhabited by wild animals.  God says that he will once again bless the land and it will be fertile and produce trees and fruit.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT CONFIRM THE TEXT:

Isa 32:15  Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest.

Isa 51:3  For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.

Isa 55:13  Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

20That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.

God wanted them to consider and recognize that he was the one who was doing this.  The proof that God’s hand was in it was indisputable.  It was God who was behind the entire operation of Israel’s release.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT GIVE AUTHORITIVE DATA TO THE TEXT:

Isa 43:7-10  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.  Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.  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.  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.

  21Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob.

He challenges the idol worshipers to bring forth their case─ show what they have done, or can do.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THATCARRY WEIGHT REGARDING THE TEXT:

Job 23:3-4  Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!  I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.

Job 31:37  I would declare unto him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto him.

Job 38:3  Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

22Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come.

The challenge is this: what will happen next.  Only God can know the future─the Bible is the only book that reveals the future accurately.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT MAKE THE CASE:

Isa 42:9  Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.

Isa 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.

Joh 13:19  Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.

23Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.

Get your facts together and present your evidence─explain what your idol gods have done, yes either good or evil.  Will we be shocked when we see the evidence?

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT MAKE THE CASE:

Isa 46:10  Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

Act 15:18  Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

Isa 45:7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

  24Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you.

These idols were less than nothing.  Their work was as empty as air.  Anyone who worships an idol is an abomination to God.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT INDORSE THE TEXT:

Isa 41:29  Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing: their molten images are wind and confusion.

Isa 44:9-10  They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.  Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing?

Deu 27:15  Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.

25I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come: from the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name: and he shall come upon princes as upon morter, and as the potter treadeth clay.

One hundred and fifty years before God had revealed through Isaiah that Cyrus would trample down the mighty monarchs as mortar, and as the potter trod in clay.  The idol gods and their fake priests had never revealed any of the future, nor are they capable.  In chapters 49-51 of Jeremiah, there are 95 prophecies of the future and all of them have been fulfilled in every detail.  Please note that the scripture says he will come from the north (Media) and east (Persia.)  Jehovah here, by the mouth of the prophet, predicts the victories of Cyrus over the Chaldeans and their allies, at least 150 years before the event, as one instance of his foreknowledge and invincible power.  Media lay north of Babylon, and Persia eastward; and Cyrus commanded the forces of both these nations; and, by his wonderful success, he trampled down mighty monarchs as mortar, and as the potter treads the clay.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT LEND EVIDENCE TO THE TEXT:

Isa 45:1-5  Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut  I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron  And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.  For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.  I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

  26Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, He is righteous? yea, there is none that sheweth, yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that heareth your words.

God’s predictions were always told in advance─His forecast for the truth is that no idol ever has or ever will tell the future.  They are as dumb as a hammer.  Note also that none of the sacred books of the heathen religions have prophecies in them.  The Koran has no prophecies in it.  If Mohammad were a prophet where are his prophecies?

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT DEMONSTRATE THE TEXT:

Isa 45:21  Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

Isa 41:23  Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.

27The first shall say to Zion, Behold, behold them: and I will give to Jerusalem one that bringeth good tidings.

Here is the first edition:  I will give Jerusalem the news first─the city and temple will be restored and they shall return to their homeland, our God is the first and last and everything in between.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT AUTHENTICATE THE TEXT:

Isa 43:10  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.

Isa 48:12  Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.

Rev 2:8  And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

28For I beheld, and there was no man; even among them, and there was no counsellor, that, when I asked of them, could answer a word.

God is saying that when he looked, there was no heathen prophet, no pagan priest that could predict anything─when God asked there was no answer from any of them.

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THAT ESTABLISH THE CERTAINTY OF THE TEXT:

Dan 2:10-11  The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.  And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

Dan 4:7-8  Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof.  Then came in all the king’s wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof.

29Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing: their molten images are wind and confusion.

The sum of the whole matter is this:  their effigies are wind; their metal images are empty and full of confusion. Ask and none of them can tell you what is going on.  Their gods are no-gods.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

PRESENT OVERWHELMING PROOF OF THE TEXT:

Jer 10:2-6  Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.  For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.  They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.  They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.  Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.

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