Isaiah 43

1 But now the LORD who created you, Jacob, and he who formed you, Israel says: “Don’t be afraid, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by your name. You are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, and flame will not scorch you. 3 For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I have given Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. 4 Since you have been precious and honored in my sight, and I have loved you; therefore I will give people in your place, and nations instead of your life. 5 Don’t be afraid; for I am with you. I will bring your offspring from the east, and gather you from the west. 6 I will tell the north, ‘Give them up!’ and tell the south, ‘Don’t hold them back! Bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth— 7 everyone who is called by my name, and whom I have created for my glory, whom I have formed, yes, whom I have made.’” 8 Bring out the blind people who have eyes, and the deaf who have ears. 9 Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the peoples be assembled. Who amongst them can declare this, and show us former things? Let them bring their witnesses, that they may be justified; or let them hear, and say, “That is true.” 10 “You are my witnesses,” says the LORD, “With my servant whom I have chosen; that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am he. Before me there was no God formed, neither will there be after me. 11 I myself am the LORD; and besides me there is no savior. 12 I have declared, I have saved, and I have shown; and there was no strange god amongst you. Therefore you are my witnesses”, says the LORD, “and I am God. 13 Yes, since the day was I am he; and there is no one who can deliver out of my hand. I will work, and who can hinder it?” 14 the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says: “For your sake, I have sent to Babylon, and I will bring all of them down as fugitives, even the Chaldeans, in the ships of their rejoicing. 15 I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.” 16 the LORD, who makes a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters says: 17 who brings out the chariot and horse, the army and the mighty man (they lie down together, they shall not rise; they are extinct, they are quenched like a wick): 18 “Don’t remember the former things, and don’t consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing. It springs out now. Don’t you know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. 20 The animals of the field shall honor me, the jackals and the ostriches; because I give water in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen, 21 the people which I formed for myself, that they might declare my praise. 22 Yet you have not called on me, Jacob; but you have been weary of me, Israel. 23 You have not brought me of your sheep for burnt offerings; neither have you honored me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with offerings, nor wearied you with frankincense. 24 You have bought me no sweet cane with money, nor have you filled me with the fat of your sacrifices; but you have burdened me with your sins. You have wearied me with your iniquities. 25 I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake; and I will not remember your sins. 26 Put me in remembrance. Let us plead together. Declare your case, that you may be justified. 27 Your first father sinned, and your teachers have transgressed against me. 28 Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary; and I will make Jacob a curse, and Israel an insult.”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-7

God’s favour and good-will to his people speak abundant comfort to all believers. The new creature, wherever it is, is of God’s forming. All who are redeemed with the blood of his Son, he has set apart for himself. Those that have God for them need not fear who or what can be against them. What are Egypt and Ethiopia, all their lives and treasures, compared with the blood of Christ? True believers are precious in God’s sight, his delight is in them, above any people. Though they went as through fire and water, yet, while they had God with them, they need fear no evil; they should be born up, and brought out. The faithful are encouraged. They were to be assembled from every quarter. And with this pleasing object in view, the prophet again dissuades from anxious fears.

Verses 8-13

Idolaters are called to appear in defence of their idols. Those who make them, and trust in them, are like unto them. They have the shape and faculties of men; but they have not common sense. But God’s people know the power of his grace, the sweetness of his comforts, the kind care of his providence, and the truth of his promise. All servants of God can give such an account of what he has wrought in them, and done for them, as may lead others to know and believe his power, truth, and love

Verses 14-21

The deliverance from Babylon is foretold, but there is reference to greater events. The redemption of sinners by Christ, the conversion of the Gentiles, and the recall of the Jews, are described. All that is to be done to rescue sinners, and to bring the believer to glory, is little, compared with that wondrous work of love, the redemption of man.

Verses 22-28

Those who neglect to call upon God, are weary of him. The Master tired not the servants with his commands, but they tired him with disobedience. What were the riches of God’s mercy toward them? I, even I, am he who yet blotteth out thy transgressions. This encourages us to repent, because there is forgiveness with God, and shows the freeness of Divine mercy. When God forgives, he forgets. It is not for any thing in us, but for his mercies’ sake, his promise’ sake; especially for his Son’s sake. He is pleased to reckon it his honour. Would man justify himself before God? The attempt is desperate: our first father broke the covenant, and we all have copied his example. We have no reason to expect pardon, except we seek it by faith in Christ; and that is always attended by true repentance, and followed by newness of life, by hatred of sin, and love to God. Let us then put him in remembrance of the promises he has made to the penitent, and the satisfaction his Son has made for them. Plead these with him in wrestling for pardon; and declare these things, that thou mayest be justified freely by his grace. This is the only way, and it is a sure way to peace.

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