Isaiah 41

Isaiah 41  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
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In view of this disclosure of the glory of God a call goes out to all mankind as chapter 41 opens— for the word “people” in verse 1 should really be in the plural “peoples”. God will reason with them as to His governmental ways in the earth. Verse 2 mentions a king, coming from the east of Palestine, who should be a conqueror, ruling over kings. It seems that this is a prophecy as regards the day in which Isaiah wrote, and was fulfilled in Cyrus, who is named in the verse that opens chapter 45. God raises up whom He pleases to carry out His designs in the earth. In contrast with this men in their folly and blindness manufacture their idols, as stated in verses 6 and 7. This controversy with Israel as to their persistent turning to idols continues till we reach the end of chapter 48.
In verses 8 and 9 of our chapter Israel is reminded that as the seed of Abraham, who is honored as “My friend”, they are a chosen people and called to be the servant of God. How foolish then this turning to idols! And in the succeeding verses we find the most assuring words of encouragement and support which, if only received in faith, would have lifted them far above any reliance on idolatrous things. They should be upheld and their enemies confounded. The Holy One of Israel would be their Redeemer, and make them like a threshing instrument scattering their foes. Moreover He would be as a fountain of water to them, meeting all their needs.
In the light of this comes the challenge to the idols and their followers. Let them produce their cause; let them foretell the future and “declare things for to come.” This they could not do, and an abomination were they and their votaries. A further reference to the coming conqueror from the northeast is found in verses 25 and 26, and the chapter closes with words of contempt for the men who supported the idols and the counsels they gave.