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43. Israel's Only Savior

1But now thus saith Jehovah that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine. 2When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. 3For I am Jehovah thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour; I have given Egypt as thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in thy stead. 4Since thou hast been precious in my sight, and honorable, and I have loved thee; therefore will I give men in thy stead, and peoples instead of thy life. 5Fear not; for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; 6I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back; bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the end of the earth; 7every one that is called by my name, and whom I have created for my glory, whom I have formed, yea, whom I have made. 8Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears. 9Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the peoples be assembled: who among 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, It is truth. 10Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, 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. 11I, even I, am Jehovah; and besides me there is no saviour. 12I have declared, and I have saved, and I have showed; and there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and I am God. 13Yea, since the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who can hinder it? 14Thus saith Jehovah, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and I will bring down all of them as fugitives, even the Chaldeans, in the ships of their rejoicing. 15I am Jehovah, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King. 16Thus saith Jehovah, who maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; 17who bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the mighty man (they lie down together, they shall not rise; they are extinct, they are quenched as a wick): 18Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 19Behold, I will do a new thing; now shall it spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. 20The beasts of the field shall honor me, the jackals and the ostriches; because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen, 21the people which I formed for myself, that they might set forth my praise. 22Yet thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel. 23Thou hast not brought me of thy sheep for burnt-offerings; neither hast thou honored me with thy sacrifices. I have not burdened thee with offerings, nor wearied thee with frankincense. 24Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices; but thou hast burdened me with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities. 25I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake; and I will not remember thy sins. 26Put me in remembrance; let us plead together: set thou forth thy cause, that thou mayest be justified. 27Thy first father sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me. 28Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary; and I will make Jacob a curse, and Israel a reviling.

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11. I, I 167167     “Ce suis-je, ce suis-je.” “It is I, it is I.” am Jehovah. Here the Lord employs lofty language, as having obtained the victory. Already he had sufficiently explained in what manner he must be known, and had shewn that there is no God except himself; and now, in order to confirm this doctrine, he exclaims, “I alone am Jehovah, there is none besides me.” This shews how dangerous it is to contrive anything about God out of our own fancy; for when we make any kind of graven image, we produce an idol instead of God. We ought, therefore, to embrace nothing but what has proceeded from God, so as not to allow ourselves any liberty on this subject. After God has revealed himself to us, we ought to make progress in the knowledge of him, and to grow and be strengthened every day; for this is the meaning of the repetition, I, I. 168168     “Ce suis-je, ce suis-je.” “It is I, it is I.”

And there is no Savior besides me. That we may not suppose that his eternal essence only is here exhibited, but also his power and goodness, which he constantly exercises towards us, and by which he is fully revealed, he adds an epithet as a distinguishing mark, that “he is the only Savior.” The world falls into the mistake of giving a naked and empty name to God, and at the same time conveying his authority to another, as in Popery God is indeed mentioned, but is robbed of his honor, when one part of it is given to St. Peter, and another to St. Paul, and another to St. William, and another to St. George; that is, his offices are distributed into so many parts, that hardly anything is left to him but a naked and empty name. They boast, indeed, of worshipping God alone; but when we come to what it belongs to God to do, they make as many gods as they have creatures, and distribute among them his power and authority. But the Lord has determined that these shall remain entire and uninfringed, and they cannot be conveyed to another without shocking blasphemy; for he alone does good to men, he alone defends and preserves them. The last clause of the verse expresses that knowledge which is derived from experience, that we may not seek salvation in any other than in him who its the only author of it. Hence we learn that the chief part of the worship of God consists in faith, when he is acknowledged to be the beginning and the end of life, when we bestow on him the title of Savior, and do not convey to another what he declares to belong to himself and to reside in him alone.