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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 gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 4Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee; and I will give men for thee, and peoples for 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 afar, 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: I have formed him, yea, I have made him. 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 declareth this, or causeth us to hear former things? let them bring forth 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, I [am] Jehovah; and besides me there is no saviour. 12It is I that have declared, and have saved, and have shewed, when there was no strange [god] among you; and ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, that I [am] God. 13Yea, since the day was, I [am] HE, and there is none that delivereth out of my hand: I will work, and who shall hinder it? 14Thus saith Jehovah, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought all of them down as fugitives, even the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships. 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 chariot and horse, army and power -- they lie down together, they shall not rise; they are extinct, they are quenched as tow: 18-- Remember not the former things, neither consider the ancient things: 19behold, I do a new thing; now it shall spring forth: shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the waste. 20The beast of the field shall glorify me, the jackals and the ostriches; for I will give waters in the wilderness, rivers in the waste, to give drink to my people, my chosen. 21This people have I formed for myself: they shall shew forth my praise. 22-- But thou hast not called upon me, Jacob; for thou hast been weary of me, O Israel: 23thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt-offerings, neither hast thou glorified me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to toil with an oblation, nor wearied thee with incense. 24Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices; but thou hast made me to toil with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities. 25-- I, 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; rehearse thine own [cause], that thou mayest be justified. 27Thy first father hath sinned, and thy mediators have rebelled against me. 28And I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the ban, and Israel to reproaches.

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21. This people have I created for myself. The Prophet means that the Lord will necessarily do what he formerly said, because it concerns his glory to preserve the people whom he has chosen for himself; and therefore these words are intended for the consolation of the people. “Do you think that I will suffer my glory to fall to the ground? It is connected with your salvation, and therefore your salvation shall be the object of my care. In a word, know that you shall be saved, because you cannot perish, unless my glory likewise perish. Ye shall therefore survive, because I wish that you may continually proclaim my glory.”

When he says that he has created the people, let us learn that it proceeds from supernatural grace that we are the people of God; for we must remember that principle of which we have formerly spoken, that he does not now speak of the ordinary nature of men, but of spiritual regeneration, or of the adoption by which he separates the Church from the rest of the world, and that with everything that belongs to it. Let no one therefore ascribe his regeneration to himself or to any human merits; but let us acknowledge that it is entirely to the mercy of God that we owe so great a favor.

They shall declare my praise. Though it is the design of the Prophet to shew what I have said, that his people shall be saved because it concerns the glory of God, yet we also learn from it, that the end of our election is, that we may shew forth the glory of God in every possible way. (Exodus 14:4, 17, 18.) The reprobate are, indeed, the instruments of the glory of God, but it is said to shine in us in a very different manner; for “he hath chosen us,” says Paul, “that we might be holy and without blame before him through love, who predestinated us that he might adopt us to be his children through Jesus Christ, in himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace by which he hath made us accepted through the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:4-6.) Such also is the import of the words of Peter when he says, that we were brought out of darkness into the wonderful kingdom of God, that we may declare his perfections, (1 Peter 2:9;) and likewise the words of Zacharias,

“That, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, we may serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness, all the days of our life.” (Luke 1:74, 75.)

This, then, is the end of our calling, that, being consecrated to God, we may praise and honor him during our whole life.




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