Isaiah speaks to Pentecostals and Seekers. And the world. The faithful remnant prays for deliverance from Babylon. The LORD promises it.
VERSE 1. “Listen to me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek the LORD. Look to the rock you were cut from, and to the quarry you were dug from.
NLT translation. Listen to me, all who hope for deliverance— all who seek the LORD! Consider the rock from which you were cut, the quarry from which you were mined.
Listen to me. Isaiah is speaking to two groups:
- all who hope for deliverance. They believe that the miracle of deliverance is possible. Let’s call them “Old Testament Pentecostals.” Such people are never the majority.
- all who seek the LORD. Isaiah’s second target is “seekers.” They seek the LORD God of Israel. They are not the majority, either.
In those days, neither group (“Pentecostals” or “Seekers”) would be vast. Neither group would be a majority of the population. But that is OK. The majority will not accept to what Isaiah says. They will either ignore it or they will actively reject it.
Isaiah does not squander his time “marketing” his “product” to a sector that is unwilling to “buy.”
In our day, like Isaiah, we need to define our target audience. Otherwise, we’ll squander our time and efforts, and benefit neither ourselves nor others.
VERSE 2. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for when he was but one I called him, I blessed him, and made him many.
VERSE 3. For the LORD has comforted Zion. He has comforted all her waste places, and has made her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in them, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.
He has comforted all her waste places. That is, he is causing the desert to blossom. The former era of brokenness and suffering and feeling dead is over. God is resurrecting them into joy and wholeness and new life.
Joy and gladness will be found in them. They will come back to making merry!
VERSE 4. “Listen to me, my people; and hear me, my nation, for a law will go out from me, and I will establish my justice for a light to the peoples.
VERSE 5. My righteousness is near. My salvation has gone out, and my arms will judge the peoples. The islands will wait for me, and they will trust my arm.
BBE translation. Suddenly will my righteousness come near, and my salvation will be shining out like the light; the sea-lands will be waiting for me, and they will put their hope in my strong arm.
Suddenly. That is, “soon.” Or “is near.” It is difficult to know precisely what the word “soon” actually means.
The islands will wait for me. The Old Testament foresee Gentiles coming to faith in the One God of Israel and bringing gifts to Jerusalem. Here are the key Bible verses about this »
VERSE 6. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens will vanish away like smoke, and the earth will wear out like a garment. Its inhabitants will die in the same way, but my salvation will be forever, and my righteousness will not be abolished.
VERSE 7. “Listen to me, you who know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law. Don’t fear the reproach of men, and don’t be dismayed at their insults.
VERSE 8. For the moth will eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool; but my righteousness will be forever, and my salvation to all generations.”
VERSE 9. Awake, awake, put on strength, arm of the LORD! Awake, as in the days of old, the generations of ancient times. Isn’t it you who cut Rahab in pieces, who pierced the monster?
VERSE 10. Isn’t it you who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep; who made the depths of the sea a way for the redeemed to pass over?
VERSE 11. Those ransomed by the LORD will return and come with singing to Zion. Everlasting joy shall be on their heads. They will obtain gladness and joy. Sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
This is a very famous verse, thanks to the famous song by Martin Sanchez.
VERSE 12. “I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you, that you are afraid of man who shall die, and of the son of man who will be made as grass?
VERSE 13. Have you forgotten the LORD your Maker, who stretched out the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth? Do you live in fear continually all day because of the fury of the oppressor, when he prepares to destroy? Where is the fury of the oppressor?
Do you live in fear continually all day. God wishes that we no longer fear the people who oppress us.
VERSE 14. The captive exile will speedily be freed. He will not die and go down into the pit. His bread won’t fail.
VERSE 15. For I am the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar. The LORD of Hosts is his name.
The LORD of Hosts is his name. That is one of the many names of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Other translations say “Lord of Armies.”
VERSE 16. I have put my words in your mouth and have covered you in the shadow of my hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and tell Zion, ‘You are my people.’ ”
I have put my words in your mouth. Our Scripture Memory Project puts God’s words in our mouths!
VERSE 17. Awake, awake! Stand up, Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the LORD’s hand the cup of his wrath. You have drunken the bowl of the cup of staggering, and drained it.
Matthew 20:22. But Jesus answered, “You don’t know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to him, “We are able.”
VERSE 18. There is no one to guide her among all the sons to whom she has given birth; and there is no one who takes her by the hand among all the sons who she has brought up.
VERSE 19. These two things have happened to you—who will grieve with you?—desolation and destruction, and famine and the sword. How can I comfort you?
VERSE 20. Your sons have fainted. They lie at the head of all the streets, like an antelope in a net. They are full of the LORD’s wrath, the rebuke of your God.
VERSE 21. Therefore now hear this, you afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine:
VERSE 22. Your Lord GOD, your God who pleads the cause of his people, says, “Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of staggering, even the bowl of the cup of my wrath. You will not drink it any more.
I have taken. This verb is in the past tense. This event has already taken place. God has lifted this from his people.
You will not drink it any more. God has taken away the thing that caused his people to suffer.
For them, it had been like they were forced to drink up their sufferings from a cup. It wasnʼt the wrath of God. Rather, it was suffering perpetrated by abusers. But now it is gone forever. It will never ever be a part of their lives again.
VERSE 23. I will put it into the hand of those who afflict you, who have said to your soul, ‘Bow down, that we may walk over you;’ and you have laid your back as the ground, like a street to those who walk over.”
I will put it into the hand of those who afflict you. The tables have been turned. God will hand that cup to our tormentors.
Formerly, abusers would walk all over God’s people and afflict them with suffering. The effects would last for years or decades.
But now the tables have turned. Every bit of the troubles are gone from God’s people. It left them and settled into their abusers.
It is like what Jesus did for the demon-possessed man who hid out in the tombs. Jesus ordered the legion of demons to depart. The demons left him and went into a herd of swine.
Similarly, the human swine that abuse Godʼs people will have their evil come back into themselves. This isnʼt revenge. It is God’s justice.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.