Isaiah Chapter 49 Continued
Isaiah 49:11 “And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.”
In the last lesson, we learned of many of the beautiful promises the Lord made to His people. This is a continuation of that here. This is just saying that nothing will prevent God’s people from coming to Him. All of the obstacles will be removed.
Isaiah 49:12 “Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.”
“Come from afar”: Israel’s regathering will be from a worldwide exile (43:5-6), even faraway places like Sinim, probably an ancient name for what is China.
The word “Sinim” is not known of in other Scriptures. This is speaking of a time when all nations will flow to the Lord (probably in Jerusalem).
Verses 13-26: God promises Israel that His new covenant with the Gentiles does not negate His covenant with Israel. “I have graven” (shagag, to “carve, cut, engrave”), “thee upon the palms of my hands” reveals the eternal security of the salvation of God’s people. They are inseparably united to Him. Ultimately God will bring both, the Gentiles and His people, together into one people of God.
Isaiah 49:13 “Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.”
Heaven and earth break forth into singing in this joyous victory. This joy comes because of the victory that the cross will bring to all of God’s people. We are saved because of a merciful God. His mercy endures forever.
We believers in Christ have the Comforter (Holy Spirit), living within us. He brings us to all Truth. He is our Teacher and our Guide.
Rev. 12:12 “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”
Isaiah 49:14 “But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.”
“Zion”: The literal Israel’s complaint, as if God had forsaken her in the Babylonian captivity. Also in their dispersion previous to their future restoration; thereby God’s mercy shall be called forth (Isa. 63:15-19; Psalms 77:9, 10; 102:17).
An objection against all of these glorious predictions and promises hitherto mentioned. How can these things be true, when the condition of God’s church is now so sad and desperate? As it was when the Jews were captives in Babylon, in which the prophet here supposeth them to be.
Verses 15-23: Here is the summary of the history of lament by the nation during its long period of suffering, followed with words of assurance responding to the despondency.
Isaiah 49:15 “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.”
The Hebrews are God’s chosen family. He will never forget them, because they are His. Even if your natural parents fail you, God will never fail you. God is the perfect parent.
Isaiah 49:16 “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of [my] hands; thy walls [are] continually before me.”
The Lord is referring here to the Jews’ custom, perhaps drawn from (Exodus 13:9), of puncturing their hands with a symbol of their city and temple, as a sign of devotion.
His setting them as a mark on His hand, or a seal upon His arm, denotes His being ever mindful of them.
We do know that there is still evidence of the cruelty of the cross in the hands of Jesus. The only thing earthly in heaven are the scars in the hands of Jesus. This is a constant reminder of the family He purchased on the cross.
The city that God had chosen to be the holy city was Jerusalem surrounded by walls. Even though Jerusalem is surrounded by walls, there are open gates. These walls are not to keep people out. The walls symbolize eternal protection, from God for His people.
Verses 17-18: “Children … clothe thee … jewels”: Zion’s inhabitants will return as the city’s destroyers depart and will adorn the city, Israel will be the means of the conversion of the nations in the end (Romans 11:11, 12, 15).
Isaiah 49:17 “Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee.”
We know that there is a hasty return of the children of Israel to their land today. This perhaps, is speaking of their return from Babylon then, and their return from the world today, to the holy city.
Isaiah 49:18 “Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, [and] come to thee. [As] I live, saith the LORD, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them [on thee], as a bride [doeth].”
This could be speaking of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ who is the bride of Christ. The New Jerusalem is also spoken of as a bride, coming down from God. (Chapter 21 of Revelation, has a great deal to say about this).
Verses 19-21: After the faithful remnant is regathered in salvation, and Gentiles come to faith in the kingdom through Jewish witnesses, millennial Jerusalem will not be large enough to contain all her inhabitants.
Isaiah 49:19 “For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away.”
Israel is a very small nation of many people, and could possibly be speaking of this. But I believe it is speaking of the vast number of people who come to Christ. There would be far too many for the small country of Israel. Therefore, they would be scattered to all the world.
Isaiah 49:20 “The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears, The place [is] too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell.”
This is speaking of the vast number of Gentiles who come to Christ when the natural Jews have, in the most part, rejected Jesus. Every nation of the world will have believers in Christ. We will see in the next Scripture why the natural Israelite rejected Jesus.
Romans 11:11 “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but [rather] through their fall salvation [is come] unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.”
Jesus is the Savior of all mankind, for those who will accept Him.
Isaiah 49:21 “Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where [had] they [been]?”
The natural Hebrews felt that God was reserved for them. They did not understand God offering salvation to the Gentiles, as well. The Jews did not want the Gentiles in their fellowship at first. Look with me, at the following Scriptures and see why Peter decided to call Gentiles into Christianity.
Acts 10:44-48 “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.” “And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.” “For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,” “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?” “And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.”
The answer to the question “where had they been?” is simple. They had been in spiritual darkness. Now they have seen the Light.
Isaiah 49:22 “Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in [their] arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon [their] shoulders.”
“Gentiles … bring thy sons … thy daughters”: The promise will find literal fulfillment as the nations of the world assist the faithful remnant of Israel to their land (14:2; 43:6; 60:4; 66:20). At the outset of the kingdom, when this regathering takes place, all the Gentiles will be believers in Jesus Christ who, by faith, escaped the wrath of the Lamb on the Day of the Lord and entered the kingdom.
Nations and leaders, that in history oppressed Israel, will humble themselves before the redeemed people of God’s covenant, and Israel will know that waiting on the Lord will not disappoint (8:17; 40:31).
We see now that Christianity is open to the Gentiles, as well as the Jews. When a parent gets saved, the first thing they want to do is to get their children saved too. Small children were carried on the shoulders of their mothers.
In a spiritual sense, the parent never stops having their children on their shoulders. Parents care for their own until they die.
Isaiah 49:23 “And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with [their] face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I [am] the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.”
Kings and queens come to God the same way as everyone else. They must repent. They must be humble before God. They must receive Jesus as full payment for their sins. They must not lord it over their other sisters and brothers in Christ.
All are the servants of Christ, who have received Him as Savior. He is Lord over kings and queens the same as everyone else.
Isaiah 49:24 “Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?”
“Prey be taken … captive … delivered”: As (in verse 14), Isaiah speaks of Zion again expressing her despondency over her captivity and wondering about deliverance. The Lord replies again with encouraging words (in verses 25 and 26).
Babylon did not want to give up the Israelite captives. The world does not want to give up the captive sinners today either. They are released by the Deliverer (Jesus Christ). It matters not that someone like Cyrus was instigator in the deliverance. God is the true Deliverer.
Verses 25-26: “Feed … with their own flesh … drunken with their own blood”: Strong language against Israel’s enemies reassures her of eventual deliverance from her exile. The angel of the waters draws on this terminology in describing the third bowl judgment in Rev. 16:6. The destruction of Israel’s enemies, led by Satan in the tribulation (Rev. 12:15-16), also fulfills this pledge.
Isaiah 49:25 “But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.”
God deals harshly with those who deal harshly with His children. Just as Pharaoh did not want to let the people go, Babylon did not want to let them go, either. God has a way of changing their minds. We saw the 10 plagues He brought on Egypt, which made Pharaoh glad to give the children up.
It is the same with others who are holding God’s children captive. God can make it so rough on the captor; they will be thrilled to let them go.
Isaiah 49:26 “And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD [am] thy Savior and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.”
“All flesh shall know”: God’s deliverance of Israel will be so dramatic that the world will recognize that the Lord, the Savior, Redeemer and Mighty One of Israel is the true God (11:9; 45:6; Ezekiel 39:7; Hab. 2:14).
There would be famine caused by God. Unbelievers would be so hungry; they would eat their own flesh. Their devastation will be so great, that they will appear to do these things. At the end of God’s wrath upon them, they will be like Pharaoh, eager to send the captives out.
There will be no question at all, who has the power. They will know without doubt that God has delivered the captives from them. The captives will know also, that God delivered them. In fact, everyone will know God delivered them. Notice the names Savior, Redeemer, and mighty One. All are speaking of God.
Isaiah Chapter 49 Continued Questions
- What is verse 11 saying that God will do?
- What does the word “Sinim” mean?
- What time is this speaking of?
- Why does heaven and earth break out rejoicing?
- Who is the Comforter?
- What is Zion?
- In this particular case, Zion is speaking primarily of what?
- Why will God never forget the Hebrews?
- Where had God graven them on Himself?
- What is the only thing in heaven that is earthly?
- What is this marking a reminder of?
- Israel is surrounded by walls, but their ________ are _________.
- What do the walls symbolize?
- What is verse 17 speaking of?
- Who, or what, is the bride of Christ?
- Verse 19 is speaking of what vast number?
- When the vast majority of Jews rejected Jesus, who came to Christ?
- Who were the church members in the beginning?
- What happened that caused Peter to baptize Gentiles?
- What is the first thing parents do, when they get saved?
- Who is the Deliverer?
- Who did God deal harshly with to get him to release the Israelites?
- What are some of the terrible things that might happen, if they do not release God’s people?