Isaiah 48 Redemption For His People.
Israel is addressed as the LORD’s covenant people who swear by his name “but not in truth or in righteousness” (v. 1). They claim to be citizens of the holy city, but gave no evidence of said holiness (v. 2). The LORD had declared to them his word which gave them an infallible understanding of creation and history (v. 3). Nevertheless, their history proved to be one of obstinacy (v. 4). Declaring, through predictive prophecy, what would come to pass in the future, was intended to keep Israel from thinking that whatever they might have achieved was not because of their idols, but solely due to the sovereign will of the LORD (v. 5). It is the LORD who reveals hidden things-this they should have confessed and declared the word given (v. 6). Instead they claimed that they knew what would come about even as the LORD (v. 7). In other words, they didn’t need to hear from him to know what would come to pass.
Their thinking was that of those who act treacherously in the covenant relationship (v. 8). It was only through the LORD’s mercy that he chose not to cut them off, an expression used for being excommunicated out of the covenant community and being forever subject to its curses (v. 9). For their idolatry or spiritual adultery, the LORD would afflict them for His name’s sake (vv. 10-11). He issued a call to his called, for them to recognize him as the Lord of history-the first and the last, the one who set his plans in motion before he created all things. He had a plan in mind before his work began (vv. 12-13). He would return judgment on Babylon for showing no mercy on his nation (vv. 14-15). If they would listen, they would acknowledge that he has been their Redeemer, the ‘I am’ who also taught them how to profit, leading them in the way they should go (vv. 16-17).
If only they had kept his commandments they would have peace that would flow like a river, and their righteousness would be as the waves of the sea (v. 18). They would have also fulfilled the original dominion mandate to be fruitful and multiply, a mandate which was renewed with every administration of the covenant which followed (v. 19). Now was the time for them to repent and put their faith in the LORD, to leave Babylon with singing, in anticipation of re-entering the promised land-all this because first and foremost he was their Redeemer-it would not come about through their own work or effort (v. 20). This Redeemer was the Rock from which the water of salvation flowed, the promised Messiah (Cf. Ex. 17:6; Nu. 20:10-11; I Cor. 10:4). History, under the LORD’s sovereign control, also gave evidence that, “There is no peace for the wicked” (v. 22).