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Great is the Lord's investment in Israel, from the first scriptures from Moses to those from Malachi, from the Messiah sent, showing the wonder of God, and yet murdered to expose and remedy sin in vicarious sufferings, that many might be saved from the mire of this earth and its fallen masters. It has been shown also in the rebuke of love which exposing iniquity, also enables redemption, which culminates in Christ's resurrection in the area of Jerusalem. This is not to enable the folly of this earth to be continued, but replaced.

This same investment  is exhibited in the Lord's power to do what He says with ultimate blessing, from Israel's dispersion in demonstration of the plight of wickedness in the place of holiness and treachery instead of truth, when its Prince was betrayed, to its restoration. These lessons are clear when now the whole earth suffers through its own rampaging unfaithfulness, as the Lord continues the fulfilment of His investment in Israel, with  its regathering from 1948 onward, even in the form of a nation as forecast from Hosea 1-3 on to Ezekiel, Isaiah and Jeremiah, to its declaration of a restored Jerusalem, that this is its eternal capital. This is all well-known and shown and  expounded in such works as ISRAEL TETRAD.

Today, let us study in Isaiah 49-55 chiefly, some of the direct divine exposition of His actions, theme of salvation and creation, redemption and rule.

There can be no doubt that Isaiah 52-53 is one of the grand charters of salvation through faith by grace, vested in the Messiah who fulfilled God's promise of Genesis 3:15 by providing what in sin man could no more perform. It was this which God undertook to do, and it would be in human form as His promise makes as its premiss. It was in human form God Himself would do what smitten man, fallen into sin, could no more do. Incapacitated spiritually, he was no more capable of deliverance, enduring instead the curse

It was God who would become man in format, in order as man to release man.

All these things were increasingly unveiled over time, as for example in Hosea 13:14, where God PERSONALLY makes it clear that HE HIMSELF is going to expunge the scourge, curse and condign consequence of death, paying the ransom, the cost that sin incurred, or in Psalm 22 where the suffering involved, the sheer horror and anguish in so doing is unveiled. Again, it is prophetically and prescriptively seen in Psalm 16, where the glorious wonder of waiting for what is worthwhile is exposed, in the bodily resurrection of this same God as man, who was unveiled as Jesus Christ in His time. So it was said, and in when the time came, it was. This was wrought at the very date prescribed centuries beforehand,  as Daniel 9:24-27, which had predicted in the most solemn and simple fashion the time of the Messiah's death, as shown in Highway of Holiness Ch. 4 and more briefly in Christ the Citadel Ch. 2.

While these things are often rehearsed, not so often does one find attention to Isaiah 51 before that climacteric revelation of 52-55, or the sequence from Isaiah 49. While on this site much has already been written on Isaiah, and indeed in With Heart and Soul ... Chs. 4ff., a compilation of many such materials is found, though it is not exhaustive, it seems good here in this work on WAITING FOR WONDER, to spend a little more time on this topic. In the very cohesion and sequence in them from Isaiah 49-55 as one whole,  there is in it much that is beautiful, as one is enabled to survey the dutiful and delightful provision of the Lord to His people; and in so doing, it is good help those not yet numbered with them, to find Him, as well as those who are His, to appreciate more of this, His wonder.

Work from Spiritual Refreshings ... Ch. 15 has been done in this area in particular, and this has been revised with emphasis on One Only but Not Alone Ch. 14. Before then, we move on to find further into these surrounding Chapters, it will be good to see what has already been put in this recent revision in Ch. 14. A section is excerpted below.






It is necessary to live in the truth, according to it and to face it in all things.

The alternative is not to trifle, to hire a lawyer or to engage in a talk-fest! It is hell.

That, quite simply, is where it belongs: it CANNOT of necessity belong where truth rules (Revelation 21:4-8). Sorrow goes, but so do lies, when heaven is in view.

Now Christ is the key, He is the fresh showers upon the mown grass that gives it light, upon the grass to be mown, which gives to it beauty and fulness (Psalm 72). His is the UTTERANCE, the DECLARATION, the REVELATION and the OUTGOING of God. HE it is who is sent after the glory (Zechariah 2:8), and it is HE who says,

"From the time that it was, I was there,
And now the Lord God and His Spirit
Have sent Me!" (Isaiah 48:16).

Without Him (Isaiah 51:6,16, in context 50:4-5, 49:3) -

who had believed the report of Him (Isaiah 53:1 - still the issue!): as in Isaiah 53:3-6 ...

This is not too dramatic. As Isaiah 51:16 makes clear, this effective Israel, this One who took it, did it and make it happen, this Christ, this Prince of Peace of whose kingdom there would be no end (Isaiah 9:7), this one who could be named 'everlasting Father', but who at the same time was the earthly Prince on whose shoulder the government would by divine decree, interminably be placed, this One whose name included the very matrix of deity specifications, in nomenclature, WONDERFUL, COUNSELLOR, THE MIGHTY GOD (as in 10:21), this everlasting WORD of GOD, this brilliance of His glory: He was crucial to all.

WITHOUT HIM ? Nullity and straggling segments of the disjointed, embroiled in a horrid ruin.

But with HIM ?

God explicitly states (Isaiah 51:16):

"And I have put My words in Your  mouth:
I have covered You with the shadow of My hand,
That I may plant the heavens,
Lay the foundations of the earth,
And say to Zion, 'You are My people!' ."

Here is the "Mine elect in whom My soul delights" (Isaiah 42:1), the sinless substitute of Isaiah 53:10-12,6, the enabler, the doer of the works (42:3ff.); and it is ONLY BECAUSE GOD has put in the MOUTH of His Son, His words (as reflected in John 12:48-50, cf. John 10:30-33) that the HEAVENS WERE PLANTED, OR 'THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE EARTH' LAID (Isaiah 51:16). Israel failed (Isaiah 30:8ff, 41:27-42:6, 51:18-53:12), where Christ only succeeded, and it is not because of failure but triumph that God planted the universe. It was not because there would be a problem, but because there was an answer to problem, a triumph over tragedy, so carefully shown in Isaiah 52-55.

Thus in Isaiah 49:2, we read of this same Messiah:

"And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword:
In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me,
And made Me a polished shaft,
In His quiver He has hidden Me."

It is HE who is to be as a covenant to the people (Isaiah 49:8, cf. 42:6).

Let us review it.

It is only through Him, that this plan of salvation being operable, God says to Zion, "You are My people!" (Isaiah 51:16 cf. Hosea 13:14 with Hosea 14, in the parable of the life of Hosea). Here is the One who stands out of Israel, beyond Israel, for Israel*1, or more especially, for those who believe in Him. Thus in Isaiah 51:20, we see the sons of Israel are all fallen. "BY WHOM WILL I COMFORT YOU ?" the Lord dramatically asks, only to answer, soon, clearly, decisively (Isaiah 52-53). THEY, Israel and her sons, they are sold FOR NOTHING (Isaiah 52:3); full of the fury of the Lord, they are weak, pathetic, powerless; nevertheless they may arise?

WHY is this so ? How can such a transformation occur when the means so entirely lack, as so repeatedly insisted! It is because of the beauty of the feet upon the mountains (Isaiah 52:7), which carry those who "proclaim salvation".

Where ? How ? By whom ? we naturally ask. In 52:13 we find the quite astounding answer: It is by MY SERVANT, who shall "be exalted"  - and so far, this fact is not astonishing. It is by this one, "You are My servant, an Israel in whom I will be glorified," this single, and singular star of the morning, in the starkest possible contrast to the repeated estimates and judgments on the degraded state of the nation! Far from sin, He was able to become the sin bearer; without sin, He was the Saviour; from God He performed as deity alone can do (Isaiah 40:10-11,25).

But then ? Yes we follow the exaltation of such a contradistinct person, with such an advent (as in Isaiah 40:1-10), with peaceable equanimity; but consider what allows! This:

"Just as many as were astonished at you,
So His visage was marred more than any man,
And His form more than the sons of men:
So shall He sprinkle many nations? WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT ? ?"

and so it moves on into Isaiah 53, and the Saviour, the substitutionary sacrifice for sin, the alive and triumphant overcomer of death, indeed of murder. TO HIM, this NOTHING (as in Daniel 9:26 - "there is nothing for Him"), so that to man might be something, might indeed be in fellowship with God. By this Christ,  the abuse is abused, the death is dismissed, life in its liberality accounting triumphantly but vicariously, for the doom of deserved death in its destruction (as Hosea 13:14, I Corinthians 15:53-58 declare with the eloquence of a loving realism, the immortal words of Him who alone has immortality, but confers eternal life to whom He will, and is most willing).

He accordingly, is this way, and He made it; but it is a way to be travelled, a highway to be entered (Isaiah 55:1-6, 35:8).

Already, we have been introduced to Him, just before,  in Isaiah 50:4-8 indeed in amazing circumstances, where His resolve and purity when under mordant assault are focussed, and of course He appears in Isaiah 40:10, 42 and 49, at length.

Thus we have learned and re-learned that Israel the nation, they fail (41:27ff., 51:19ff. - indeed right from Ch.1); but here is AN Israel (49:3) who will NOT "fail or be discouraged" (42:4) "till He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands will wait for His law." Without THIS Israel, this replacement, this Saviour from heaven, Israel all and altogether would be defunct. ONLY because of Him, has history been unleashed! - for as with Israel itself, so with the Gentile nations, He who comes for the one, comes also for the other. Rejected by the first (Isaiah 49:7), He is received by many in the second, until the time come (Zechariah 12:10), and Israel repents of this murder, and cries in anguish of soul, with profound mourning, for "they shall look upon ME whom they have pierced," the Lord declares.

"And I have put My words in your mouth*2, and I have covered you in the shadow of My hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundation of the earth, and say to Zion, You are My people."

It is just as in Revelation 5:1-7, when history cannot be unscrolled until the Lamb seizing the plan, enables its execution!

As in David, so in Isaiah, the word can turn from the needy sinner to the necessary Saviour, from sin's need, to sin bearer (cf. Psalm 40:1-5, then 40:6). The reason is clear: it is through man, God in this format, that man is able to be saved. It is through, specifically, AN Israel, or prevailing Prince,  or Prince of God, who is in the format of a man, but without sin, and sent from heaven, with the throne of God His own (Psalm 45), that anything can be done; and it is only BECAUSE the plan is secure, that the creation was performed!

Here is the crux in creation,
of salvation, prepared beforehand in the plan for the universe
(cf. Ephesians 1:4),

known from the first, executed to the last!

His death was not for His own sin, but
"for the transgression of My people was He smitten",
"Surely He has borne our griefs";
but wrongly: many having considered Him
"smitten of God and afflicted",
even though it is written,
"But He was wounded for our transgressions".

This they did, rejecting Him in unbelief, then as now:
for the nation of the Jews, however, as for the new nations of the Gentiles,
where it becomes both de rigueur and a terminal rigor of the dismissive soul that does so.
Blessed are those who repent (Luke 13:1-3, Hebrews 2:3,12:25).

Let us hear a little of these words in Hebrews:

"See that you do not refuse Him who speaks.
For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven:
Whose voice then shook the earth
{in the Exodus and following events};
but now He has promised, saying,
Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven."

Again we read: "How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation" - in 2:3.

What then of the wanderers, especially those who have wandered dangerously from the light when it has come ?

Only in mercy will any such ever be found, but Israel, the nation, in much and in many this will turn again (cf. Micah 7:18ff., SMR Appendix A, The Biblical Workman Ch. 1),  and many who have been long lost, these too will be found; for look at the apostle Paul, and consider him in his days as Saul (Acts 8:3ff., 9:1ff.), and consider this, that with God nothing will be called impossible! But it is to God they must come; there is no other, and inventions of the imaginations and proud flesh, these are like specialists of the mind, to whom one pays visits, ignoring those who actually practice!



Moving Back to Isaiah 49-51 and on to the Present

Now we move for a little further review of Isaiah 49-51.

Consider the unveiling in Isaiah 49 of the One called from the womb (v.1), "from the matrix of My mother" where He was instituted in flesh for the grand purposes of peace on earth through peace in heaven through ransom, redemption and atonement. "In the shadow of His hand, He has hidden Me" - Isaiah 49:2. There is a certain secrecy, hiddenness about the womb, receiving the matrix of humanity in this way for His sublime purpose, and there is a continued hiddenness in this, that now He is hidden "in the shadow of His hand". Not only so, but this divine surround given to the human habitat for the eternal Word of God has a highly purposive thrust.

"In His quiver has He hidden Me," we read. Hidden in His hand, in His quiver, He is succinctly shown to be on mission, intimately associated with the His infinite domain, in the Father, ready for the commission for which He is sent (as in Psalm 40 and Isaiah 40, where God Almighty on earth takes the lambs in His arms), to be fulfilled.

Suddenly, we hear that to this One now so commissioned, the apt title of Servant is given, since an arrow serves the marksman. In Isaiah we now learn that in Him, the Sender will be glorified; and it is in just that intimacy we find in Isaiah 48:16, between God the sender and God the sent.

Yet there is a mist that arises in this glory, a sadness, a sombre reflection. "Then I said, 'I have laboured in vain, I have spent My strength for nothing and in vain." This same figure as in Isaiah 42:1ff., where He replaces what man cannot provide (Isaiah 41:28-29), in His elect and delightsome self, is thus seen as if barren, deprived, involved in a work of futility. What tragedy, what violation is this ? Naturally we wonder.

We read on: "Yet surely My just reward is with the LORD, and my work with my God." It is as in John 20:17; for then, having come in human form as presaged in Isaiah, when it actually had happened, He refers in His humiliation (Philippians 2), to His Father as "My God and your God". It is as also in Psalm 22:1, when in the agony of separation through the bearing of sin vicariously, He cries out, "My God, My God, Why have You forsaken Me!"  It is this which precedes the victory of the ransom as seen in Psalm 22:22-31, and I Corinthians 15.

We learn, as we proceed further in Isaiah 49, to  verses 5ff., that He is commissioned, and this amid this very humiliation that leads as a pathway to glory in His redemption of so many, is not only for some in Israel. Not at all; for that is 'too small.'

It is not only in Israel that will He ransom the elect, but amid the Gentiles as well:49:6 as in 42:6. In 49:7, we find on the appallingly negative side,  that man will despise Him, and that the nation - that is Israel, the one in view - will 'abhor Him'. Yet it is still true that through Him Kings will find salvation and princes will worship. Indeed, He is to be sent and so in person to constitute (as in 42) "a covenant to the people, to restore the earth."

It is not in the Greens, haplessly hanging onto whatever they may think, saving sharks or crocodiles as seems to be the wont of some, that deliverance comes. It is not by conservation even of the horrible,  in its cursed conditions or in the mangling of the blessed, in their 'nature', that the earth is to be restored. Instead, it is in the remission of the sins that BROUGHT the curse in the first place (cf. Romans 8:17ff., 5:1ff.), that abundance is to be found. In all disease, you need to get to the root cause and not just filibuster with symptoms. Thus He will bring out the 'prisoners' (as in John 8:34-36, and Isaiah 61) and those oppressed in darkness, these cleansed will be told 'show yourselves' as if to the priest, being cleansed (Isaiah 49:8-9).

In Isaiah 50 we find the expansion of the anguish found in 49:4, for here the Servant is seen in sanctity glorious to behold, in spirit, yet with His beard being pulled out (50:6), while shame and spitting are the accolade granted to Him in His glorious venture to bring many from this earth, cursed as it is, to heaven.  Being without sin, despite all this condemnation, and coming in the very COVENANT AS the salvation of God (and none but God is Saviour as in 43:10-11), His case is simple legally. "He is near who justifies Me" (50:8), and He asks this:

"Who is he who will condemn Me!", and

"Who is My adversary ? Let him come near Me."

It is in His own right that He stands before Satan, unimpugnable, unimpeachable, holy to the uttermost, just as He was unseducible spiritually as seen in Matthew 4. It is from this holiness and innocence that we who are Christians draw our own on an imputed basis, as He gives to us, His standing without guilt, having borne our own (as in II Corinthians 5:21, Romans 5:17ff.); and this makes for the glorious affirmation of Paul in Romans 8:32ff.), where those for whom He is given up, inherit all things. It is as His body, indeed, that they are raised (Isaiah 26:19, text only, I Corinthians 15).

In Him do the ransomed of the Lord return in the final phase of restoration of the remnant, as indeed from all the nations (Isaiah 51:11ff.). This is the salvation such that the heavens and earth departing, IT will remain (Isaiah 51:6), and this is the divine and granted righteousness (as in Psalm 71:15, 32:1ff.) which nothing removes, though the universe finish its commission. God is beyond His own works, and what He works in redemption is likewise beyond it, and none need fear though the very earth be removed and cast into the midst of the sea (Psalm 46), provided this only be the case: that they are redeemed.

By whom ? It is by this Servant in this original and ultimate of all religious services, the rendering of salvation through payment in kind, as man, in man and for man. Yet it is not for all, but for the 'ransomed' and the 'redeemed' (51:10), the remnant included as in Isaiah 11:11.

It is not in man that this might and ultimate and utter prevailing power and propriety, both, is to be found; but in God as in Hosea 13:14 become man, as in Isaiah 7 and 9, that it is wrought, so that His time will come when not only is He pierced (though God! as in Zechariah 12:10), but rules on His own throne on this earth! (Psalm 45, 72),

Nor will this be without His apostles in the time when this passage and phase occurs (Matthew 19:28). That, it is to be in "the regeneration" as in Acts 3:19, the regeneration or refurbishing of all things (cf. Sparkling Life ... Ch. 10).

Do they who do not heed, forget "the LORD your Maker, who stretched out the heaven and laid the foundations of the earth" ? Yes alas, they do (Isaiah 51:13). Where then is the One on whom all depends, the Servant who DOES NOT FAIL, who is found when all others fail as in Isaiah 41:27-42:4, and where is He in whom the Lord delights when others do not even function relevantly at all (as in Isaiah 51:18ff. indeed, before the revelation of what HIS function is in Isaiah 52-55).

No, it is not in flesh, in the nation; but  it is in Him who has been hidden, "an Israel in whom I will be glorified" as in Isaiah 49:3, One so wonderful in His work that even the feet of those bearing witness to this solution are strangely beautiful (52:7). Thus,  where the nation failed, this Saviour triumphs without panache; and where the nation sinned, this Redeemer is He in whom the remnant may find grace. It is this Doer who performs all things well,  whereas the people were doomed. It is this Israel, the effectual One, the One who took matrix from the Israeli womb provided, it is He on whom all depends; and it is He who was the basis for the very construction of the universe (51:16), for without Him, there is no salvation.

Many ask, Why does God allow this and that suffering ? It is because sin makes of man such a mess, such a ferocity or failure, one so feeble or so arrogant, such a combination of converse and inverse and reverse and observe and obstinate characteristics that he becomes a maze, a puzzle, so that the nations talk about and walk about but cannot solve: since they themselves are part of the problem, and scarcely can provide the solution. In fact, they storm against this very Lord (as did Israel), so joining in the universal sin (as in Psalm 2).

Why does He allow it ? why would a truck driver whose vehicle is currently on its cabin roof with wheels spinning fiercely in the air, complain at the grinding sounds as it still manages to gouge itself  downhill a little, moving slowly on its roof! Would he not be as one insane, to ask why there is so much blood in his head and so little effective movement ? Is it not obvious that he needs his vehicle to be righted and the wheels to be where they were created to be, and the truck on the road, not smashed up and off the pavement, where it crashed ?

But man will not consider. WHY ? he asks. Why if you neglect your Maker is it for you to ask why the results are as predictable ? Does a squashed fly ask why it does not fly ? Is a squashed sinner, or a smitten race to ask why it has troubles ? Should it not rather ask for mercy and to find in confidence in the grand grace of its Creator, how to avoid disaster entirely ? It is of the mercy of the Lord that it is working at all, and all its fashionable, fastidious glamour and pomp is like a permanent wave on a pomeranian, while the poor dog is dying of cancer.  

Now if it were instead asked,

HOW is it that we can still have love and joy and pleasure and find good things to eat and delight in the beauty still remaining on this earth;

 and how is it that God is so kind as to give us this day of salvation, bypassed by so many for so long, when we have merely to repent and receive and not deceive and being regenerated, know, love and follow the Lord, delighting in His word, to give it and to extend it now to some two millenia! (as in II Peter 3:9) ...

then it would be wise.

God, then, took account of this Israel, not the one cursed (as in Isaiah 30:8ff.), not the one who will leave its name as a curse to His chosen (as in Isaiah 65:13-15), but the One who gives His name as a new name for His people (as in Isaiah 62:2). He did so, because in Him is salvation, He procured it (Isaiah 52-63), and as God became it (as in Isaiah 43:10-11, Psalm 22, Zechariah 12:10ff., Isaiah 42:6, 49:6), It was because of HIM that the Lord proceeded to create the universe at all; for without remedy, who would embark with wisdom on so vast an undertaking, and with foreknowledge of sin, who would ignore the necessity of remedy!


"I have put My words in Your mouth; I have covered You with the shadow of My hand,

that I may plant the heavens, lay the foundations of the earth,

and say to Zion, 'You are My people'."

How COULD He take them as His own when they are divorced (Zechariah 11, Isaiah 50) ? It is because this other 'Israel', that it is so; it is because of the One who redeems, the Messiah, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), who brings back His people to Himself, not the remnant of the Jew, but the Gentile also, to the site reserved. A prepared salvation was a pre-condition of the creation; and the desecration of the creation by sin was the prelude to the salvation from desecration in individual Christians, both the Jew and the Gentile, which God envisaged and encapsulated in due time, in flesh.

This, then, it had to be in mind, before the glory of God was exhibited in the magnificence of the creation; and it was in due time unleashed in grand style on the misused sphere, and allowed to rest on it for two millenia or so. This was to be and now is, before the underlying hub of this universe is all dismissed. It is like children who leave school at vacation, but this time, the school is removed for there is to be a new place of rest created; and this, then being ready, there peace profound is found.

This is the salvation schema, model and plan. Here, in the very centre of it,  is the One whose mouth is made "like a sharp sword" (Isaiah 49:2), who is the salvation (42:6, 49:6), and whom He who sent "has hidden" in the very "shadow of His hand". Central is He whom He has made as "a polished shaft", kept in His quiver for the time, that which came with His taking the matrix from the womb, and becoming man. Thus it was to be, and was, that (49:6) He should be the salvation for Jew and Gentile alike.

Here is He of whom God says,

"I have put My words in Your mouth;
I have covered You with the shadow of My hand,
that I may plant the heavens, lay the foundations of the earth,
and say to Zion, 'You are My people.' "

Here is Isaiah 49:2 transferred in concept and thrust of action to 51:16. The One in whom His word rests, put into His mouth, whose word so given is as a sharp sword, He who acts as a polished shaft, it is He who, covered with the shadow of His hand, who is the very base and basis for the creation itself. The word ministers to creation, to salvation, and is needed for both. Hidden, He is exposed in His work; hidden He is sent on His mission: so that both creation and salvation come in their jointly beautiful and gloriously effective totality; and where man failed, God succeeds and has succeeded, yes and triumphed gloriously.

It is THIS ONE who enables Israel the people, to be called "My people" once more (51:16). It is not only the first call, but the recall; for if one thing is clear amidst the regality of the Lord, it is the derogation of Israel.

It is the Lord Himself who acts, who works, who envisions, who foretells, who acts, on whom the glory rests (cf. Zechariah 6:12). It is because of HIM, who was hidden, that the nation could be owned at all. It is He in whom He delights (Isaiah 42:1), and not the nation accursed leaving its name as a curse, of whom He speaks, identifying Him by His works, by His words of His hiding Him in His quiver,  and His planting of His word in the mouth of THIS servant (as in John 12:48-50). With this, He who is sent from the eternity of heaven (Micah 5:1-3) flies off on mission to earth. Not from a space man, an extra-terrestrial, bogged in the same pit does deliverance come, and not in the billions or trillions to go to Mars is there hope.

It is in this One sent from the realm of the Creator, God the Word, who coming to the creation, as an author to his own book, has acted: it is in Him that salvation lies. Wandering around the stars that betoken His majesty, is like swimming in a torrent at the foot of a castle. It is grand to behold, but a Winter dip in its swollen waters is not the path of wisdom. As to those in the castle, their way has rules and these include avoidance of such waters (as in Psalm 115), to leave the imagery and return to space.

It is not in the stars that salvation lies, but in Him who made them.

It is not space but grace which is the governing entity (cf. Ephesians 2:1-10). What is the good of disfaith*3 spending so many billions in reckless waste, when trusting in the Creator-Redeemer is the assigned path! Is it not only for rebellion, and as the presumption takes the spoiling mind of man! However, to those returning to the Lord, in faith, and here in particular in Israel, there is now the provision so laboriously and yet splendidly portrayed in Isaiah 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 22, 32, 35, 40, 42, 49, 50-55, 59, 61, in order to do so in all simplicity and sincerity: for them there is relief both spiritual and profound. With it, there goes much of promise.

There is provision made. The day of the Gentile will come and it will go (cf. Luke 21:24), and the kingdoms will be filled (as in Daniel 7), while HIS kingdom is fulfilled.

It is for this reason that He takes, in the ultimate scheme and schema of things, "the cup of My fury" so that Israel can be rehabilitated, away from them, and that is the c up of His wrath. Instead, He now puts that cup instead into the hands of the new inveterate enemies, now found in the Gentiles; and He gives it to them! (51:23).

So does all revolve on the One hidden as an arrow in His quiver, given the matrix of mankind in a womb, who has the words put into His human mouth so that He might fulfil all and enable all so that He might be the salvation required;  and so enable the foundation of the earth in the first place, in all wisdom and prudence, so that man might first be on it, then having sinned, be saved in it, until it goes. Such is the word of the Lord, and such is His teaching.

Then comes the actual payment. In Isaiah 52, therefore, as we proceed down the Chapters of this prophecy, we find that the people of Israel are still being seen as taken away for nothing, being ruled over by aliens, with the name of the Lord continually blasphemed (52:4ff.). On this, therefore, there is now to be a divine action so that "My people shall know My name." The Lord emphasises that it is HE who speaks, not the nation, He who saves (cf. Isaiah 45:17,22-24). It is TO the nation He so speaks and grants what is needed, both for creation of man and his salvation.

What is this then that issues like a flowing stream, an ebullient and sparkling waterfall into the drabness of Israel's sin and their rejection of the very Christ (Isaiah 49:7) ? It is a thing of beauty, making the very feet of messengers beautiful for what they bring, as they surge over mountains of difficulties to bring the news, the good news, the publication of the terms of peace,  to all (52:7).

But what is this news ? It involves a royal and splendid proclamation of peace (52:7) and of salvation; for the Lord is going to bring back Zion (52:8). He now is seen as comforting Zion, enabling a redeemed Jerusalem (52:9), but how ? He has acted gloriously (52:10) in holiness; and indeed " all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God" (52:10).

Be clean, He tells the sinning priests (52:11). There is to be a total provision of all things, all those of the promise in every category; and the Lord is going before, guarding the rear. It is HE who WILL DO IT!

Here is a new Covenant in Christ, the new Israel who works and does not fail, whose curse is not because of His sin but vicariously granted, as He redeems others from sin.

Where is this Servant who does it all then ? Isaiah 52:13 tells us once more. Look, He says, look at Him. He asks, as it were, whether we even recognise Him.

"His visage was marred more than any man,
and His form more than the sons of men.
SO shall He sprinkle many nations."

 Now we come to the blood, to the thuggery and to the defamation, to the deformation, to the crushing by Israel the nation, in accord with work of the Roman Empire via Pilate, the unjust judge of the Just One (Acts 3:14-15). It is HIS blood, that is,  His the blood of His atonement, like that taken annually formerly by the High Priest to the Holy of Holies, to signify atonement representatively made for the people. This, offered to all then as now, was not effectual for all, but only for such as believed as in Deuteronomy 29:17-20.

With this blood, so conceived as the testimony of His true death in true atonement for very visible sin, He sprinkles many nations (52:13), for one of them as for all, this being the efficient, sufficient ground of pardon, in the Messiah of whom all these things have been declared, He HIMSELF the ground of pardon and he new covenant.

Then is seen the work of salvation by this new Israel, the successful One, the Holy One, He who is the Prince of Peace whose kingdom does not cease to grow (Isaiah 9:6-7), and whose designations include as one looks back in verse 6, many such as this "Everlasting Father" (for 'he who has seen Me, has seen the Father,' as Christ declared -  it is TRINITY).

It is this 'Prince of Peace' phrase which is inseparably conjoined with all this rest as the eye ascends back to the start of 9:6, the whole provided in commanding revelation of what is this highly personal focus for faith, centred and indeed composed in child then to be born, now slain and raised and soon to return. He has many names, as befits the very salvation of God, the  indubitable focus; and they are all in one total majesty of power and function, operating AS ONE.  It is not a message about God, as if to descry; it is GOD HIMSELF who is the centre. It is the encapsulation of salvation in performance in the CHILD which is the topic, the theme, the outcome, and His name as prince of peace is affianced to such an array as befits one who paid such a cost as we have seen outlined in Isaiah 49-52.

His name ? This is the topic as soon as the CHILD is shown (Isaiah 9:6). What shall it be called ? It is declared in its munificence, as if it will not stop; but it is clear and incisive, as given by God.

Here is the name which incorporates the names for the One of whom it says, "A child is given" on whose shoulders the government will rest in the ultimate and growing kingdom which nothing will displace! (Daniel 7:25, Isaiah 9:7). These names, they proceed from the Father, come to the Son, emanate to man, and are the sublime source of salvation, for they are HIS, who owns them. They declare His dealings.

This, it was worth waiting for, this child, a wonder to be pondered and probed and perceived when He came and grew into manhood, as the apostles found; and this, the enormous numbers healed (as for example illustrated in Matthew 14-16, in two episodes), amid the enormous numbers of different sicknesses, exhibited. This His words showed (as in John 7:41,46). Nor was healing, diverse, dynamic and multitudinous as it was,  the chief among His wonders; for to the one healed or to be healed,  He might say, Don't tell anyone! Why was this so ? Perhaps or even presumably lest healing became a 'use' for God, and the reconciliation of KNOWING HIM who would never have created the universe if He had not planned the salvation for those who receive Him, were to be ignored.

His return is still a wonder to be awaited (Acts 1:7ff.). Everything has come to pass, first for them in His day on earth (cf. Matthew 15:31 with 11:4-5 and Isaiah 29:18ff., 35:5ff.),  for Israel in its various depredations, excursions, exiles, defamations and mockery received (cf. ISRAEL TETRAD), and in its restoration to its land. Indeed, that has not only been fulfilled in itself, but that has been wrought amid the precise circumstances multiply predicted, including the restoration to it at one time, of half of Jerusalem (1948) and then of all (1967) as in Zechariah 14 and Luke 21:24. It has come to pass in the Gentile world likewise (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5), and the world increasingly trembles like a mountain in the midst of vast subterranean forces, as it awaits this new wonder.

It is the wonder of Him (as in Isaiah 59:20ff., Zechariah 14:5, Daniel 7, Micah 4, Acts 1:7ff., Matthew 13:41-43, 24:29-51, 22:1-10), who having been awaited for His advent for salvation, magnificently fulfilled, is now awaited for the next phase in the work. It is that with the first,  for which He founded the universe not least, His salvation, enabling the kingdom of heaven to be issued in its completeness, and His people to see His face.

It proceeds. Now He is to come for that  reigning in righteousness with His glory seen of which He has spoken; as for the regaling the people; for having saved many, He will proceed in His own time to dispense with the staging,  and creating a new heavens and earth, endure for ever with His won. Here all is free and not compelled, glorious and not defiled, pure and not desecrated, willing and not merely ordered, for the heart goes with the mind and the mind with the mind of God.

Here what is made and no more desecrated, where eternal life may ceaselessly reveal the glory of His fellowship and the wonder of His name, life, character and grace.

What a name is that! No wonder it was so long in its groupings in Isaiah 9:6, for with God, there is no limit; there is just... Himself.

Wait for it; it will surely come. It is wonder in name and fame,  glorious in conception, overwhelming in delight in its reality, singing as in chorus of delight, its way into life everlasting. How well does Isaiah 51:11 go with Isaiah 51:16 and 54:11ff., and indeed all of this with Isaiah 55! and all of it with the Gospel of grace, proficient, efficient, sufficient (Ephesians 1:6,11, 2:1-8, Galatians 1, 3, 5); and in this way, goodness and mercy proceed in their path unaltered, where no shame is, but spiritual purity and life abound. .




*1 and *2 are for the Excerpt from Trinity Ch. 14.


The matter may be seen in a developmental manner. Thus Israel the nation was chosen to show forth the praises of the Lord (Isaiah 43:21), but their performance became so appalling in this regard, that they were deemed blind in an exemplary way:

"Who is blind but My servant!" (Isaiah 42:19).

Nor is this merely a passing phase:

"You observe many things, but you do not observe; his ears are open, but he does not hear.

 Indeed, in Isaiah 30 we read the categorical judgment on the nation: "For it is a rebellious people, lying children , children who will not hear the law of the LORD.." (Isaiah 30:9). Indeed, the prophet is required to write this: "Now go, write it before them on a tablet, and inscribe it in a  book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever."

That ? It is in the verse preceding the judgment: "It is a rebellious people?"!

Hence there was needed one who WOULD BE ABLE to act because HE was altogether delightful to the Lord, who would be Saviour (Isaiah 53) because He had done no violence, because there was no deceit in His mouth, because His was no case of required discipline, but perfection without blemish able to be thought of as guilty, but in fact taking the vicarious punishment of the straying Israel, even all who would believe (Isaiah 53:1, 4-6).

This is made clear in terms of contrast in Isaiah 41:27-42:1,6). With all of Israel unable to produce any counsellor or deliverer from the sins which brought blindness and the rebellion which ruined them (as also in Isaiah 51:20, 52:10,13), the Lord would send His own wholly different servant who would both BE the covenant and BE the light (Isaiah 42:6, 49:6), even to the Gentiles, though the Lord gives His glory to NONE OTHER (Isaiah 42:8).

Thus it was in the first instance, as if Israel which was to receive the WORDS which God planted (as in Isaiah 51:16); but it did not keep them. Hence the movement (Isaiah 49:3) to this wholly pure One, to be Saviour from sin (God, since God ONLY is this - Isaiah 43:10), who would call the ELECT from Israel as one above them, and operative in His contradistinct power to deliver them, act. He saves, and there is NO OTHER SAVIOUR insists. Israel is HOPELESS for even being obedient, He declares, but THIS pure servant will be EFFECTUAL even for bearing the sin of the repentant, who tremble at His word (Isaiah 66:1-4, cf. Psalm 49:7,15). While man CANNOT redeem, this God as man, will do just that!

Hence the word of God is planted (Isaiah 49:2,6) in the mouth of THIS, My servant,  in contradistinction to Israel, and to mere man altogether (from whom we are to cease - Isaiah 2:22): yes, to the race and to the individual, none being able to stand before the fire of His glory, Isaiah 2:11-21): for "the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day", as He Himself declares. ONLY THUS could creation occur at all (Isaiah 51:16).

It is in the mouth of THIS walking Covenant, God inscribed as man, the eternal word made flesh (Micah 5:1-3, Isaiah 42:6, 55:4) that God puts His words, making that mouth like a sharp sword (Isaiah 49:2), hiding Him in the shadow of His hand. It is THIS EFFECTUAL SERVANT who makes the earth makeable, who makes history possible, without whom there could be no creation! (51:6,16).

Likewise it is He alone who can open the seals of history to complete it, as in Revelation 5:3-12. For creation or consummation, righteousness or realisation, He alike is the indispensable, the only God and His expression, as in Isaiah 44:6, 48:16. The affinity between Him and His Father is thus infinite, eternal, elemental (Titus 3:4, 2:13-14, Philippians 2, John 5:19ff., 17:1-3, Rev. 5, 2:8 with Isaiah 44:6). Names and functions are as of One, whether as Saviour or King; and there is no other (Isaiah 45, 44:6-7, Psalm 45), nor is the name of God attributable to any not God (Deuteronomy 32, Psalm 89:6), this being the flush of magnificence and the prerogative of infinity, the King of Eternity, immiscible, majestic, illimitable.

To the Son, that Eternal life always with the Father (I John 1:1-4), is the commission given without which creation would be void, vapid, meaningless. HE would not then have planted it (Isaiah 51:16, 49:49:2); but God being God (Rev. 2:8, Isaiah 44:6), unchangeable and knowing all things, in the perfections of predestination as in the accomplishments of history, in creation as in judgment, King and King alone (Isaiah 44:6, Zechariah 4:12-13, Ezekiel 21:27, Psalm 72): He did it.

Accordingly, we are here, and need to go there, to be found (Isaiah 55:1-4), to Him who is the leader, commander and witness (Isaiah 55:4), the word of the living God, and His salvation, the very focus of faith and the cynosure of salvation (Isaiah 49:6, 53:6,10 cf. The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 9, pp. 175ff., Biblical Blessings Appendix I, pp. 216ff.).

There is no other Saviour (43:10-11), and this Messiah, He does the saving work (Isaiah 53:2-12), the certitude for creation, redemption and effectuates the whole plan of salvation. As word He speaks, as worker He does, as God He is, embraced in the eternity of aseity (Micah 5:1-3), exhibited in the beauty of majesty (Psalm 45, 72, John 1:1-14).


 This word ?  It was put into the mouth of that prototype, promulgator and perfection of Israel, the Messiah, that substitute for it in labour, that provision for it in love, that other Israel (Isaiah 49:3), hidden in the shadow of His hand, of whom He said, “You are My servant, an Israel in whom I will be glorified,” and again, “that You should be My salvation to the end of the earth,” and this: “I will give you as a covenant to the people,” constitutive in Himself of the Covenant (cf. Matthew 26:28), yes and for that matter, “as a light to the Gentiles.”

As for Israel the nation, alas (Isaiah 30),

 “Now go, write I before them on a tablet,
And note it on a scroll,
That it may be for time to come,
Forever and ever;
That this is a rebellious people,
Lying children,
Children who will not hear the law of the LORD,
Who say to the seers,
 ‘Do not see…’ ”


The number of those able to redeem it – ONE ? (Isaiah 41:27ff., 51:20ff.).

The mode of deliverance ? bearing the sin of many, being incarnate in lowly form, and having the beard pulled from the cheek, the blood drained in piercing (Isaiah 50, 52), in hideous deformity.

The status of the agent ? God as man, God in being sent with His name, from the same name (Isaiah 48:16, Psalm 45), with His unique requirement of faith in Himself (Psalm 2, Jeremiah 17), in being without sin as a sacrifice, while yet human (Proverbs 20:9, Leviticus 3:6, Malachi 1:8, II Peter 3:18), man as suffering in the form of a servant.

Qualifiers for the post ? One.

Time of the qualification ? about 30 A.D. (cf. Highway of Holiness Ch. 4, Christ the Citadel Ch. 2).

Result of the sacrificial death ? divine resurrection (Isaiah 53:12, Psalm 16) and redemption as free ground of pardon for man (Isaiah 53, 55). Gospel for all from this ? As in Isaiah 52-55, 61. Status of the Saviour ?  God only (Isaiah 43:10-11). Status of the Servant ? Effectual Saviour (53-6-11), format, man. Findings of other options amongst all of Israel ? None (Isaiah 41:27ff., 51:20ff). Those who can perform redemption for man ? God ONLY (Psalm 49:7,15).

This then is the ‘Israel’ that counts. It is He who is the Saviour and hence God Himself; but yet by virtue of His love and humility, His saving mission, so inseparably annexed to man, Himself the representative and the glory of Israel, that He can count for believing man, while yet distinct and apart from the unbelief within that nation, He becomes man. He does this to represent man for purgative purposes, and is thus 'an Israel' to replace the failed servant, for He is far beyond that, being one not only commissioned to spread the fame of His name (Isaiah 43:21), but to BE that name! for it is His, holy in the trinity, everlasting in power, in the form of God (Philippians 2), who has nothing to gain but much to give, and who is exalted beyond all measure in this vast accomplishment.

Thus it is He, an Israel (‘prince of God’) who prevails at last, just as He availed at the first. In HIM, death is swallowed up in victory (Isaiah 25:8, 28:16, 53:11-12), wiping away all tears (cf. Isaiah 40:10), and giving life to repentant people, Jew or Gentile, who believe in Him (Isaiah 53:1, 49:6, 11:10). It is He who is its commander, witness (Isaiah 55) and light (Isaiah 42:6, 49:6). It is He who is without sin or limit of His power (Isaiah 11), hence both fitting sacrifice and pure sovereign. It is He without whom, His mandate apart, there would and could have been no creation.

If God were other than He is, He would not have done what He did, nor made us as we are. Yet so grand was His design that with the end in view, the Messiah at His side - His eternal word, that He commenced at the beginning and performed the short work of His creation! Long has it endured, but in a little while, it goes (Isaiah 51:6, Matthew 24:35); and all the good is left a heritage from Him who never changes; for it is His provision (Romans 8:32) amid and for His people,  those who serve this Prince of Peace, in whose eternity there is neither war, nor sin, its ultimate cause. It is God who remains (Zechariah 9:7).

Such is central to the teaching of Isaiah, concentrated at times, as in 51:16, 48:16, 52-53, 11, and at times more gently portrayed (as in Isaiah 27:5, 32:20, 32:16-17, 61:10).



See the exposition of 'disfaith' under 'faith' in the Index.