Text: Isaiah 45:14-25
If I were going to give today’s teaching a title, it would be, “Turn To Me and Be Saved.” The Lord offers salvation and restoration to His repentant people.
But He also offers salvation to the ends of the earth. All they have to do is turn to Him, and away from their idols, and believe into Jesus Christ!
Indeed, the LORD says of His Christ —
Isaiah 49:6 He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations (non-Jews), so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
Verses 14-15 —
The LORD speaks again through Isaiah. Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker . . .” He again reminds His people that He is the LORD, that He is Holy, that He is God over all, including Israel, and has created Israel, and all things.
The LORD continues, “The products (property produced by labor) of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush (literally, Ethiopia), and the Sabeans, men of stature, will come over to you and will be yours (literally, to Judah they will bow). They will walk behind you, they will come over in chains, and will bow down to you; they will make supplication to you: ‘Surely, God is with you, and there is none else, no other God.’”
Egypt made Israel slaves in the days of the new king of Egypt (see Exodus 1:8), who was an Assyrian (see Isaiah 52:4). Ethiopia fought against Israel many times, as did the Sabeans. Israel prevailed over these enemies many times, even into the 1967 Six-Day War.
But now, the LORD says Egypt and Ethiopia and even the Sabeans of southern Arabia, also former enemies, will come over to Judah, and will be Judah’s — that is, they will surrender to and belong to Judah (remember, northern Israel was no longer a country)!
They will be in chains, and will walk behind the people of Judah, just as a slave walks behind his master. They will bow down to Judah. They will make supplication to Judah; that is, they will ask earnestly and urgently for Judah to have mercy on them.
If Egypt, Ethiopia and the Sabeans will turn, He will save them. But unrepentant idolaters will say, “Surely, You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, Savior!” Why will they say such a thing?
From the perspective of idolaters, God seems hidden from them, but He is not seen by them because they do not want to believe in Him! So, such ones will go away together in humiliation, judged by the LORD.
But He will reward anyone who sincerely and diligently seeks Him —
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him (literally, seek after Him diligently).
Yet even unrepentant idolaters will confess, as they bow their knees in the day of judgment, that He is the only God, and that Jesus Christ is the only Savior! And then Jesus Christ will judge them and sentence them to hell, for they rejected God the Father and God the Son.
Verse 16 —
The Egyptians, Ethiopians, and Sabeans will be put to shame. They will be ashamed of the gods they have worshiped. They will be humiliated, they will blush with shame. All those who made the idols they worshiped will go away together in disgrace.
Verse 17 —
Judah’s enemies will see that repentant and obedient Judah is saved by the LORD, with an everlasting salvation. Therefore, in contrast to worshipers of idols, Judah will not be put to shame by the LORD. They will no longer blush because of shame, because they have repented and turned back to the LORD. This is the LORD’s promise to all of His repentant and obedient ones!
Everlasting, eternal salvation! The Lord’s promise is the same today, for those who repent and obey the LORD. Such ones are filled with His Spirit (see Isaiah 45:8, and 44:3-5), so they no longer disobey Him, and no longer chase after empty idols to false gods — even the idol of the god of self, so often erected in the hearts of today’s believers, and so often exalted from today’s pulpits!
Verse 18 —
The LORD continues through Isaiah, “For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it (made it stand) and did not create it as a waste place (a desert, an empty place), but formed it to be inhabited. I am the LORD, and there is none else.”
The LORD says again and again that He is the Creator, He formed everything, there is no other God but Him, and He created the earth to be inhabited by the humans He created!
Verse 19 —
The LORD continues, “I have not spoken in secret (literally, in some dark land).” I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, ‘Seek Me in a waste place (literally, in vain).’ I, the LORD, speak righteousness, declaring things that are upright (right things not deceitful things).”
What good news! O believer, He speaks openly to you today, not in secret. He does not ask you to seek Him, and then not allow you to find Him. He says through Jeremiah —
Jeremiah 29:13 ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 ‘I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’
Whether you are a believer or have not yet believed, He asks you to diligently seek Him, with all your heart. As I have shown you, He is a rewarder of such ones.
If you have not yet repented and believed into Jesus Christ, now is the time! When you do, you will be saved.
And if you then obey Jesus Christ by asking your Father in heaven to fill you with the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13), in obedience to His commands to stay (Luke 24:49) and wait (Acts 1:4-5), He will make you the Amen to all of His promises (2Corinthians 1:20)!
Verse 20 —
The LORD again addresses the nations who are now fugitives seeking deliverance from the LORD. He says, “Gather yourselves and come, draw near together, you fugitives of the nations.” He says of such ones, “They have no knowledge (literally, they know nothing), who carry about the wood of their graven image, and pray to a god who cannot save (KJV).”
Again, what can an idol do? The Psalmist answers —
Psalms 115:4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man’s hands.
They have mouths, but they cannot speak; they have eyes, but they cannot see;
6 they have ears, but they cannot hear; they have noses, but they cannot smell;
7 they have hands, but they cannot feel; they have feet, but they cannot walk;
they cannot make a sound with their throat. 8 Those who make them will become like them, everyone who trusts in them.
Their gods cannot save, nor can they speak, see, hear, smell, feel, walk, or make a sound. Why? They are dead. And those who worship them and look to them for salvation will end up just like them. Idolators are foolish, and have no knowledge (yada, intimate knowledge of the LORD, as in a marriage relationship).
Verse 21 —
The LORD again puts idolaters on trial, saying, “Declare and set forth your case; indeed, let them counsel together (that is, let those with no knowledge deliberate among themselves).”
What must they deliberate among themselves, and answer? The LORD’s words, for He says, “Who has announced (revealed) this from old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, a righteous God and a Savior. There is none except Me.”
Only the LORD can announce and declare, long before it happens. There is no other God besides Him. He always acts rightly in all that He does, and in all of His judgments. And there is no other Savior but God the Son!
So they must ask themselves, “To what have we been worshiping and praying? Why are we crying out to a god that cannot save?”
Verse 22 —
Then the LORD makes the most remarkable offer to those who have spurned Him, even those from all the nations who have worshiped false gods — “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God and there is no other.”
To the ends of the earth, He offers His salvation! He offered His salvation even to such a one as me, a “least likely,” who worshiped a god of my own making!
What god did I worship? The god of self, which I fashioned using bits and pieces of several religions, including a dash of Christianity and some “new age”beliefs. I made for myself a god that I could agree with and who required nothing of me.
My god did not tell me to turn away from my rebellion and turn to the one true God. My god did not tell me I was a sinner in need of a Savior. My god said nothing at all, for it was no god at all! It was dead! It was something I fashioned, in my own mind, from my own imagination and human reasoning.
My god was deaf, unable to speak, and blind. How merciful are God the Father and God the Son! I was as blind and deaf as the god I had made. But when I took a step toward Him, He healed my blindness and deafness and gave me life in the Son — God the Son, Jesus Christ!
Verse 23 —
The LORD continues, “I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness, and will not turn back (literally, My word will not return to Me), that to Me, every knee will bow, every tongue will swear.”
He swears by Himself, for there is none greater than Him. And He is Truth, so He will do what He says — His word is given not in deception but in righteousness. He offers His salvation to the ends of the earth! He will not reverse His offer.
The LORD makes His offer so that they will humble themselves and swear that He is God alone. He makes His offer so that every person who ever lived would turn away from their false gods and to Him, through Jesus Christ, God the Son.
And for us who turn, we surely will bow our knee and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, for the glory of God the Father —
Philippians 2:9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
But some will refuse Him. Per The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, “All will not be saved, but all must acknowledge the Lord is God alone, and that Jesus Christ is God the Son.
At the end of things, There will be both judgment for the rebel and salvation for God’s people (that is, the repentant ones). At the time of the white throne judgment (see Revelation 20:11-12), they will stand before Jesus Christ, and confess that Jesus Christ is God the Son, the Savior sent by God the Father and freely offered to them. Then they will be judged and sentenced to the lake of fire (see Revelation 20:15), for they rejected and refused His salvation which He freely offered!
Do you not know that salvation is a limited-time offer? He who offers salvation to you says so, through Isaiah —
Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while He may be found, call ye upon Him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. (KJV)
Verse 24 —
The LORD says of those whose knees are bowed, “They will say of Me,’Only in the LORD are righteousness and strength (power, mightiness).’” They will confess that He is the only mighty and powerful God. They will confess that only in Him dwells rightness, justice, and virtue (goodness).
And men will come to Him. Some will come (run) to Him through His Christ, God the Son. And all who were angry at Jesus Christ (literally, have blazed up against, have been wrathful toward), and at God the Father, all who refuse to come to Him, will be put to shame (ashamed).
Verse 25 —
But the repentant and obedient ones of Israel (Judah), who have believed in and obey the LORD, will be justified (will be seen as right in His eyes) and will glory (boast in the LORD, celebrate Him, commend Him, and praise Him)!
I tell you the truth, in today’s church, many are just like I was. They have combined a dash of Christianity with many other false beliefs, and have made God the Father and God the Son into something they can agree with, and something that does not offend.
Truths of the Bible are regularly discounted as no longer being valid. In doing so, believers have fashioned an idol to the god of self. They want a god who will do what they want Him to do and be what they want Him to be. They want a god that does not offend and that does not prick hearts.
And unless they repent, they will have to stand before the Lord in the day of judgment, and they will bow their knee to the One whose words offended them. They will bow their knee to the One they fashioned into their own image. And He will judge them and send them to hell.
The Lord does not desire any to perish, but all to come to repentance. Those were Peter’s words to the church, from 2Peter 3:9. So, while it is still today, O believer, repent! Return to the Lord from whom you have deeply defected!
Lord Jesus, may today’s churchgoers see these truth from Your Word, and cast away the idol of self that they have fashioned and worshiped. Let it be so. Amen!