From Isaiah 45-48
Generally when the scriptures associate salvation with the LORD’s righteousness. The righteousness being described is God’s covenant faithfulness to his promises. Covenant is the vehicle of God’s saving purposes. How will the LORD save according to his promises? In righteousness the LORD will speak ‘a word’. ‘A word’ that shall not return – empty. Have you ever bowed down before someone on one knee?
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
Today’s passage is a ray of hope amongst a lot of judgement for Israel. Isaiah says;
22 “Turn to me and be saved,
all the ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.
23 By myself I have sworn;
from my mouth has gone out in righteousness
a word that shall not return:
‘To me every knee shall bow,
every tongue shall swear allegiance.’
24 “Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me,
are righteousness and strength;
to him shall come and be ashamed
all who were incensed against him.
25 In the LORD all the offspring of Israel
shall be justified and shall glory.” (Is 45:22–25)
Isaiah clearly calls for Israel to turn back to the LORD. If they will, they will be saved. The main reason why they will be saved is because there is only one God. The one God is the only one with the power and goodness to save.
Generally when the scriptures associate salvation with the LORD’s righteousness. The righteousness being described is God’s covenant faithfulness to his promises. Covenant is the vehicle of God’s saving purposes. How will the LORD save according to his promises? In righteousness the LORD will speak ‘a word’. ‘A word’ that shall not return – empty.
‘To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance’ (Is 45.23).
The word is a declaration of the LORD’s authority and a command that people swear allegiance to that authority.
‘Only in the LORD are righteousness and strength’. He makes the sinful holy, the weak strong. The prophet predicts the reaction of those who were ‘incensed against him’, who were angry, rebellious, and vengeful. They are the ones who will come back and because they do, they will be ashamed. This is Israel. When they do come back the offspring of Israel will be justified. Made right with God. The sinful become holy, the weak become strong. They will glory in the LORD.
Story of Israel
Sadly Israel did not immediately come back to the LORD. They were exiled for their sins and kicked out of the promised land. But when they returned some were anxious never to repeat the same errors, some abandoned the LORD is different ways, others still waited for the LORD to fulfill his promises.
Story of Jesus
It wasn’t until Jesus came on the scene that we see this particular passage come to fruition. Paul quotes the same passage to the Philippians. Speaking about Jesus Christ, he says
6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Php 2:6–11)
The text quotes the Isaiah passage with a Trinitarian twist. He names Jesus Christ, Lord and sees no problem interchanging the two. Every knee will bow to the Lord, every tongue will swear allegiance to him.
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