Day 206 (July 25): Cyrus commissioned to return Israel to God, exiles will return, Jerusalem will be full of Israelites, Godless nations will bow to Israel, those who trust in God will never be put to shame, salvation continues from generation to generation, why live in fear of enemies when you have the power of God, the Creator?

Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives.  The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version.  At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture.  To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.

Isaiah 48:12-52:12

Questions & Observations

Q. (Isaiah 48:12): When Israel is referred to here, God is addressing Israel, including Judah?  Judeans are still called Israelites even though they have been separated for a long time?

A. As long as Israel (Jacob) is the patriarch of the 12 tribes, along with Abraham, the people shall be called Israelites.  The people continue to “wrestle” with God, do they not?

O. (49:23, 50:6-7): This is a message for those who are scared to claim their belief in God: “Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will.  And, I know that I will not be put to shame.”

O. (50:2-3): I like this scripture.  God has His reasons for doing things the way He does.  He has the power to make decisions however He wants.  And, we will likely not understand it.

O. (50:10-11): Verse 10 is a great verse, but v. 11 is always knocking on the door.  I was talking to my girls today about how the Bible says it’s hard for the rich to get into heaven.  They said they would definitely give the money to those who need it.  Good kids!

Q. (51:1): Rob, can you elaborate on the significance of God using a rock and quarry for examples?

A. The OT has in several previous places referred to God as the Rock of Israel (Genesis 49:24, several times in Deuteronomy 32, 1 Samuel 2:2, 2 Samuel 22:47, Psalm 28:1, etc.).  All Isaiah is doing here is extending the metaphor of God being the Rock for Israel: if He is the Rock, the nation of Israel is cut from it.  Rocks then, and now of course, come from quarries, and it would have required skilled craftsmen to select and cut huge slabs of rock for building purposes, notably walls.  So all Isaiah is doing here is cleverly extending an existing metaphor to make a point about knowing where Israel comes from.

O. (51:13b): This verse really puts fears of enemies into place.  Why should you fear them when you’ve got the power of God, the Creator, on your side?

Q. (52:1-12): God is protecting them just like when the Israelites escaped from Egypt.  This is a prophecy after the fall of Jerusalem, right?

A. Yes, once we are passed Isaiah 40 (and we are well past it), the writer is talking about the RESTORATION of Israel and Jerusalem specifically, not its destruction.   Verse 9 is the dead giveaway.

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