Yesterday I said that You are harder to understand than a computer. I apologize for that, because really You’re not. You are if someone tries to figure out why You are doing whatever, but if we just listen to You then You’re like an open book. We aren’t supposed to try and figure You out, we’re supposed to just trust You, that’s what faith is all about.
“An he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power” (Acts 1:7).
1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
42:1-2 – quoted in part in Matt 12:18-21 with reference to Christ. There are four “servant songs” in which the servant is the Messiah: 42:1-4 (or 42:1-7 or 42:1-9), 49:1-6 (or 49:1-7 or 49:1-3), 50:4-9 (or 50:4-11), 52:13-53:12.
He is “Israel” in it’s ideal form. The nation was to be a kingdom of priests (Ex 19:6), but the Messiah would be the high priest who would atone for the sins of the world (53:4-12).
Cyrus was introduced in ch. 41 as a deliverer from Babylon, but the servant would deliver the world from the prison of sin (see v. 7).
“My servant” – see 41:8-9, Zech 3:8. In the royal terminology of the ancient Near East “servant” meant something like “trusted enjoy” or “confidential representative.”
“Judgment” – a righteous world order (see v. 4).
2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
“Not cry, nor lift up…in the street” – the servant will not be a typical ruler who leads by loud proclamations; instead he will bring peace.
3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
“Bruised reed” – a bent reed, figurative of someone who is weak (see Ps 72:2, 4). The servant will mend broken lives.
4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
“Wait for his law” – as do the nations in 2:2-4. The servant will be a new Moses (see Deut 18:15-18; Acts 3:21-23, 26).
5 Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
“Called…righteousness” – similar to the call of Cyrus.
“Covenant” – the Messiah will fulfill the Davidic covenant as a king and will institute the new covenant by His death (Jer31:31-34; Heb 8:6-13, 9:15).
“Light” – parallel to “salvation” in 49:6.
“Gentiles” – the work of Messiah will bring blessing to all nations, in fulfillment of the promise to Abraham in Gen 12:3.
7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
“Bring out…prison” – from the prison of Babylon and also from spiritual and moral bondage (compare 61:1 and Lk 4:18).
8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.
“New things” – the restoration of Israel.
10 Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.
11 Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.
12 Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands.
13 The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.
“Mighty man” – a warrior. God will fight as He did as the Red sea (Ex 15:3).
“Jealousy” – zeal with which he attacks his enemies.
“Cry, yea roar” – raise a battle cry that causes panic among the enemy.
14 I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.
“Long time” – during Israel’s humiliation and exile.
“Refrained myself” – the Hebrew verb is also used of Joseph, who controlled his emotions while he tested his brothers (Gen 43:31; 45:1).
15 I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools.
“Make the rivers islands” – perhaps to make travel easier.
16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
17 They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods.
18 Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see.
19 Who is blind, but my servant? Or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? Who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the LORD’S servant?
“Messenger that I sent’ – a term associated with prophets (see Hag 1:13; Isa 44:26; Mal 3:1). Israel failed in its mission to be God’s messenger to the world and lead the nations to worship the true God.
20 Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not.
21 The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honorable.
“Magnify the law…honorable” – not a future event but referring to how God honored His law in the past by communicating the law to Moses and the people in the awesome setting of mount Sinai (see Ex 34:29).
Israel was supposed to have fulfilled its mission as God’s messenger by keeping the law (Deut 4:5-8) and showing the nations the blessings and benefits of living under God’s righteous rule.
22 But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.
“Robbed and spoiled” – by the Assyrians and the Babylonians.
23 Who among you will give ear to this? Who will hearken and hear for the time to come?
24 Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? Did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? For they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law.
“Who gave Jacob for a spoil…?” – Babylon conquered Israel, not because their gods were stronger than the Lord, but because the Lord was punishing His people (1 Kgs 20:23).
25 Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.
“Poured upon him…anger” – Israel had a foretaste of the day of the Lord.
Some religions teach that you have to be baptized to be saved, is that true? Also, what about the Virgin Birth, what if someone believes in Jesus, but not of the Virgin Birth?
This is complicated and I don’t have all the answers either. Yesterday we talked about freewill and predestination. We are all predestined to live on earth and we all have the freewill to believe or not to believe in Jesus Christ; to spend eternity with God or with Satan.
Many think that certain people are predestined to be saved. This is not exactly true, but then again, it’s not exactly false. What is not true is that some are predestined to go to hell:
“Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways’; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Eze 33:11).
Before I say anymore let me clear something up, The Chosen and God’s people are not the same. God chose the Israelites, the Jews, to be His people simply because He had to have a bloodline for Jesus, and I will prove this to you in a minute.
If someone is of that bloodline that doesn’t mean they are chosen or saved, Paul is very clear on that:
“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:26-28).
And Jesus even said:
“He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias (Isaiah) prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their hearts is far from me” (Mk 7:6).
“Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God” (Matt 22:29).
Those people that are saved are people that have faith in Jesus Christ, that’s all there is to it.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have ever lasting life (Jn 3:16).
Judas Iscariot, the disciple that betrayed Jesus, was a Jew. No where in the Bible does it say that Judas asked Jesus to forgive him for what he did, he hung himself(Matt 27:5). Therefore, as I said, just being in the same bloodline or being a Jew does not give you salvation.
Many say that once you’re saved you can’t lose your salvation. Who says that, probably the Catholics and people like them. The Bible says otherwise:
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame (Heb 6:4-6).
So Who is Chosen?
I have not found anything in the Bible that says that certain people are chosen to be saved. God does have His favorites, not meaning that He loves them more, just that He prefers them to do His work. Take Moses for example:
“For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Rom 9:15-16).
God is not just a God, He will also be your friend if you choose:
“And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend…” (Ex 33:11).
“And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou has spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name” (Ex 33:17).
Yet, remember, God knew Moses and all of us before we were even born (Eph 1:4-7), and we don’t know what we were prior to our human birth. Did we exist prior to that? I would say yes because God says that he knew us before the world was even created.
God works with those that love Him:
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Moreover whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified (Rom 8:28-30).
Here is where things can get confusing. Was Moses predestined to be one of the Chosen? That I don’t know because I can’t find anywhere in the Bible where it says that and I don’t know what we were prior to our earthy birth.
Yet, even if Moses was predestined to be a prophet, he didn’t have to be one, God doesn’t make us do anything that we don’t want to do. Just like we were all predestined to come to earth, we don’t have to go God’s way, that’s our choice:
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Josh 24:15).
“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps” (Prov 16:9).
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way” (Ps 37:23).
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Rev 3:20).
Yet then again, God always gets His way:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it (Isa 54:11).
God does nothing that is not in His best interest. What is His best interest? For us to be happy and safe.
The scripture directly above and those directly following makes me think of Jonah and the whale. God wanted Johan to go to Nineveh and tell the people that if they didn’t change their evil ways (Jon 1:1-2) He was going to destroy them in 40 days.
Jonah hated the people of Nineveh because they were horrible evil people, so he tried to run from God and ended up in the belly of a whale. After being in the whale for three days, (due to the scriptures it appears that Jonah went to hell – Jon 2:6), but he prayed for forgiveness and God saved him.
Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor? (Rom 9:20-21).
Here’s the kicker, God created the whale (Jon 1:17) for the sole purpose of swallowing Jonah and the whale vomited Jonah onto dry ground at God’s request (Jon 2:10).
So we can question, does God really give us freewill? Yes He does, Jonah could have stayed in the belly of the whale and spend eternity in hell. It was his choice to pray to God and it was through God’s grace that Jonah was saved.
To summarize all I have said, God loves everyone the same, everyone on earth were predestined to be born on earth as a human being, and out of those that accept Jesus God will choose to do His bidding.
As the following scripture says, God prefers the weak or unpopular or unknown to do His work (see Heb 11 for examples of some of the people God chose).
But unto them which are called both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty (1 Cor 1:24-27).
But Most Of All,
Know That Nobody is Chosen To Go To Hell
That is Each Person’s Choice.
In the following scripture Jesus is talking to his disciples, but it pertains to everybody (see Jn 17).
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. (Jn 15:15-16).