Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.
The Lord urges the remnant not to fear the wrath of men during the dark days of the Tribulation period, because the doom of evil men is sealed, and the deliverance of His people is assured.
Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people. My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.
The Messiah will rule over the Gentile peoples as well as Israel during the Millennium. At the close of the kingdom, the heavens and the earth will be destroyed, and all unbelievers will perish, but God’s people will be eternally secure.
Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him. For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.
All in Israel who seek deliverance should remember God’s care for them. They should be encouraged by the memory of God’s gracious dealings with Abraham and Sarah, and how He gave them a numerous posterity. And they should be heartened by His promise to comfort Zion. Notice three calls to listen (vv. 1, 4, 7) and three calls to awake (Isaiah 51:9, 17; 52:1).
Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.
This verse focuses on those who try to manufacture their own guidance, feeling no need of divine direction. They can walk in the light of their own sparks but the Lord will see to it that they will lie down in torment.
Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.
This verse focuses on those who walk in dependence on the LORD. They confess their own need for guidance. For them God’s advice is to trust in the name of the LORD and rely upon Him. Once they trusted God, they would be flooded with illumination.
The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.
The Messiah told the nation of Israel that the same way they ignored Jehovah of the “Old Testament”, they would ignore Jesus of the “New Testament”. He came as the True Disciple, taught by God to speak the appropriate word. Every morning, His ear was opened to receive instructions from His Father for that day. He delighted to do the will of God, even if it meant going to the cross. He did not turn back but willingly gave Himself over to suffering and shame. In full confidence that God would vindicate Him, He set His face like a flint to go to Jerusalem. He was vindicated, of course, by His resurrection. Now he challenges the adversary, Satan, to condemn Him. He has the confidence that all His foes will grow old like a moth-eaten garment.
Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away. Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst. I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.
In a heart-to-heart talk with Israel, Jehovah reminded them that it was not for some trifling whim that He divorced them nor did He deliver them to the Chaldeans because of any debt to that Gentile nation. The cause was their own iniquities and transgressions. No one in the nation welcomed Him and no one answered His call. They doubted that He was powerful enough to deliver them, though He had dried up the Red Sea and the Jordan River and had clothed the heavens in mourning.
Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children. And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
If the captives in Babylon had any qualms as to the possibility of their being freed from their captor, they needed to know that Jehovah would contend with their adversaries and save their children. When the oppressors reaped what they had sown, then the world would know that the Lord is Israel’s Saviour and their Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.
Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.
At a signal from the Lord God, the nations will carry the exiles back to the land. Gentile monarchs will serve God’s people, and Israel will realize that it is a benefit to wait for the Lord.
For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away. The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears, The place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell. Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?
The waste and desolate places of Israel will experience a population explosion. Zion will wonder where so many Jews came from because she has been “widowed” for such a long time.