Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 61
THE CHOSEN NATION REDEEMED – PART 2
ISAIAH 42:8 – 45:3
Again, we always like to explain to our television audience, because every day we get new listeners, that we’re just an informal Bible study. I’m not some highfaluting scholar. I’m not going to be throwing a lot of Greek and Hebrew at you, but hopefully we can just sort the Scriptures out and compare Scripture with Scripture. And bring folks to the place where they can understand what the Bible really says. You know, a lot of these denominations have been so steeped in tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation that it’s come to the point they’ve forgotten what the Book says and all they really know is what the denomination says.
Well, I’ll tell you right up front, when you come before the Lord, whether it’s the Bema Seat for the believer or the Great White Throne for an unbeliever, blaming your denomination for leading you astray is not going to cut anything with God, because you have the Word of God.
You have it in your own hands, and you study to show yourself approved, and just see what the Word says and not what someone else says. I don’t want to even have someone say, “Well this is what Les Feldick says.” No! You have to determine what the Word of God says. This is our whole premise. Take the doctrine of salvation, for example, and Paul gives us in this Age of Grace our instructions for salvation “You must believe in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again,” plus nothing else! I Corinthians 15:1-4 and Romans 10:9-10. If your denomination is teaching you some other way to heaven than that, then you’d better examine yourself again!
All right, we’re going to pick right up where we left off in the last program. We are still in Isaiah chapter 42 and remember in the last three or four words of verse 17 Israel, nationally now, is speaking to their idols saying:
“…Ye are our gods. (plural) (But God comes back and says:) 18. Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, if you may see. 19. Who is blind, but my servant?…” Well, now, who’s the servant? Israel.
“…or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? Who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the LORD’s servant? 20. Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he who heareth not. 21. The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honorable.” Now, here again, you’ve got to be reminded this is long after the Mosaic Law has been given. They’ve got the Torah. They’ve got the Ten Commandments. They’ve got the temple. They’ve got the priesthood. Yet, in spite of all that they are going deeper and deeper into idolatry. It’s just mind-boggling.
“But this is a people robbed and soiled; 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. 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 who gave Israel to the robbers? Did not the LORD, (Who did? The Lord did in chastisement. Just read on.) he against whom we have sinned? (That is the Nation.) for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient to his law. 25. Therefore…” Now, this is plain English. Because of their rebellion, because of their idolatry:
“Therefore he hath poured upon him (that is the nation of Israel, now. We’re referring to it as Jacob or Israel.) the fury of his anger, the strength of battle and it has set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.” Now, you’ve got to stop and think. Come back up with me to Romans, chapter 11. I think maybe this is the easiest way to do this. Here Paul is referring back to Elijah.
Now, I thought it would be easier to find Romans than it would I Kings, because I Kings is where you have the Old Testament account of Elijah on Mount Carmel confronting the prophets of Baal. Now, remember Elijah lived 200 years before Isaiah. So, you see, time has been going by ever so slowly. Now, get your timeframe, again, that at 2000 BC you’ve got the call of Abraham, you’ve got the beginning of the nation of Israel. For 490 years, they first sojourned up and down the land of Canaan. Then the second half of that 490 they’re down in Egypt. That takes us up to about 1500 BC. We’ve lost about 500 years now from Abraham to Moses. They come out of Egypt and they are now the nation of Israel.
All right, another 500 years go by under the judges and so forth until they have King David. King David rules about 1000 BC, halfway between Abraham and the cross. All right, David and Solomon both rule 40 years each. So, from 1000 BC until we get Elijah it’s only a hundred years, and look how far they’ve already gone done the pipe in that little while they have been a nation.
All right, look how Paul refers to it, then, in Romans chapter 11. Let’s just jump down to verse 2. Romans 11 verse 2, where Paul says:
“God has not cast away his people, whom he foreknew….” In other words, God knows what they’re going to do hundreds of years before they do it. God hasn’t cast them away.
“…know you not what the scripture saith of Elijah? How he maketh intercession to God against Israel, (against the nation) saying, 3. Lord, they have killed thy prophets, they have digged down (or they’ve torn down) thine altars; and I am left alone, (I’m the only one left!) and they seek my life. (Now, verse 4, but Paul reminds us:) 4. But what saith the answer of God unto him? (That is to Elijah. God tells Elijah) I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.” Well, what was Baal? A pagan idol. So, already, a hundred years after King David, the Nation has gotten to the place where Isaiah thinks he’s the only one left that hasn’t fallen to idolatry.
But, God says, “No, I’ve got a remnant.” That’s the way it’s always been. God has always kept that small percentage of Israelites, or Jews, however you want to refer to them, who remain true to Jehovah. But, for the most part, the Nation went down. Now, I know the average Jew probably would tell you that they’re going to be in eternity with us because they’re the children of Abraham. Well, I beg to differ, because there’s only a small remnant of Jews that were ever true believers. All right, now then Paul brings it on up to his own day and time. Back here in about the 58-59 AD, verse 5:
“Even so then at this present time (while Paul is writing) there is also a (what?) remnant according to the election of grace.” There is always that little remnant. So, there was a remnant in Paul’s day. All right, now drop down to verse 7.
“What then? Israel (the Nation) has not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election (the true believer, they) obtained it, and the rest were (what?) blinded.” They were blinded. So, for the last 1900 and some years, that’s been the lot of the rank and file Jew. They are blind to the things of God. Even their Old Testament, they’ve got it all fouled up, because God has sovereignly blinded them.
But, all right, now when you come back to Isaiah, you’ve got to constantly be reminded that even though God chastises the Nation as a whole, He has always had that remnant that remained true to Him. I think I can safely say this: because of the remnant they would finally come back to the place of blessing. Then, they would be blessed nationally for a period of time, and then it wouldn’t be long until, again, they would just sink down, for the most part, into a national point of unbelief. All right, now, let’s just move on into chapter 43. Again, God is going to constantly remind the Nation of Who He is.
Now, you know, even today I often have to wonder just how many rank and file church members, and I’m not going to even consider the non-churched world, but church people, how many of them really know who God is? Do they really have an understanding of His power? His might? His Sovereignty? His Omniscience? His Omnipotence? I’m afraid most don’t. God is just sort of a passing thought. Oh, He’s up there someplace. Yeah, He’s in control. But they really don’t know His power and His majesty. Well, Israel was no different. They were just blasé about it. So, God comes back and He is showing them who He really is.
“But now…” Now, that reminds me, I’ve said, you know, that I’m probably going to put together some programs someday using the “But now’s” in Scripture. But the “But now’s” are really ‘the flipside.’ Here we’ve seen Israel steeped in idolatry. “But now” we’re going to see the real God, not the god of wood and stone, but the God of Creation.
Isaiah 43 1a
“But now, thus saith the LORD who created thee, O, Jacob, he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have (what?) redeemed thee,…” Now, there comes that whole concept of redemption, that lost people, whether it’s Jew or Gentile, no matter what the person’s station in life, they’re in need of a spiritual redemption.
So, this word is just throughout the fabric of the Old Testament that Israel was to be looking for their Redeemer. All right, we’ll come to it again when we get to chapter 59, if not today, at a later time. All right, so “I have redeemed thee.” I have bought you back.
Now, stop and think again, because after all, to get knowledge of Scripture you’ve got to constantly go back to your building blocks. That’s what Paul meant when he says in Romans 15:4 “all these things written beforehand were written for our (what?) learning.” What does it rest on? What’s the foundation of all this? Well, let’s go back and just reconstruct.
Here we have Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the twelve sons. Now, that’s the beginning of the nation of Israel. Now, believe it or not, I’ve had people who have taught Sunday School for twenty years come up after one of my classes and ask me, “Where does the Jew come from?” Can you imagine that? I’ll be flabbergasted, but it’s happened more than once. Even though I’m flabbergasted, I get my cool back and I say; “Well, now the nation of Israel came with Abraham at 2000 BC, pulled off of the main stream of the Adamic race.”
All right, now here we’ve got Jacob and the twelve sons, but one of them, they think, is kind of a braggart. He kind of thinks he’s better than the other eleven. Who was it? Joseph. Finally, Joseph irritated them to such an extent, what did they do? They sold him into slavery. Now, even way back then who were the slave traders? Ishmaelites. Well, who are Ishmaelites? Arabs. And the world can’t get their eyes opened. They have always been the master slave traders, even today, the Muslim world practices slavery more than the rest of the world put together. Why can’t the world wake up? They are adamant in their slave trading. All right, so Joseph gets sold into slavery and he ends up down in Egypt.
All right, now a lot of people can’t comprehend this. When the eleven brothers – now, of course, little Benjamin wasn’t intricately involved, but over all it was still a family deal – when the family sold Joseph down into slavery in Egypt, what happened between them and their God? Well, everything was broken. God lost them. Now, when God loses something like He lost the human race when Adam sinned, what does God have to do to get them back? Redeem them! That’s where the whole idea of redemption comes in.
All right, now you’re back there in Egypt and God has lost the nation, but they’re still increasing in population. God is going to be watching over them, don’t think He won’t. Finally, when the right time comes, He’s going to set up a plan of what? Redemption. That’s what the book of Exodus is all about. The exodus out of Egypt is a redemption story.
Now, how is He going to redeem the nation of Israel? The Passover Lamb, the blood. When you’ve heard me teach Exodus, I always made the point that it has never changed, God’s plan of redemption has three things: it takes the blood, it takes an individual, and it takes the power of God.
Now, they placed the blood on the doorpost on the night of the Passover. Moses was the deliverer, but when they get to the Red Sea and the sea opens up, who delivers the power to do it? God does. All right, now that’s the beautiful picture of redemption, no matter how you look at it. Whether it’s yours or mine or Israel’s it’s the same thing, it took the blood. The blood has the price of redemption. Jesus Christ was the person that God saw fit to be the deliverer and then at Resurrection morning it was the power of God that delivered it and brought the whole plan of Redemption to its completion.
So, whenever you see this term redeemed, that’s what we’re talking about, how God paid the price of redemption to bring whoever it was that He lost back to himself. All right, so for Israel then, God redeemed them when He brought them out of Egypt. You would have thought that from that point on those Jews would have been loyal believers to the “nth” degree. But they weren’t. Only a small percentage, just like it is today. All right, now then let’s go back to Chapter 43:1.
“…Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by my name, thou art mine. 2. When thou passest through the waters, (I’m sure that’s a reference to the Red Sea.) I will be with thee, and through the rivers, (I think that’s a reference to the Jordan at flood time, when they came in under Joshua.) they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, (Well, who walked through the fire? The three Hebrews in Daniel) thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. (Why?) 3. For I am the LORD thy God, I am the Holy One of Israel, thy (what?) Saviour: (See how the language all fits?) I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Sheba for thee, 4. Since thou wast precious in my sight…” Now, this is God speaking with regard to His beloved, chosen people.
You know that makes me stop and think. I read an article the other day, again by one of these scoffers. If God was such a God of love why did he permit His chosen people to suffer and suffer and suffer? Well, I’ll grant that’s a good, logical question, but the reason He allowed them to suffer is because of their wickedness and their unbelief that precipitated it. He never stopped loving them, yet He would bring in the chastisement.
“Fear not:… Sound familiar? It’s exactly what Paul writes in Hebrews. “Fear not: I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”
“Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; 6. I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back:…” Sound familiar? Well, that’s exactly what has happened since 1900. Same thing. The Jews have been coming back from the four corners of the earth, back to the homeland, Providentially. I think I said it in the last program, if you really stop to analyze it, what a miracle! They’ve been scattered into the nations of the world. They’re few in number. Yet God is bringing them back against all odds.
All right, now He didn’t do it just once. He’s already done it twice, and now of course, the next time they’re going to be there to stay. All right, reading on in verse 7.
“Every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory,” He’s not talking about the pagan Gentiles. He’s not talking about you and me. He’s talking about Israel. All right, verse 8.
“Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.” A contradiction? No. Physically they’ve got ears. Physically they’ve got eyes. But spiritually what are they? Deaf and blind. It’s no different today. It’s not one bit different today. People have got ears to hear. They’ve got eyes to see. But will they?
Oh, I hear it constantly like I shared with you in the studio before we started today, once they see this. Now, this gentleman, I’m not going to put it out publicly, but this gentleman I talked to you about in the studio, I can guarantee you that when he goes back to his own people with these things that he has now seen so clearly, they’re going to think he’s lost it! They’re going to think he’s out of his cage. I’ve got people here who already know what I’m talking about. Why? People do not want to see what the Word says; they’re satisfied with tradition. They want to stay in their semi-darkness rather than see the light. We hear it all the time.
“Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this and show us former things?…” Who among the Children of Israel has the knowledge that their God has? Not a one.
You know even Job had to find that out, didn’t he? You know, I’m careful when I say this, but when you think of Job, I think the guy was proud. I think Job thought he had it made, but when he was confronted with the Omnipotent God, what did Job have to realize? He was nothing! When he got to that realization, what did he have to do? Repent in dust and ashes.
All right, now Israel is the same way. They were proud of the fact that they were God’s chosen people, and yet they didn’t take that into consideration when they started following idols. All right, read on, verse 10, oh, I’d better finish verse 9.
“Let all the nations be gathered together, let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this and show us former things? Let them bring forth their (what?) witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is (what?) truth.” That’s what counts. Truth. What’s truth? The Word of God. Everything else becomes just so much vapor, it just disappears, but the Word of God is truth.
“You are my witnesses, (God says to Israel. They alone had a knowledge of the One True God) saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen:…” What is the term again? Servant. What’s the role of a servant? He is to carry out the bidding of the master.
“…that you may know and believe me, (that’s faith, remember) and understand that I am he: (That is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.) before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. 11. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.” Sound familiar?
How did Peter put it in the book of Acts? “There is no other name given among men under heaven whereby we must be saved.” How does Paul put it? “There is no other name, but at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow.” All of Scripture declares that – Old and New. All right, reading on, verse 12.
“I have declared, and have saved, and I have showed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore you are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.” That was Israel’s role. That’s why God spent so much time with them and delivered them out of Egypt, gave them the priesthood, and gave them the tabernacle worship, so they could be a testimony to the pagan world around them.
“Yea, before the day was I am he; (I am your God) and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it? (or permit it?) 14. Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, (See, there it is again, the One who has bought you back.) the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships. 15. I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your (what?) King.” Remember what Isaiah said a couple of programs back?
“I saw the Lord of Glory, I saw the (What? You remember?) King.” Oh, indeed He’s Israel’s King. Oh, He’s not active yet but He will be. That’s all future. But one day, He’s going to be Israel’s King and you see that in Revelation when it says what at the Second Coming? “And on His thigh is written King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” He’s never accomplished that role before. But, He’s coming and Israel is to be a witness of all that. All right, verse 16 and our time is running out.
“Thus saith the LORD, who maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; 17. Who bringeth forth the chariot and the horse, the army and the power;” In other words, when the Chaldeans, the Babylonians, come marching in against Jerusalem, who is bringing it about? The God of Glory! Israel’s God as a chastisement for their idolatry.