Verse of the Day Devotion. Isaiah 45:17
“Israel has been saved by the LORD With an everlasting salvation; You will not be put to shame or humiliated to all eternity.” – Isaiah 45.17
In some ways this passage of scripture represents a peak both of theological and of poetic intensity. It brings together the themes of the absolutely unique divinity of Yahweh, the God of Israel as well as the unity of mankind under the sovereignty of Yahweh. The prophet sees a vision not shown in earlier writings of the Old Testament. The poem is formed of two utterances of Yahweh, the first being in verse 14, and then again in 18.
First, let us look at the first one. “Thus says the LORD, The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush And the Sabeans, men of stature, Will come over to you and will be yours; They will walk behind you; they will come over in chains and will bow down to you; They will make supplication to you: Surely, God is with you, and there is none else, No other God.” Isaiah 45:14. These are three nations that were enemies of Israel and whom God gave to Israel. “For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place.” Isaiah 43:3. It basically says in this verse that Egypt was given ‘as a ransom’ for Israel, meaning God sacrificed the Egyptians instead of the Israelites; he destroyed the firstborn of Egypt, and saved Israel his firstborn; he drowned the Egyptians in the Red sea, when the Israelites passed safely through it; and the destruction of Israel was to make way for the salvation of Israel, and so said to be a ransom for them. We see this idea in the Book of Proverbs where the author states, “The righteous is delivered from trouble, But the wicked takes his place.” Proverbs 11:8. Also, in verse Isaiah 45:14 it says, “They will walk behind you; they will come over in chains and will bow down to you; They will make supplication to you: Surely, God is with you, and there is none else, No other God.” Isaiah 45:14. This does not mean they will bow down to Israel but to the true God, Yahweh, whom they will confess is the only true God.
And therefore Isaiah states the incredible prophecy in our focus verse. “Israel has been saved by the LORD With an everlasting salvation; You will not be put to shame or humiliated To all eternity.” Isaiah 45:17. This verse is clearly not speaking of the nation of Israel, but the true, spiritual Israel. The apostle Paul puts it this way. “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.” Romans 2:28-29. Those of any nation who give themselves over to the true God of Israel is of Israel and a true Jew. And likewise, anyone who is Jewish of nationality who does not serve the true God of Israel is not a true Jew.
Now, we must all look and see who we are and whom we serve. We can claim all we want that we are a Christian, but it is not true if we are not a Christian inwardly; serving our Lord with everything we are. It is just like we cannot claim to love someone and still speak badly of them when they are not around. Our devotion to God is not shown by what we say, but by who we truly are. If He is our Lord and our God, we will act accordingly. We who are true Christians must “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. And also, “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2. Let us not fall into the same trap as many Israelites did by simply claiming to follow God. Let’s actually follow Him by doing the following. “Jesus answered, the most important is, Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31. And if we do this, then we show we truly are a Christian and can look forward to an eternally glorious future. We mat stumble, however, if we confess and repent, we show our heart, and can also look forward to this eternal life.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.