The Book of Isaiah
James J. Barker


Lesson 46
GOD'S SALVATION SHALL BE FOR EVER

Text: ISAIAH 51


INTRODUCTION:


1.     There is some repetition found here in Isaiah 51.  The chapter starts out with the words, “Hearken to me” (51:1, 4, 7).

2.     There is another term found three times in Isaiah 51 – “my salvation.”

3.     In Isaiah 51:5, the LORD says, “my salvation is gone forth.”

4.     In Isaiah 51:6, the LORD says, “my salvation shall be for ever.”

5.     In Isaiah 51:8, the LORD says, “But my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.”

6.     The word “my” and “mine” is found 16 times in this chapter:

       my people (51:4, 16)

       my nation (51:4)

       my judgment (51:4)

       My righteousness (51:5, 6, 8)

       my salvation (51:5, 6, 8)

       mine arms (51:5)

       my law (51:7)

       my words (51:16)

       mine hand (51:16)

       my fury (51:22).

7. Tonight I want to focus on these two important words: “my salvation.”

 

I. GOD’S SALVATION IS POWERFUL

II. GOD’S SALVATION IS WONDERFUL

III. GOD’S SALVATION IS MERCIFUL

 

I. GOD’S SALVATION IS POWERFUL (51:1-10).

1.     God is “the rock” (51:1).  The apostle Paul says in I Corinthians 10:4, “that Rock was Christ.”

2.     Consider Isaiah 51:1, 2.  The LORD built the nation Israel. Israel has been despised, attacked, and chased out of just about every nation in the world.  But God says, “Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.”

3.     Abraham and Sarah were elderly.  Sarah was barren.  But God gave them a son and Abraham became the “Father of Many Nations.”

4.     Consider Zion (Jerusalem).  The Muslims want it.  Most of the nations could not care less what happens to it.  But God says, “For the LORD shall comfort Zion” (51:3).

5.     God says, “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” (51:6).

6.     The emphasis here is on the nation Israel, but God says, “mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust” (51:5).  This refers to the Gentiles too.

7.     When the Lord returns, the whole earth will hear the message of salvation.  Isaiah 11:9 says, “For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”

8.     “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 God’s salvation shall be for ever (51:6).

9.     These verses describe the cataclysmic judgments that will take place during the tribulation period.  But according to the Bible, many people (both Jews and Gentiles) will be saved during that terrible time of judgment.

10. Those that will be saved during the tribulation will be persecuted by the antichrist and his demon-possessed followers.  But God says, “fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings…” (51:7, 8).

11. God will take care of His people (51:9).  “Rahab” (51:9) refers to Egypt, and “the dragon” to devilish Pharaoh (cf. 51:10).

12. Psalm 89:10 says, “Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm.”

13. Ezekiel 29:3 says, “Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers.”

 

II. GOD’S SALVATION IS WONDERFUL (51:11).

1.     Our church down in Virginia used to sing Isaiah 51:11 during every service.  We would sing it while people went around shaking hands.

2.     This verse refers to the blessings of the millennial kingdom – singing, gladness, joy, etc.

3.     God is the great Comforter (Isa. 51:12, cf. vs. 3).  Isaiah 40:1, 2 says, “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.  Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned.”

4.     Isaiah 66:13 says, “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”

5.     In John 14—16, our Lord promised to send the Holy Spirit, who He refers to as “the Comforter.”

6.     “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you” (John 16:7).

 

III. GOD’S SALVATION IS MERCIFUL (51:17-23).

1.     Jerusalem is described as a foolish woman, sleeping in a drunken stupor.  She has drunken from the cup of God’s wrath (51:17).

2.     In the Bible, God’s wrath is often pictured as an intoxicating cup of judgment (cf. Psalm 75:8; Jer. 25:15-17; Rev. 14:9-11).

        Job 21:20 says, “His eyes shall see his destruction, and he shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty.”

        Psalm 60:3 says, “Thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.”

        Zechariah 12:2 says, “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.”

3.     Israel will stumble along in her drunken stupor, with “none to guide her” (Isa. 51:18).

4.     “Two things” (pairs) have come upon Israel – “desolation, and destruction, and the famine, and the sword” (51:19).  This prophecy looks forward to the coming tribulation, the time of “Jacob’s trouble.”

5.     This is a very vivid picture of the suffering of Israel during the coming tribulation.  God’s merciful deliverance is predicted in verses 22 and 23.

6.     God will take the cup of trembling out of their hand –  “even the dregs of the cup” of His fury.  They shalt no more drink it again (51:22).  This refers to the restoration of Israel.

7.     This is a wonderful promise but verse 23 is even better.  God will take the cup of His wrath from the Jews and give it to their enemies (51:23).

 

CONCLUSION:

1.     In the final scene of Shakespeare’s famous play, Hamlet takes the poisoned cup and forces his murderous uncle to drink it.

2.     “Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane,
Drink off this potion. Is thy union here?
Follow my mother.”

3.     According to Isaiah 51:22, 23, God will take the cup of His wrath from Israel and force their enemies to drink it.

4.     But that day has not taken place yet. 



<< Back                                       Next >>