For I Will Pour Out My Spirit on Your Offering and My Blessing on Your Descendents

44: 1-5

   DIG: What is Isaiah emphasizing by saying but now? Since the Holy Spirit seems to have been given only to Israel’s leaders in the past, what is the significance of the promise in 44:3?

   REFLECT: Is the “flower” of your spiritual life still in seed? Breaking ground? In full bloom? How so? How do you typically let others know that you are a believer? What new “show and tell” idea does 44:5 suggest?

    One can have little doubt of the connection between 44:1-5 and 43:22-28. Not only are certain words and concepts repeated, but the opening, but now, emphasizes the relation of contrast of what has just been said about Israel’s condition and what ADONAI nevertheless promises. Once again, as in 43:25 but on a larger scale, the grace of God is emphasized. He reminds His people that their sin has freed Him from any obligation to act on their behalf. They cannot demand anything from Him. But that does not mean that He will not act on their behalf. It only means that what He does is pure grace. It is a free gift flowing from His love for them.

    Earlier Isaiah dealt with the restoration of the exiles returning back into the Land from Babylon (43:14-21). Now he summarizes two restorations. The first is the near historical restoration from the Babylon of King Nebuchadnezzar (44:1-3a). These verses speak of the restoration from Babylon, which came in 536 BC. He announces again the return of God’s grace to Isra'el.

    Again the prophet emphasizes God’s choosing: But now listen, O Jacob, My servant, Isra'el, whom I have chosen (44:1). Being chosen was part of God’s unconditional promises to Abraham: I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse; and all the peoples on earth will be bless through you (Genesis 12:2-3). The doctrines of unconditional election, where God chooses us (Acts 13:48; Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:4-5 and 11, 2:8; First Thessalonians 2:13;Second Timothy 1:9), and free will, where we choose God (John 3:16; 6:29 and 40, 11:25-26), seem to be mutually exclusive. How can the relationship between the LORD’s sovereignty and man’s limited free will be explained? I believe they are an antinomy. That is, two truths, both of which are proven true by Scripture, but, from man’s viewpoint, cannot be reconciled. A good example would be the Trinity The Bible teaches that ADONAI is one (Deuteronomy 6:4), yet at the same time is three distinct persons. That is antimony.

    This is clearly seen in Romans 9 and 10. In Romans 9, election is viewed from ADONAI’s perspective – absolute predestination; however, in Romans 10, we see election from man’s standpoint – free will. Predestination says, “You were chosen by the LORD before the foundations of the earth,” while free will says, “I can say no to God and make it stick.” Both of these viewpoints are true and that is the antinomy. Romans 9 is like someone looking at the predestination side of a pitched roof of a house but can’t see the other free will side; while Romans 10 is like looking at the free will side of the roof and not being able to see the election side. But when God looks down on the house from on high, He sees both sides of the roof. The LORD elects not by seeing into the future and saving those who would eventually choose Him anyway, but saves according to His own sovereign, perfect will. And then people decide, without in any way giving up their freedom of choice, for what ADONAI has already decided for them. If I think about this long enough I get a headache. It is difficult to get our brain around such things, but I am sure that it will all make perfect sense when the LORD explains it all to us in heaven.

    The prophet faithfully recorded that this is what the LORD says: He who made you, who formed you in the womb (44:24), He will help you (44:2a). Life beings at fertilization because God, who made you, already has a plan for your life before you are born. The Psalmist would say: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:13-16).

    What is it that their Maker wants the Israelites to hear? Do not be afraid of the consequences of sin in this world (44:2b). In other words, do not fear man, but do fear Me (Luke 12:4-5)! The fear of ADONAI is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). The promise to blot out and forget stands (43:25), but cancelled sin leaves no room for fear: I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33). Regardless of her state, God still held Judah close to His heart and would continue to do so. For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable (Romans 11:29).

    O Jacob, My servant (see Hi – The Cone of Isaiah), Jeshurun, whom I have chosen (44:2c). Here the prophet uses the name Jeshurun, which is another name for Israel. The ending of un is a diminutive of affection. The world may be related to yasar, meaning the upright one. Imagine that, the LORD called these people, sinners from the beginning (43:27), the upright one. Jeshurun is used only three times in the Bible (Deuteronomy 32:15, 33:5 and 26). Deuteronomy is called the book of the Covenant. While the first four books of the Pentateuch merely spell out God’s commandments to Isra'el, the fifth book of Moses is the covenantal agreement between God and the nation of Isra'el. If she would keep the commandments, she would be blessed. But if Israel disobeyed the commandments, she would be cursed. Ultimately they were cursed by captivity, and dispersion. By calling upon Isra'el as Jeshurun, God is reminding Isra'el of His love and His covenantal relationship with her. And that is why the Jews are ultimately indestructible. Not because they have merit, but because the God of Isra'el has merit. He is the One who keeps His promises.

    Secondly is the far eschatological restoration from MYSTERY BABYLON (see my commentary on Revelation Dd – The Woman was Drunk with the Blood of God’s People). For I will pour water on the thirsty Land, and streams on the dry ground (44:3a). The image of water in a dry Land is prominent in Isaiah 12:3, 30:25, 32:2 and 15, 33:21, 35:6, 41:18, 43:20, 51:3, 55:1, 66:12. When God pours out His Holy Spirit, both the thirsty Land (35:1-4) and the thirsty people, the righteous of the TaNaKh (43:20) will be brought back to life (Isaiah 32:15; Joel 2:12-14 and 28-29). Then He expressed what would come to the original descendants who were restored from the Babylon of King Nebuchadnezzar.

    The Jews understood that the pouring out of the water symbolized the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. They had a ceremony called the pouring out of the waters performed during the Feast of Tabernacles, not so incidentally the only feast that will be celebrated during the messianic Kingdom (Zechariah 14:16-19). It was the highlight of the festival (see my commentary on The Life of Christ Gp – On the Last and Greatest Day of the Feast). On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice: Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified (John 7:37-39).

    Therefore, the sequence of Isaiah’s message from 43:8 to 44:5 indicates that Isaiah expected the saving acts of ADONAI, to which the Holy Ones (Psalms 16:3 and 34:9) would be witnesses (43:10 and 12, 44:8), would culminate with the infusion of the Ruach HaKodesh in God’s people. That sequence is: you are My witnesses (43:8-13), the deliverance from Babylon (43:14-21), deliverance based upon grace not merit (43:22-28), and here, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit resulting from the fulfillment of the Abrahamic promises (see above in 44:1). This shows that Isaiah looked forward to the day, if not the specific details, of Shavu'ot (Acts 2:41).

    The final restoration at the end of the Great Tribulation, then, will come upon a different generation than the descendants of those who first came from Babylon (see my commentary on Revelation Ev – The Basis for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ). He says: I will pour My Spirit on them because that final restoration will be preceded by Israel’s national regeneration. There is going to be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon every Jew living at that point (Zechariah 12:10 to 13:1). At that time, God’s blessing will be on their descendents (44:3b).

    Furthermore, there is going to be a rapid increase in Israel’s population. They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like popular trees by flowing streams (44:4). When Jesus Christ returns there will be the spiritual renewal promised by the prophets. Jeremiah said: I will make a New everlasting Covenant of peace with them (Jeremiah 31:31-34). And Ezekiel said it this way: I will put My Sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be My people. Then the nations will know that I the LORD make Israel holy, when My Sanctuary is among them forever (38:26-28).

    In addition, the effects upon the Gentiles are described. One will say, “I belong to the LORD;” another will call himself by the name of Jacob; still another will write on his hand, “The LORD’s,” and will take the name Isra'el (44:5). Not all unbelieving Gentiles will be killed at the end of the Great Tribulation. Millions upon millions will enter the Kingdom (20:1-6). They will experience the Messiah’s reign from Jerusalem in peace and will have until their hundredth birthday to accept Him as LORD of their lives or die (see Kp – The Wolf and the Lamb Will Feed Together, and the Lion Will Eat Straw Like the Ox). Because ADONAI specifically forbids tattoos (Leviticus 19:28), this writing on the hand must symbolize the personal commitment to Him, as if saying to themselves and others, “I belong to the LORD.” Throughout the Jewish dispersion, Jews were often forced to convert to Christianity by the Gentiles. And when that happened they were often forced to change their names from Jewish names to Gentile names. But Isaiah says that the day is coming when the Gentiles will change their names from Gentile names to Jewish names like Jacob and Isra'el.

    But for believers in Yeshua today, hope does disappoint us because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us (Romans 5:5). He loves us so much that He gave His one and only Son, the whoever believes in Him shall not perish by have eternal life (John 3:16b). And for those who accept His offer of salvation, the LORD takes His indescribable and undeserved love and pours it into our hearts of those who believe in Him (First Corinthians 15:3-4) by the Holy Spirit. Poured out refers to generous outpouring to the point of overflowing. ADONAI does not measure out His love in tiny drops but in immeasurable, tsunami like torrents.

    Out spiritual security is not in our ability to live godly lives, but in the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit in make us godly. The Greek word for power is dunamas, where we get our English word dynamite. Only God can make believers godly, and the Spirit’s leading us in a dynamic way into godliness is one of the great evidences of salvation. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you live in fear again (Romans 8:14-15a). Praise the LORD, as the children of God we do not have to live in fear!

 

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