Isaiah 41

Jehovah is infinite, eternal and unchangeable.
He has governed the world from the beginning and will until the end of time.
Let the believer therefore depend upon Him as the God sufficient for him in the worst of times.
He would not have His people to be a timorous people,
for His grace can silence fears, even when there is the greatest cause for them.

1 Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment.

2 Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow.

3 He pursued them, and passed safely; even by the way that he had not gone with his feet.

4 Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.

5 The isles saw it, and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came.

6 They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage.

7 So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the sodering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved.

8 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.

9 Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.

10 ¶ Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.

12 Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought.

13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

14 Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

15 Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff.

16 Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel.

17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.

18 I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.

19 I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together:

20 That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.

21 Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob.

22 Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come.

23 Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.

24 Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you.

25 I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come: from the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name: and he shall come upon princes as upon morter, and as the potter treadeth clay.

26 Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, He is righteous? yea, there is none that sheweth, yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that heareth your words.

27 The first shall say to Zion, Behold, behold them: and I will give to Jerusalem one that bringeth good tidings.

28 For I beheld, and there was no man; even among them, and there was no counsellor, that, when I asked of them, could answer a word.

29 Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing: their molten images are wind and confusion.

Isaiah 41:1-16 – ​The Lord Upholdeth His Servant

   The conception of this passage is superb. Jehovah is represented as summoning the earth to determine whether He or some idol of the heathen is the true God, Isaiah 41:7. Also see Isaiah 41:23. The test proposed is a simple one! Which can most precisely predict the future? Not, as in Elijah’s case, is the appeal made to fire, but to the fitting of prophecy with historical fulfillment. See Isaiah 41:22-23.
   While this great arbitration is in process, God turns with tender assurances to His own people. They were at this time captives in Babylon. They were poor and needy. They were surrounded by strong and crafty foes, against whom they were as powerless as a worm. But no height, however precipitous, or depth, however profound, could separate them from His love. Heart and flesh might fail, but He would strengthen; difficulties might appear insurmountable, but He would help. He does more. He takes His people, weak as worms, and makes them, if they but yield to Him, sharp threshing instruments having teeth before which the powers of evil become as chaff. O man, listen to God saying, I will make (Isaiah 41:15). —Through the Bible Day by Day

Isaiah 41:10—Be not dismayed; for I am thy God.

​   We are all tempted to look around us, to see who is prepared to stand by and help us. We are apt, like the apostle, to look at the winds and waves. Not so, says our God. Look not around, but look off to Me; look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.
   These exceeding great and precious promises quicken our desire to be able to establish our lineage as belonging to Abraham. We very gladly catch at the apostle’s assurance that those who have his faith may claim to be his children. It is good to know that, Gentiles as we are, we may be included in the Israel of God.
   Now, troubled soul, look unto these words. They are spoken by one who cannot lie, and spoken for thee. They are as much meant for thee as though they had never been claimed by another; and God is prepared to fulfill them in thy life to the brim. He is with thee at this moment, thou art pondering these words. He is thy God, and will never act unworthily of thy trust. Where thou art weakest and most easily overcome, He will strengthen thee. Where thou needest help, He will give his, so that thy difficult task shall be easily mastered. And when thou art too weary to walk; when no more strength remains in thee; when thou sinkest on the battlefield or the steep hill—He will uphold thee. Dost thou doubt? Behold at his right hand, Jesus sits, thy Lover and Savior. It is a right hand of righteousness, that can never act unworthily of itself, or fail the trusting soul.

       “The steps of faith
       Fall on the seeming void—and find
       The rock beneath!” —Our Daily Homily

Isaiah 41:17-29 – What the Lord’s Hand Does for the Needy

   Life is not easy for any of us, if we regard external conditions only; but directly we learn the divine secret, rivers flow from bare heights, fountains arise in sterile valleys, and the desert blooms like the forest-glade. To the ordinary eye there might appear no outward change in the forbidding circumstance; but faith’s eye always beholds a very paradise of beauty where other eyes see only straitened circumstances and a trying lot.
   Once again our minds are brought back to the great convocation announced in the opening verses of the chapter. The idols are asked to say or do something to prove that they are divine. See Isaiah 41:21-23. There is no response; with the result that a crushing verdict is passed on them as recorded in Isaiah 41:24. On the other hand, the prophet of the Lord is prepared with His predictions of Cyrus “the righteous man from the east,” (see Isaiah 41:2 and Isaiah 44:28) which would be fulfilled before that generation had passed away. Let us give heed to the sure word of prophecy, “as unto a light that shineth in a dark place,” II Peter 1:19. —Through the Bible Day by Day