The Lord Will Rescue His People, 1-7
43:1 Now, this is what the LORD says,
the one who created you, O Jacob,
and formed you, O Israel:
“Don’t be afraid, for I will protect you.
I call you by name, you are mine.
43:2 When you pass through the waters, I am with you;
when you pass through the streams, they will not overwhelm you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not harm you.
43:3 For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your deliverer.
I have handed over Egypt as a ransom price,
Ethiopia and Seba in place of you.
43:4 Since you are precious and special in my sight,
and I love you,
I will hand over people in place of you,
nations in place of your life.
43:5 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
From the east I will bring your descendants;
from the west I will gather you.
43:6 I will say to the north, ‘Hand them over!’
and to the south, ‘Don’t hold any back!’
Bring my sons from distant lands,
and my daughters from the remote regions of the earth,
43:7 everyone who belongs to me,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed—yes, whom I made!
The Lord Declares His Sovereignty, 8-13
43:8 Bring out the people who are blind, even though they have eyes,
those who are deaf, even though they have ears!
43:9 All nations gather together,
the peoples assemble.
Who among them announced this?
Who predicted earlier events for us?
Let them produce their witnesses to testify they were right;
let them listen and affirm, ‘It is true.’
43:10 You are my witnesses,” says the LORD,
“my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may consider and believe in me,
and understand that I am he.
No god was formed before me,
and none will outlive me.
43:11 I, I am the LORD,
and there is no deliverer besides me.
43:12 I decreed and delivered and proclaimed,
and there was no other god among you.
You are my witnesses,” says the LORD, “that I am God.
43:13 From this day forward I am he;
no one can deliver from my power;
I will act, and who can prevent it?”
The Lord Will Do Something New, 14-21
43:14 This is what the LORD says,
your protector, the Holy One of Israel:
“For your sake I send to Babylon
and make them all fugitives,
turning the Babylonians’ joyful shouts into mourning songs.
43:15 I am the LORD, your Holy One,
the one who created Israel, your king.”
43:16 This is what the LORD says,
the one who made a road through the sea,
a pathway through the surging waters,
43:17 the one who led chariots and horses to destruction,
together with a mighty army.
They fell down, never to rise again;
they were extinguished, put out like a burning wick:
43:18 “Don’t remember these earlier events;
don’t recall these former events.
43:19 “Look, I am about to do something new.
Now it begins to happen! Do you not recognize it?
Yes, I will make a road in the desert
and paths in the wilderness.
43:20 The wild animals of the desert honor me,
the jackals and ostriches,
because I put water in the desert
and streams in the wilderness,
to quench the thirst of my chosen people,
43:21 the people whom I formed for myself,
so they might praise me.”
The Lord Rebukes His People, 22-28
43:22 “But you did not call for me, O Jacob;
you did not long for me, O Israel.
43:23 You did not bring me lambs for your burnt offerings;
you did not honor me with your sacrifices.
I did not burden you with offerings;
I did not make you weary by demanding incense.
43:24 You did not buy me aromatic reeds;
you did not present to me the fat of your sacrifices.
Yet you burdened me with your sins;
you made me weary with your evil deeds.
43:25 I, I am the one who blots out your rebellious deeds for my sake;
your sins I do not remember.
“Your sins I do not remember” – Not, of course, that the Lord cannot remember them, but rather that he does not call them to mind. He has wiped the slate clean.