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Saturday, January 3, 2015

The New Exodus: Part 4


Isaiah’s expectation of God's coming to inaugurate His eschatological rule was shaped according to the pattern of the Exodus from Egypt, the important and critical event of Israel's past.

While there are numerous hints of the Exodus tradition throughout the poems of Second Isaiah, the theme of the new exodus is the specific subject in the following passages.

1.    40:3-5 The highway in the wilderness.
2.    41:17-20 The transformation of the wilderness.
3.    42:14-16 YHWH leads his people in a way they know not.
4.    43:1-3 Passing through the waters and the fire.
5.    43:14-21 A way in the wilderness.
6.    48:20-21 The exodus from Babylon.
7.    49:8-12 The new entry into the Promised Land.
8.    51:9-10 The new victory at the sea.
9.    52:11-12 The new exodus.
10. 55:12-13 Israel shall go out in joy and peace.

This passage is referencing the preaching of John the Baptist announcing the coming Kingdom of God.

Isaiah 40:3-5 KJV  The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  (4)  Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:  (5)  And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

The wilderness is Mystery, Babylon and it encompasses the entire world.  It represents the idolatry, violence, greed and rebellion of the corrupt world, and the various systems man has created to manage this corruption.  During the 70th week of Daniel, the focal point of this mystery system will be located in Jerusalem with the worship of the false messiah or beast as the pinnacle of idolatry.

Isaiah 41:17-20 KJV  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.

It may be that the Lord will make a level passageway with the rivers easy to cross.  The path will be knowable, even to the blind.  The Lord will be a beacon of light signaling the destination in a straight path.

Isaiah 42:14-16 KJV  I have long time held my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.  (15)  I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools.  (16)  And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.

Utley Commentary:  “the waters, the fire, the flame”  These are used as metaphors of problems, fears, and foes.  This passage could also be referring to the Exodus crossing of the sea and later the Jordan River.  The statement, “I am the Lord, your God” is an imitative reminder of Exodus 20.

Isaiah 43:1-3 KJV  But now thus says the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.  (2)  When thou pass through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walk through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.  (3)  For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.

The Lord will provide a way to escape the perils of Babylon (the wilderness).  The chief instigators will be brought down.  Do not consider the indulgences of the past as the children of Israel did in the desert because the Lord will provide even better things than before.  Everyone will survive.

Isaiah 43:14-21 KJV  Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships.  (15)  I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.  (16)  Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;  (17)  Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow.  (18)  Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.  (19)  Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.  (20)  The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.  (21)  This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.

This exodus is not from the physical Babylon.  Again, this Babylon is the same as Mystery, Babylon in the Revelation (see description above).  It is synonymous with the wilderness of previous scriptural excerpts. Flee from idolatry, violence, greed and rebellion of the Chaldeans (corrupt world).  The basic necessities will be provided as in the exodus from Egypt.
Isaiah 48:20-21 KJV  Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye, The LORD hath redeemed his servant Jacob.  (21)  And they thirsted not when he led them through the deserts: he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them: he clave the rock also, and the waters gushed out.

The new promised land of the Millennium will be as the original Garden of Eden.  The New Exodus is about getting all of humanity out of the darkness and death of the current fallen world (the wilderness) and back into the Garden of Eden where the tree of life will stand again (Rev.22:2). The original exile that God wants to remedy through Jesus is not the story of Israelites deported from Israel and Judah, but of Adam and Eve being evicted from the Garden of Eden.
Isaiah 51:3 KJV  For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.

Isaiah 49:8-12 KJV  Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;  (9)  That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.  (10)  They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.  (11)  And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.  (12)  Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.

2 Corinthians 6:2 KJV  (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

The Lord is most powerful:  “Thy will be done.”  There have been several past and current speculations concerning Rahab; most of them bordering on science fiction.  The word is defined in Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary as:  Rahab (that is, boaster), an epithet of Egypt:  It thus means pride or one who boasts:  When coupled with the word dragon it perhaps means that God has or will subjugate Satan.  In my post titled The Beast I made this comment about the dragon of Revelation 12:  This composite beast, which is later identified as a Satan-type entity, is representative of the empire instigated by Satan throughout the history of the Hebrew-Israelite people.  The purpose of this historical empire has been to prevent the birth of the woman’s Son who will bruise (crush NIV, attack NET) the head of the serpent or Satan as prophesied in Genesis.

Verse 10 gives another allusion to the Egyptian exodus crossing of the Red Sea when God parted the water as a means of escape.

Isaiah 51:9-10 KJV  Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?  (10)  Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?

The journey out of the wilderness must be made in righteousness with no unclean words or deeds.  The call to separate from Babylon, the spiritual wilderness, is a call for purity, for those who are the vessels of the Lord.  It is not necessary to go in fear for the Lord will lead us and He will be our reward.

Isaiah 52:11-12 KJV  Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.  (12)  For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your reward.

This righteous exodus is also proclaimed by Paul.

2 Corinthians 6:17 KJV  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

Eden is not mentioned in this passage but is implied with the anticipated peace and tranquility.  Even nature will be as a manicured garden.  Creation is often personified as rejoicing at the presence of God. The idyllic fellowship of the Garden of Eden is restored.  The land will enjoy freedom from the curse, with fruitfulness as a result.

Isaiah 55:12-13 KJV  For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  (13)  Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

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