In my last post, we learned about Everlasting Salvation for Tziyon ~ Part 1 in Yesha’yahu 51:1-8. In this post, we continue in Everlasting Salvation for Tziyon ~ Part 2 in Yesha’yahu 51:9-16.
9 Awake! Awake! Arm of Adonai, clothe yourself with strength! Awake, as in days of old, as in ancient generations! Wasn’t it you who hacked Rahav to pieces, you who pierced the sea monster? 10 Wasn’t it you who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep; you who made the sea bottom a road for the redeemed to cross?
Although not mentioned in any known text outside the Bible, Rahav is comparable to the chaos monster Leviathan, which also takes the form of a twisting serpent (Job 26:12-13). Rahav is also used synonymously for Egypt. Rahav is paired here with Bavel in terms of importance.
Adonai is encouraged to wake up from slumber and go about His redemptive work. Past victories are then recounted in the form of the defeat of Rahav. The sea and its monsters represent the forces of chaos that are against Adonai and His creation.
11 Those ransomed by Adonai will return and come with singing to Tziyon; on their heads will be everlasting joy. They will acquire gladness and joy, while sorrow and sighing will flee.
In verse 10, Yesha’yahu wondered why Adonai wasn’t working. Here, in verse 11, he is sure that Adonai will work. What caused him to change his mind? I suggest it was in the very act of pouring out his heart to Adonai in prayer that the answer to his question, the solution to his frustration was found. You dried up the sea, he said in verse 10.
One of the most significant advantages of prayer is that, as we talk to Adonai, we begin to get insights and understanding that will see us through another day – maybe just one more day, but that is all we need. It is an excellent thing to pour out your heart to Adonai because, as was the case with Yesha’yahu, so often the answer is found in the very questions and frustrations we share.
12 “I, yes I, am the one who comforts you! Why are you afraid of a man, who must die; of a human being, who will wither like grass?
It is utter folly to fear humans who die rather than Adonai who endures forever.
13 You have forgotten Adonai, your maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth. Instead, you are in constant fear all day because of the oppressor’s rage, as he prepares to destroy! But where is the oppressor’s rage?
Adonai constructed the heavens and the earth like a person would build a tent (stretched out) or a house (laid the foundations).
14 The captive will soon be set free; he will not die and go down to Sh’ol; on the contrary, his food supply will be secure.
While most of those who had been deported to Bavel would not have been imprisoned, there would have been some political prisoners. Pits were used as prisons in most of the ancient Near East. Those in debt, criminals awaiting trial and political prisoners were held in confinement of one sort or another – the Israeli thought of the grave and the underworld as a large pit.
15 For I am Adonai your God, who stirs up the sea, who makes its waves roar – Adonai-Tzva’ot is my name.
Adonai is in charge of the sea. This shows metaphorically His ability to control the forces of evil.
16 I have put My words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of My hand, in order to plant the skies [anew], lay the foundations of the earth [anew] and say to Tziyon, ‘You are my people.’” ~ Isaiah 51:1-16 (CJB)
Through Yesha’yahu, Adonai asks His people why they fear man and forget Him. Yeshua would speak to this same issue. My friends, I tell you: don’t fear those who kill the body but then have nothing more they can do. I will show you whom to fear: fear him who after killing you has authority to throw you into Gei-Hinnom! Yes, I tell you, this is the one to fear! ~ Luke 12:4-5 (CJB)
How foolish we are to fear what others think of us or will do to us when Adonai holds life and eternity in His hand.
In my next post, we learn about The Cup of the Lord’s Wrath in Yesha’yahu 51:17-23.