In my last post, we conclude our examination The Servant of the Lord ~ Part 3 in Yesha’yahu 42:18-25. In this post, we learn of Isra’el’s Only Savior in Yesha’yahu 43:1-13.
1 But now this is what Adonai says, He who created you, Ya‘akov, He who formed you, Isra’el: “Don’t be afraid, for I have redeemed you; I am calling you by your name; you are Mine.
One of the things I’ve learned in my walk with Adonai is that names are important to Him. Calling a person by his or her name indicates a high level of familiarity. I was named after my uncle, who died before my mother was born. She wanted to honor his struggle with life. I’ve since learned that my name, Donald, means world ruler and overcomer. Although I have held several top management level positions in my previous career, I have never aspired to be a world ruler. But I have taken the overcomer attribute to heart.
Adonai gave Isra’el its name when He changed the name of the patriarch Ya’akov to Isra’el (see Genesis 32:28). The intention of this prophecy is expressed clearly at the start don’t be afraid. Adonai informed His people about their coming deliverance to keep them from caving into fear.
2 When you pass through water, I will be with you; when you pass through rivers, they will not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire, you will not be scorched – the flame will not burn you.
The waters can be naturally dangerous, just like the fire mentioned in the second half of the verse. However, the waters can stand for the forces of chaos and evil (see Daniel 7:1-9) or personal duress (see Psalm 69:1-3). The promise that Adonai will be with His people is a covenant formula that indicates the close relationship between Adonai and His people.
3 For I am Adonai, your God, the Holy One of Isra’el, your Savior – I have given Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and S’va for you. 4 Because I regard you as valued and honored, and because I love you. For you, I will give people, nations in exchange for your life.
The Persians successfully invaded Egypt and gained control of Cush (Ethiopia) during the reign of Cyrus’s successor, Cambyses. S’va’s location is disputed.  Adonai is willing to give much more than these three countries in place of His people.
5 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. I will bring your descendants from the east, and I will gather you from the west; 6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Don’t hold them back! Bring my sons from far away, and my daughters from the ends of the earth,
Adonai will gather His people from all over the world. As we know in our lifetime, He is fulfilling that promise since the establishment of the modern state if Isra’el in 1948.
7 everyone who bears My name, whom I created for My glory – I formed him, yes, I made him.’”
The impending exile would not result in the eradication of Adonai’s special people. After all, He created them. They will preserve their distinct identity and not be merged into foreign populations.
8 Bring forward the people who are blind but have eyes, also the deaf who have ears.
Being blind and deaf is a reference is to spiritual insensitivity.
9 All the nations are gathered together, and the peoples are assembled. Who among them can proclaim this and reveal what happened in the past? Let them bring their witnesses to justify themselves, so that others, on hearing, can say, “That’s true.”
The challenge to find someone among the nations who could tell the significance of past events is another sarcastic comment on the mute, powerless idols of the nations.
10 “You are my witnesses,” says Adonai, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you can know and trust me and understand that I am He – no god was produced before me, nor will any be after Me. 11 I, yes I, am Adonai; besides Me, there is no deliverer.
I’m glad our Father keeps it very simple for people like me who can get confused so easily. There is salvation in no one else! For there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by whom we must be saved! ~ Acts 4:12 (CJB)
12 I have declared, saved, and proclaimed – not some alien god among you. Therefore, you are My witnesses,” says Adonai. “I am God.
Adonai called to the assembled nations to be a witness. He also called on His people, whom He identified as His servant, to be His witnesses. The calling of witnesses associates this passage with the courtroom. Not only is Adonai better than the foreign gods, but those gods do not exist at all. The nations were silent when asked to witness to their gods’ work in their lives. Adonai’s people functioned as Adonai’s witness to the fact that He had saved them in the past.
If you don’t see Adonai, don’t hear from Adonai, don’t know Adonai, could it be because there’s a strange god in your life? Is it because there is some other passion or priority that is keeping you from seeing the true Adonai? Other gods, other preferences will obscure your vision of the true and living Adonai. They will cloud your spiritual perception very definitely.
13 Since days began, I have been He. No one can deliver from My hand. When I act, who can reverse it?” ~ Isaiah 43:1-13 (CJB)
Adonai makes it clear that He is the One we should follow.
In my next post, we learn of Isra’el’s Unfaithfulness and Adonai’s Mercy in Yesha’yahu 43:14-28.
Click here for the PDF version.
 The IVP Bible Background Commentary – Old Testament.