Second (section of) Isaiah -Part B


– 45:2 – "and ones (Kings?) Being swollen I will level – (NIV etc. interpret as mountains) interesting concept.
45:4ff – Cyrus the chosen and appointed instrument/servant of God in the freeing of God's chosen people, is totally oblivious to his being used by God for such a purpose – may we be better used by God than that! God strengthens him that all may know it is God who is acting – the God who is the only God – creator of light and dark, prosperity and disaster.

45:8 – rain, produce of the earth, salvation and righteousness – God made them all as a bundle – let them spring up together.

45:22 – after a summary and review for quite a few verses he gives the altar call (22) "turn to me and be saved" – my words will not be revoked, indeed before me every knee shall bow and every tongue swear "in God alone are righteousness and strength – to him he will come and all of the ones raging against him will be ashamed. In Yahweh will be found righteousness and all of Israel's descendents will exalt! What magnificent words! – words of "integrity", that will not be revoked"

46:1ff – does your "religion" carry you or is it just a burden to be "born" like an idol on the back of a beast of burden? Like the lady at_____(withheld) who was finding church a burden – to which I pointed out "it's supposed to be a garage".

[Marginal comments from this section: ]
– cradle to the grave service
– three point and services – carry, sustain, rescue
– like an after sale warranty service contract
– now that's a warranty!
– Consider the "competition" (forget it!)
– Rebel "cure" – memory
– stubborn and unrighteous
 [end of marginal comments from this section.]

– 46:3 – not only can fancy "idol gods" not rescue us in this situation – they themselves are material value (therefore booty) to the invaders – now that's counterproductive to say the least!

46:3ff – being upheld since conception
– being carried since birth
– even to old age and gray hair
– I will sustain – I make and I will carry sustain and rescue

– like a "roadside service contract of warranty after sale" – "I made it and I will sustain to old age. I will carry and I will sustain" now that's a warranty!

46:7ff – idols (in contrast)

46:9 – a rebel cure – remember the past action of God – one who speaks of the future from the past and saying my purpose will stand and all of my pleasures I will do – such pleasures too – righteousness, justice, love, and kindness etc. – and the people that show forth his "name" – and accomplish thereby his "grand plan" – and Cyrus is part of all this.

46:12 – what's the opposite of "stubborn and unrighteous"? Compliant and righteous.

[Marginal comments from this section: [
– "to Zion salvation Israel my splendor"
– God's problem with Babylon
– "and you trusted in your wickedness and said no one sees me"
– Un-congerable disaster
– three aspects of the disaster
– idols now only so much firewood (brief warm comfort)
– checkmate Re: prediction
– macro and micro foretelling
 [end of marginal comments from this section.]

– I bring near – my righteousness, my salvation, and it will not be delayed.

47:7 – God's problem with Babylon – they just did their usual conquering thing and did not reflect on the experiences of Israel and take them to heart – i.e. the ones God gave into their hands and why that might have happened.

47:10 – "and you trusted in your wickedness" and said "no one sees me"

47:8 – cf. the story of Balschazer and his party while the gates were being stormed! (Handwriting on the wall) – (at least as ____(withheld) tells it).

47:10b –The Ozymandias theme – misled by false wisdom and knowledge indeed!

47:11 – and you will not know how to conjure it (disaster) away"

47:10f – three aspects of their disaster:

47:14 – idols are now only "so much firewood" – brief comfort and then even that characteristic is gone

48:1ff – he seems to have cut off both avenues of escape to those of rebellious mind – he predicted things (macro?) Earlier and he's doing a new thing (micro?) Now – both in such a way that no glory for the rescue can go to the idols. Perhaps that's so with us too – we get the big picture from God in Scripture and the small picture from God in "Scripture-prayer-activity" as we go along – and it counters a lot of our hogwash.

[Marginal comments from this section: [
– "claimed" religion – formalities
– forestalling wrath
– refined but not as (yet?) Silver
– relinquishing of glory nonnegotiable
– narrator/profit he comes visible
– "as it happens"
– source of peace like a River and/or its method of diversion away
 [end of marginal comments from this section.]

48:2 – "claimed" religion is of little use, but here God is clear that the salvation is in relation to his project not their "worthiness" – "his project" is the welfare of mankind through that group and that includes the group – with an opt-in provision for all of course!

48:9 – God pulls his punches for a reason – he forestalls wrath for his namesake – and for the sake of my (later?) Praise (out from you?)

48:10 – refined – but not high-quality yet – refined pewter?

48:11 – relinquishing of his glory is nonnegotiable – he does his job within those parameters (so to speak).

48:15 – a peek at "George" or whatever his name was – the author of this section – he, as a prophet-narrator, becomes visible at this point. "I spoke openly right from the first about all this – as it happens" so to speak. I spoke with God's spirit – he sent it with me. I God am the one who is tending you and directing you in the best way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands.

49 (48?):18 – Lord – I hear about the diversion of your peace – not paying attention to your commands and righteousness like waves of the sea and descendents like the sand of the sea.

[Marginal comments from this section: [
– for effects of attention to Commandments
– no peace for the wicked
– numerous sequential exclamatory statements
– echoes of Psalm 139 – and "prayer shawl"
– called, equipped, consecrated
 [end of marginal comments from this section.]

48:18 continued – for effects of attention to Commandments:

– 48:20ff – note the numerous exclamatory statements:

– 49:1 – echoes of Psalm 139 which_____(withheld) just told me on the phone that is behind the "prayer shawl" the activity of Jewish people – one knits such a prayer shawl in prayer using Psalm 139 as background (knit in mother's womb etc.)

49:1ff – note the sequence:

[Marginal comments from this section: [
– discouraged – to no purpose
– I laboured in vain
– yet my "due" is with the Lord
– purpose stated
– the "also" task
– the despised and upward servant (by those in authority)
– Kings will see (and respond)
– responsive to God's faithfulness
– timing of God's help
– to restore, reassign, and to say
 [end of marginal comments from this section.]

– 49:5ff – base task and larger task: base – to bring back tribes of Israel and Judah to God. Extra – to be a light to the Gentiles, to bring salvation to the ends of the earth.

49:7 – note that the servant community is upward and despised by those in authority – as always.

49:7 – Kings will see and respond – the very ones who despise and abhor will be moved to action, attracted because of Yahweh who is being faithful.


– 49:8 – note the timing of God's help

– shout for joy heavens therefore breakout into song mountains – praise and worship the Lord your God – 10 Commandments.

[Marginal comments from this section: [
– can a parent (mother) forget her child?
– though these may forget...
– your walls are ever before me
– incoming repairers and outgoing destroyers
– Gentile and Jew return to help
– a picture of restoration
– be clear about the meaning – of your exile and the length of it
– another glimpse at "George" the author and his self perception
 [end of marginal comments from this section.]

– 49:15 – though these (in some matters regarding their kids) may forget, I will not forget you.

49:16 – my hunch is that the "walls" thrown down and lamented in lamentations are ever before God – i.e. the things that we build up at his direction, he is concerned about and their restoration is a matter of his heart – despite what the "iconoclasts" and "monastery destroyers" and "church razzers" say. I believe that even as churches are "decommissioned" and used as "rock climbing facilities" they are "ever before your eyes" Lord, at least insofar as they represent the sort of tragedy the UCC has seen – and even more so when those "walls" represents the Temple of Christian community in you.

47:17 – incoming repairers, outgoing destroyers – look up and see it!

49:18-26 – a picture of restoration (including Gentiles – though in a secondary place)

50:1 – you were separated from me not because of a divorce or "creditor sale" but because of your sins. You were not left without redemption because of my incapacity or lack of strength to do so – get real!

50:4ff – my own self description (or part of it) a typical encourager – amongst other things)

[Marginal comments from this section: [
– the tongue of one who is taught
– to know how to sustain
– opponents wear out like a moth eaten garment
– put your hand in the hand
– look to the quarry from which you were cut
– the promise of mission/use
– and a sound of singing – a voice (versus "how will I sing songs in a strange land?)

 [end of marginal comments from this section.]

50:4 – "that I may know how to sustain with the word him that his weary" – I love it!

50:9 – Opponants eventually wear out like a moth-eaten garment. I heard that a rug's life in a garbage dump is 1200 years (or something) but even that wears out to nothing.

50:10 – put your hand in the hand of a blind servant guide – who has the other hand in God's guiding hand – it's that or walk by the light of your own self ignited/lighted torches that leads only to a bed of torment – cf. the Genesis story in the garden – the two trees.

50:1ff – look to Abraham – the rock from which you were cut – those of you who seek righteousness and Yahweh – i.e. it's the same geographical journey and promise – a sand dune of God will turn to a garden of God – cf. the desert situation where once a year (or so) for three weeks plants explode into color and then disappear again till next rainy season brings them to life again – and the photo book which covers it – "the garden of God".

– we too need encouragement to launch out from the "comfort" of our exile to move forward to what God calls us to/back to/onto once again – look to Abraham he says who launched out at God's bidding (well, his wife did actually – or was it his mom! – and a sound of singing out there (versus how will I sing in exile?)

[Marginal comments from this section: [
– Islands look in hope
– no temporary salvation/righteousness
– fear not man's reproach
– my righteousness "to forever" it will last
– awake! As days of time gone by
– clothe yourself, "armor of God" in strength
– breaking camp
 [end of marginal comments from this section.]

– 51:4 – Law and Justice as a light to the nations God will send out through them – a sense of the high calling – not just to a low vision of self protection and survival, but of a high vision and calling – called out to something.

51:6f – look up, look down – this is no fly-by-night operation – Earth is fly-by-night – my righteousness and salvation are eternal. The call is to the eternal life – no small project (only 10% went home!)

51:7 – reproach will be to the hopeful rebuilders of the walls – ignore them and fear them not (especially those who have a vested interest in the mundane/you're not succeeding). Let God deal with them.

51:8 – I love their expression "but my righteousness to forever it will last and my salvation to generations of generations".

51:9 – "awake as days of time gone by". "Clothe yourselves", "the arm of God" – what beautiful concepts! Especially in such times as I myself am in right now – just prior to "exit"/liberty and at the time when I can hear your word, Lord, your seat before the new land well-prepared three years ago right now – and it's "breaking camp time" at long last – hallelujah!

[Marginal comments from this section: [
– "a dragon slaying (indeed) we will go"
– heady stuff!
– keep man and God (and fear of them) in perspective
– liberating storms God sends
– God's word and covering shadow of his hand
– the loss of leadership in Jerusalem
 [end of marginal comments from this section.]

– 51:9ff – a dragon slaying we will go" song – heady times indeed! What a picture of the "return" up ahead – singing and joy etc. as in the old days.

51:11f – "with singing and joy everlasting" – oh indeed – especially in the great return of Christ and our final journey – but here it's a small step in the journey of the salvation of mankind and their part in it.

51:11 – gladness and joy it will overtake them and sorrow and sighing will flee – oh the despair that permeates the very clothes of those of us in exile.

51:12 – keep man and God (and relative fear of each) in perspective – A "comforting" word.

51:14 – it's God that churns this liberating storm – how true – a lot of strong waters are the liberating storms of our life – into new life and liberty

51:16 – two gifts – God's words in our mouths, and a covering with the shadow of his hand – which I take to mean a protection in the coming storm and god’s "word" regarding a proper conceptualization of it. To be a stable heaven and earth to us and afffirm his ownership of us as his children/people.

51:17f – note the loss of leadership in Jerusalem in their years of staggering because it all leaders were taken into captivity.

[Marginal comments from this section: [
– the wrath as Phelps back home
– "see, I took from you pickup of staggering"
– wiping feet on you is over
– often with old and on with new, Jerusalem!
– Never again defiled?
– Moving out of the dust
– beautiful are the feet
– "your God reigns"
– burst, sing together ruins of Jerusalem

 [end of marginal comments from this section.]

– 51:19 – the multiple calamities of life back in the ruins of Jerusalem – ruin, destruction, famine, sword, lack of console, men fainted and died in the streets – wrath and rebuke of God on you.

51:22 – see, I took from you (in Jerusalem) the cup of staggering – not to be drunk again ever. And I'll put it into the hands of your tormentors who said to you live prostrate that we may walk over you.

52:1 never defiled again? Yeah right – over and over and over is more like it! Anyway it's a great line "it preaches well" as Marty used to say – "even if it isn't true".

52:3 – "shake off from dust" unlike that – moving out of the dust stuff.

52:3 – not "sold" so no "buy-back price" – straight release.

52:7 – beautiful feet of messengers to Jerusalem – news of returning is coming with God (raining) at the head. Proclaim peace (shalom – based on the economic term of wholeness and restoration ideas).

52:9 – burst, sing together, ruins of Jerusalem. Lord, when I told_______ (withheld (about the breakthrough on the thesis topic (the exit voice and loyalty part) his eyes glazed over and I realized what these returnees must have faced –

[Marginal comments from this section: [
– the grim realities of the mundane
– no rushed exit
– new status silences the naysayers (dumbfounded)
– the marvelous homecoming scene (chapter 53) the parade and its aftermath
 [end of marginal comments from this section.]

– 52:9 continued – a pretty dusty, disheveled, "ruined" city – starting at the bottom and rebuilding. He said "try to find something measurable" – yeah right oh well, now I see a bit of the challenge – it's a practical one – and well the author/minister here might say – "come on guys, up and at em." Perhaps sometimes it just better to shut up, Stu, and just do your stuff – thanks Lord for my "moving on" so I can toss out to people, past stuff that doesn't matter (ie re present project stuff it gets shot at, as it is not fragile any longer).

52:11ff – a shift back to the traveler group – setting out

52:12 – no hasty retreat from exile but orderly journey into a new life (with God at the front and back). (Ceremonial party of transporting the sacred objects).

52:15 – the silence of the bystanders will arise because of these folks now returning exalted and abased, raised up by God and "defying the odds" as we say today – nothing succeeds like success and success talks of its own story – with power, silencing power (regarding the critics).

53:1ff – here it is, the most momentous scene in the Old Testament (at least) and the one that later was adopted as being so descriptive of "Christ on the cross", and likely "informed" those actions.

[Marginal comments from this section: [
– (withheld)
– vicarious suffering and liberation theology
– the voice of liberated people sing
 [end of marginal comments from this section.]

53:1ff – continued – in it I picture a movie scene. Rubble behind (not allowed to rebuild for 70 years give rise to living amidst squalor and rubble). The troupe arrives in town and is met parade style – locals lining the streets – silence? Wonder? Attitude of locals is that the exile leadership offended God and therefore were punished and their return brought nothing and "hope" was ridiculous. The returnees had learned a lot out there, and those (10%) who return brought hope and new life and authority to build etc. Over the three days or so new life flowed into the community and hope etc. as families were reunited and people "caught up with each other" – and the eventual response by the locals was summed up here in chapter 53 – that this group had been punished by God for what everyone had deserved, and that their insights etc. had brought new life back into the town – "who'd have thunk it?!" And the "vicarious suffering" effect brought the locals on board and so "by his stripes all of us were healed".

– this was the passage through which you finally reached_____(withheld) Lord, two years ago and for that I am greatly pleased – indeed.

[Marginal comments from this section: [
–Ho all of you that come!
– why spend money on fluff?
– God in you attracts others
– seek Yahweh while he may be found
– forsake wicked ways
– return – pardon – my thoughts versus yours
– rain and snow water – my word not return empty
– voice indeed
– mountains and hills burst into song
– sustainability and renewed condition
 [end of marginal comments from this section.]

53:1ff – continued – it put the angle diagram’s lower horizontal axis on the diagram and balanced out the gifts of each of us to the other's – and he saw and heard what the Liberals were "about" and he grasped the part he was "missing" in the town he was working in – and that led to my breakthrough last April about "the tree model" and his picking it up and being the catalyst to his move and______ (withheld)'s move to______ (withheld). Thank you for all that, Lord, indeed.

54:1 – only Christians sing in our society – I think of the new set of lessons offered at Calvary Temple Church by Dan – to show people in the church how to read music – sing! Barren women! Burst into song! And shout for joy you who were never in labor! The "voice" of a liberated people indeed!

54:2ff – enlarge the meeting place – the place to be is at worship when life leaps forth (see the New Testament after the resurrection – acts 2:46 etc.)

– the joy of an abandoned wife upon reconciliation and redemption and return of the husband – for as I said to Noah never again permit total abandon – so now I return – tough love so to speak – no fear now, for I defend and raise up appropriate defences.

[Marginal comments from this section: [
do justice (versus just holiness)
shopping list (a little one)
house of prayer for all nations.
 [end of marginal comments from this section.]

– 55:1 – it is to be this restored and renewed community that people are to come – food beyond pricing.

55:5 – people will come to you because of God not because of you – God in you. Lord, in this says a lot about community development in rural towns – who base it all on "numbers" and "economics" when really it's no such thing. It never was "rural is better" (or urban" for that matter) but rather, your kingdom is best out from that flows rivers of living water – feeding a parched land – they hasten to you "because he endowed you with splendour."

55:6ff – "seek Yahweh while he may be found, call on him while he is near." The amazing passage – he will abundantly pardon – his ways versus our ways – rain and snow to water – my word – not return empty – voice indeed – "so with my word... and mountains and hills burst into song.

55:13 – "everlasting sign" and "sustainability" – the ultimate of that!


[Bridge to third section of Isaiah]

56:1ff – righteousness of Yahweh being revealed is not good news for all of us, and all of our actions – the dross gets burned off in the encounter – not leaving much for a lot of us!

56:1f – do justice and righteousness – more than just the vertical side/holiness aspect.

56:2 – the shopping list – keep the Sabbath, no evil.

56:3ff – don't feel excluded by race or being a eunuch.

56:7 – "a house of prayer for all nations" etc. etc. into third section of Isaiah (his "school" – see elsewhere)