Today we pick up with the same command, given for a third time in this chapter, in verse 14:
“Fear not, you worm Jacob,
You men of Israel!
I will help you,” says the LORD
And your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
I've said before that when something is repeated three times, it is the ultimate emphasis. The LORD, the Holy One of Israel, is promising His help.
Why is Jacob called a worm? The Hebrew word for worm used here, tola, deserves its own blog post (and guess what... there is one here if you are in the mood for a rabbit trail).
- God of Israel – used 201 times in the Bible
- God of Jacob – used 25 times in the Bible
- God of the church – used 0 times in the Bible
If we look at Ephesians 2:11-12, we can see that we gentile believers are now part of the
“Behold, I will make you into a new threshing sledge with sharp teeth;
You shall thresh the mountains and beat them small,
And make the hills like chaff.
You shall winnow them, the wind shall carry them away,
And the whirlwind shall scatter them;
You shall rejoice in the LORD
And glory in the Holy One of Israel.
The threshing sledge with sharp teeth reminds me of the firepan in the woodpile, in Zechariah 12:6. I think of the IDF today, as they have been raised up to protect their people. Numerically, it makes no sense that they are able to protect tiny
|Painting by my friend Udi at the Blue and White Gallery in Jerusalem|
The next three verses outline the LORD's promise of changing the desolate places into living water… healing their spiritual thirst with a picture of a blooming land. And the land of Israel is definitely blooming today after being a wilderness for almost 2000 years. Verse 20 tells us exactly Who has accomplished this - the hand of the LORD.
The first time I said to Zion,
‘Look, there they are!’
And I will give to Jerusalem one who brings good tidings.
For I looked, and there was no man;
I looked among them, but there was no counselor,
Who, when I asked of them, could answer a word.
Indeed they are all worthless;
Their works are nothing;
Their molded images are wind and confusion.
We see here a hint of the Messiah to come, who WOULD be a man, who would bring good tidings, and who would send His spirit as counselor, as opposed to the idols who could do simply nothing.
The stage is now set for the first of four servant songs in Isaiah, which will debut in chapter 42.
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To start at the beginning of this series on Isaiah, click here.