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Isaiah 42:8-9

Guarded Glory

I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. 9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.


The promise that God would give His Son as the Covenant Sacrifice and as a light to the Gentiles is now confirmed. Turning from His Son, God addresses the people directly to assure them that the conversation they had just witnessed would be fulfilled.

"I am Yahweh: that is My name." It is as though God is saying, "First of all, let's come to an understanding of who I am. I am the self-existing God of creation. I can do what I have said."

The psalmist, Asaph, put it this way: "That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth." (Psalms 83:18) It would be of no benefit to the honor and glory of Yahweh for Him to promise something that He would not or could not deliver. The truth is that there is nothing beyond His capabilities, except failure.

That is why He has allowed us to witness the promise made to His Messiah. The fulfillment of the promise will bring glory to His name, and He will not share it with another. Credit for the salvation of mankind would not be given to any man or image. Only Yahweh, the divine trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, would receive any glory for the redemption of mankind. All the praise must go to Him, because salvation is through grace. The Father gave His Son as the atoning covenant sacrifice, without whom no man could be saved.

"Behold, the former things have come to pass..." We must remember that Isaiah probably wrote these things during the early years of Manasseh's reign in Judah, which was many years before the captivity. These words however are designed to comfort the people who were in the final days of their captivity. Everything that happened to Judah from Hezekiah's reign until the captivity had been prophesied, so that the people could look back from the captivity, during the reign of Cyrus, and see that God had been one hundred percent faithful to His predictions. These are the former things mentioned in the verse.

Yahweh says, "Look, everything I have told you has come true. Now, listen to me. I am telling you some new things that are equally as certain to happen." This is the foundation of our faith. God has never failed to deliver on a promise or a threat. He has proven Himself over thousands of years to be faithful to every word that He has ever given us. How can we doubt Him now?

"Before they spring forth I tell you of them." This compares God's new promises to seeds that are still in the earth waiting to sprout. Several commentators want to ascribe this section of Isaiah to a different author, claiming that it had to be written much later in order for the prophet to have seen that Cyrus was about to release the captives etc. However, this last clause demonstrates the folly of that idea. This was written before the seed of the captivity had begun to sprout. To claim that Isaiah could not have written it denies that God had the ability to tell Him about it. It steals the glory from God and ascribes it to some other prophet who supposedly wrote it because he could see from the politics of the day what was about to happen. Yahweh will not share His glory with another.

Before The Throne:

God guards His glory very jealously, yet we often take credit for things that He has done. We have no power to accomplish anything except for the power that He has given us. When is the last time that you have taken credit for your work? for your charity? for your faithfulness? for your knowledge? for your talents? You need to confess these things to God, asking Him to help you learn to humble yourself and to give Him the glory for all things. Make a commitment to glorify, or "brag about," Him to someone every day. Give Him thanks for being faithful to His word. Thank Him for the Covenant Sacrifice, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.

For Further Study:

(v.8 ) ** that is. Ex 3:13-15; 4:5; Ps 83:18; Joh 8:58; ** my glory. Isa 48:11; Ex 20:3-5; 34:14; Joh 5:23;

(v.9) ** the former. Ge 15:12-16; Jos 21:45; 23:14,15; 1Ki 8:15-20; 11:36; ** new things. Isa 41:22,23; 43:19; 44:7,8; 46:9,10; Joh 13:19; Ac 15:18; 1Pe 1:10-12; 2Pe 1:19-21;

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