Motyer, J. Alec. The Prophecy of Isaiah: An Introduction & Commentary. Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993. “Isaiah 38-55: The Book of the Servant” “C. The Redemption of Israel (42:18-44:23)” Loc. 9389-10095.
Motyer finds in Isaiah 42:18-44:23 a parallel structure. First is a description of national redemption from enemies. Second, with the events in the same order, is a description of spiritual redemption from sin (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9398).
In 42:18-25 the deaf and blind are called to consider Israel God’s servant (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9412). Although God has done what his people need, in verse 20 they refuse to see or hear (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9458). This robs Israel of her standing, that of the people who would attract all nations to God (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9471). This leaves God’s people as an entrapped nation. The prophet, says Motyer, views God’s activities, even through another nation, as still God’s work and purpose (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9485).
Isaiah 43:1-7 describes national redemption (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9504). Motyer comments, “Even in his punishments the Lord remains with his people” (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9523). Because he has committed to Israel in covenant, they are his. Although the people endure captivity they will be rescued (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9538). God expresses his willingness that Israel should be rescued even at the cost of other nations (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9564). By verse seven Motyer notes a ceratin hope for the future. God will rescue all his people (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9583).
Motyer finds a coutroom scene in 43:8-13 (Motyer 1993, Loc. 8588). God’s people are witnesses of how idols are made. They cannot protect a nation (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9613). An understanding of the true nature of idols should direct people to the true God, the one who is real (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9638).
Isaiah 43:14-21 builds on the testimony of God as opposed to idols. God will rescue His people from a captivity in Babylon (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9658). God will show his sovereign care over both nations and individuals (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9671). This divine work of rescue is to be notable in every way (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9701).
In Isaiah 43:22 the attention turns from a national view to a more individual, spiritual state (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9712). The passages of bondage and release are parallel to those earlier pertaining to the nation. The people had separated themselves from thei mportance of the sacrifices (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9731). the people found no rest through their religion.
In Isaiah 43:25 and following God promises to blot out his people’s sins (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9775). He is able to give his blessing where wrath was deserved. Again, motyer notes a courtroom scene (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9789). The sinners are unable to make a case for thier innocence. They know they cannot earn rescue (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9807). The people, however, remain God’s chosen people (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9835). He promises that he has chosen them.
God’s promise is made certain beginning in Isaiah 44:6 (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9864). God identifies himself as the only true God (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9878). He proves his deity by dealing with people through history. They, then, turn to their idols (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9906. The idols, when compared with God, are nothing (v. 8). They are created in the image of their makers. God is the living and uncreated one (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9950). The idols bring no advantage (Motyer 1993, Loc. 9964).
In the end, 44:21-23, the idolater is brought to repentance. He calls out for salvation to the idol, but is told by God that his redemption is already complete (Motyer 1993, Loc. 10046).The former idolater then knows that God has wiped out all his sins (Motyer 1993, Loc. 10071.