Thus saith God the Lord - This verse commences a new form of discourse. It is still Yahweh who speaks; but in the previous verses he had spoken of the Messiah in the third person; here he is introduced as speaking to him directly. He introduces the discourse by showing that he is the Creator and Lord of all things. The object of his dwelling on this seems to have been, to show that he had power to sustain the Messiah in the work to which he had called him; and to secure for him respect as having been commissioned by him who had formed the heavens and the earth, and who ruled over all. He shows that he had power to accomplish all that he had promised: and he seeks thus to elevate and confirm the hopes of the people with the assurance of their deliverance and salvation.
And stretched them out - The heavens are often represented as stretched out as a veil (Genesis 1:6, Hebrew) or as an expanse that can be rolled up (see the note at Isaiah 34:4), or as a tent for the appropriate dwelling-place of God (see the note at Isaiah 40:22). His great power and glory are indicated by the fact that he has stretched out what to us appears a vast expanse over our heads. On the grammatical construction of the word which occurs here in the Hebrew, see Rosenmuller in loc.
He that spread forth the earth - He stretched it out as a plain - retaining the idea which was so common among the ancients that the earth was a vast plain, reaching from one end of the heavens to the other. The words, however, which are used here are not inconsistent with the idea that the earth is a sphere, since it may still be represented as stretched out, or expanded to a vast extent. The main idea in the passage is not to teach the form in which the earth is made, but to show that it has been made by God.
And that which cometh out of it - The productions of the earth - the trees, shrubs, grain, etc. As the verb to stretch out cannot be applied to these, some verb must be understood; as he produced, or caused to grow.
He that giveth breath and spirit to them - This refers, doubtless, to beasts as well as to people; and the idea is, that God is the source of life to all the creatures that live and move on the earth. The argument in the passage is, that as God is the creator and upholder of all; as he has given life to all, and has the universe entirely under his control, he has a right to appoint whom he will to be the medium of his favors to people, and to demand that suitable respect shall be shown to the Messiah whom he has designated for this work.
The God whom they had been claiming to serve, but whose character they had misunderstood, was set before them as the great Healer of spiritual disease. What though the whole head was sick and the whole heart faint? what though from the sole of the foot even unto the crown of the head there was no soundness, but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores? See Isaiah 1:6. He who had been walking frowardly in the way of his heart might find healing by turning to the Lord. “I have seen his ways,” the Lord declared, “and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him.... Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him.” Isaiah 57:18, 19. PK 315.1
The prophet exalted God as Creator of all. His message to the cities of Judah was, “Behold your God!” Isaiah 40:9. “Thus saith God the Lord, He that created the heavens, and stretched them out; He that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it;” “I am the Lord that maketh all things;” “I form the light, and create darkness;” “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even My hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.” Isaiah 42:5; 44:24; Isaiah 45:7, 12. “To whom then will ye liken Me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth.” Isaiah 40:25, 26. PK 315.2
To those who feared they would not be received if they should return to God, the prophet declared: PK 316.1Read in context »
1-4. Christ Would Encourage Faith and Hope—[Isaiah 42:1, 2 quoted.] He [Christ] will not be like the teachers of His day. The ostentation and show and parade of piety revealed in the priests and Pharisees is not His way. [Isaiah 42:3, 4 quoted.] Christ saw the work of the priests and rulers. The very ones who needed help, the afflicted, the distressed, were treated with words of censure and rebuke, and He forbore to speak any word that would break the feeble reed. The dimly burning wick of faith and hope, He would encourage, and not quench. He would feed His flock like a shepherd; He would gather the lambs with His arms, and carry them in His bosom (Manuscript 151, 1899). 4BC 1146.1
5-12. Faithfulness Leads Men to Praise God—[Isaiah 42:5-12 quoted.] This work had been given to Israel, but they had neglected their God-appointed work. Had they been faithful in all parts of the Lord's vineyard, souls would have been converted. The Lord's praise would have been heard from the ends of the earth. From the wilderness and the cities thereof, and from the tops of the mountains, men would have shouted His praise, and told of His glory (Manuscript 151, 1899). 4BC 1146.2Read in context »
“Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come?” Verses 5-7, 23. 9T 139.1
The people of God who have had light and knowledge have not carried out the high and holy purposes of God. They have not advanced from victory to victory, adding new territory, lifting up the standard in the cities and their suburbs. Great spiritual blindness has been shown by those who have had great light flashed upon them by the Lord, but who have not advanced in the light to greater and still greater light. Church members have not been encouraged to use spiritual nerve and muscle in the work of advancement. They should be made to understand that ministers cannot work out their salvation by hovering over them. It is thus that they are made weaklings when they ought to be strong men. 9T 139.2
In every church young men and young women should be selected to bear responsibilities. Let them make every effort to qualify themselves to help those who know not the truth. God calls for earnest, whole-souled workers. The humble and contrite will learn by personal experience that beside Him there is no savior. 9T 139.3Read in context »
The work to be carried on by the people of God is declared in the words of Inspiration: “Behold, I send My messenger before Thy face, which shall prepare Thy way before Thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.” Mark 1:2, 3. “Behold My servant, whom I uphold; Mine elect, in whom My soul delighteth; I have put My Spirit upon Him. He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.... He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for His law.” Isaiah 42:1-4. 9T 64.1
God invites all men to the fullest investigation of the claims of His law. His word is sacred and infinite. The cause of truth is to go forth as a lamp that burneth. Earnest study of the word of God will reveal the truth. Sin and wrong will not be sustained, but the law of God will be vindicated. “Thus saith God the Lord, He that created the heavens, and stretched them out; He that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; He that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.” Verse 5-7. Christians are to seek their light from the word of God and then in faith go forth to give that light to those who sit in darkness. 9T 64.2
Sanitarium, California,Read in context »