Look unto me, and be ye saved, etc. - This verse and the following contain a plain prediction of the universal spread of the knowledge of God through Christ; and so the Targum appears to have understood it; see Romans 14:11; Philemon 2:10. The reading of the Targum is remarkable, viz., למימרי אתפנו ithpeno lemeymri, look to my Word, ὁ Λογος, the Lord Jesus.
Look unto me, and be ye saved - This is said in view of the declaration made in the previous verse, that he is a just God and a Saviour. It is because he sustains this character that all are invited to look to him; and the doctrine is, that the fact that God is at the same time just and yet a Saviour, or can save consistently with his justice, is an argument why they should took to him, and confide in him. If he is at the same time just - true to his promises; righteous in his dealings; maintaining the honor of his law and government, and showing his hatred of sin; and also merciful, kind, and forgiving, it is a ground of confidence in him, and we should rejoice in the privilege of looking to him for salvation. The phrase ‹look unto me‘ means the same as, direct the attention to as we do to one from whom we expect aid. It denotes a conviction on our part of helplessness - as when a man is drowning, he casts an imploring eye to one on the shore who can help him; or when a man is dying, he casts an imploring eye on a physician for assistance. Thus the direction to look to God for salvation implies a deep conviction of helplessness and of sin; and a deep conviction that he only can save. At the same time it shows the ease of salvation. What is more easy than to look to one for help? What more easy than to cast the eyes toward God the Saviour? What more reasonable than that he should require us to do it? And what more just than that God, if people will not look to him in order that they may be saved, should cast them off forever? Assuredly, if a dying, ruined, and helpless sinner will not do so simple a thing as to look to God for salvation, he ought to be excluded from heaven, and the universe will acquiesce in the decision which consigns him to despair.
All the ends of the earth - For the meaning of this phrase, see the note at Isaiah 40:28. The invitation here proves:
1. That the offers of the gospel are universal. None are excluded. The ends of the earth, the remotest parts of the world, are invited to embrace salvation, and all those portions of the world might, under this invitation, come and accept the offers of life.
2. That God is willing to save all; since he would not give an invitation at all unless he was willing to save them.
3. That there is ample provision for their salvation; since God could not invite them to accept of what was not provided for them, nor could he ask them to partake of salvation which had no existence.
4. That it is his serious and settled purpose that all the ends of the earth shall be invited to embrace the offers of life.
The invitation has gone from his lips, and the command has gone forth that it should be carried to every creature Mark 16:15, and now it pertains to his church to bear the glad news of salvation around the world. God intends that it shall be done, and on his church rests the responsibility of seeing it speedily executed.
For I am God - This is a reason why they should look to him to be saved. It is clear that none but the true God can save the soul. No one else but he can pronounce sin forgiven; no one but he can rescue from a deserved hell. No idol, no man, no angel can save; and if, therefore, the sinner is saved, he must come to the true God, and depend on him. That he may thus come, whatever may have been his character, is abundantly proved by this passage. This verse contains truth enough, if properly understood and applied, to save the world; and on the ground of this, all people, of all ages, nations, climes, ranks, and character, might come and obtain eternal salvation.
The Sabbath was embodied in the law given from Sinai; but it was not then first made known as a day of rest. The people of Israel had a knowledge of it before they came to Sinai. On the way thither the Sabbath was kept. When some profaned it, the Lord reproved them, saying, “How long refuse ye to keep My commandments and My laws?” Exodus 16:28. DA 283.1
The Sabbath was not for Israel merely, but for the world. It had been made known to man in Eden, and, like the other precepts of the Decalogue, it is of imperishable obligation. Of that law of which the fourth commandment forms a part, Christ declares, “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in nowise pass from the law.” So long as the heavens and the earth endure, the Sabbath will continue as a sign of the Creator's power. And when Eden shall bloom on earth again, God's holy rest day will be honored by all beneath the sun. “From one Sabbath to another” the inhabitants of the glorified new earth shall go up “to worship before Me, saith the Lord.” Matthew 5:18; Isaiah 66:23. DA 283.2
No other institution which was committed to the Jews tended so fully to distinguish them from surrounding nations as did the Sabbath. God designed that its observance should designate them as His worshipers. It was to be a token of their separation from idolatry, and their connection with the true God. But in order to keep the Sabbath holy, men must themselves be holy. Through faith they must become partakers of the righteousness of Christ. When the command was given to Israel, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” the Lord said also to them, “Ye shall be holy men unto Me.” Exodus 20:8; 22:31. Only thus could the Sabbath distinguish Israel as the worshipers of God. DA 283.3
As the Jews departed from God, and failed to make the righteousness of Christ their own by faith, the Sabbath lost its significance to them. Satan was seeking to exalt himself and to draw men away from Christ, and he worked to pervert the Sabbath, because it is the sign of the power of Christ. The Jewish leaders accomplished the will of Satan by surrounding God's rest day with burdensome requirements. In the days of Christ the Sabbath had become so perverted that its observance reflected the character of selfish and arbitrary men rather than the character of the loving heavenly Father. The rabbis virtually represented God as giving laws which it was impossible for men to obey. They led the people to look upon God as a tyrant, and to think that the observance of the Sabbath, as He required it, made men hard-hearted and cruel. It was the work of Christ to clear away these misconceptions. Although the rabbis followed Him with merciless hostility, He did not even appear to conform to their requirements, but went straight forward, keeping the Sabbath according to the law of God. DA 283.4Read in context »
When the child seeks to get nearest to his father, above every other person, he shows his love, his faith, his perfect trust. And in the father's wisdom and strength the child rests in safety. So with the children of God. The Lord bids us, “Look unto Me, and be ye saved!” “Come unto Me, ... and I will give you rest.” “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” FE 441.1
“Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”—Special Testimonies On Education, August 27, 1896. FE 441.2Read in context »
Let us have more confidence in our Redeemer. Turn not from the waters of Lebanon to seek refreshment at broken cisterns, which can hold no water. Have faith in God. Trustful dependence on Jesus makes victory not only possible but certain. Though multitudes are pressing on in the wrong way, though the outlook be ever so discouraging, yet we may have full assurance in our Leader; for “I am God,” He declares, “and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:22). He is infinite in power, and able to save all who come to Him. There is no other in whom we can safely trust. HP 17.6Read in context »