For it is written - This passage is recorded in Isaiah 45:23. It is not quoted literally, but the sense is preserved. In Isaiah there can be no doubt that it refers to Yahweh. The speaker expressly calls himself Yahweh, the name which is appropriate to God alone, and which is never applied to a creature; Romans 14:18. In the place before us, the words are applied by Paul expressly to Christ; compare Romans 14:10. This mode of quotation is a strong incidental proof that the apostle regarded the Lord Jesus as divine. On no other principle could he have made these quotations.
As I live - The Hebrew is, “I have sworn by myself.” One expression is equivalent to the other. An “oath” of God is often expressed by the phrase “as I live;” Numbers 14:21; Isaiah 49:18; Ezekiel 5:11; Ezekiel 14:16, etc.
Every knee shall bow to me - To bow the knee” is an act expressing homage, submission, or adoration. It means that every person shall acknowledge him as God, and admit his right to universal dominion. The passage in Isaiah refers particularly to the homage which “his own people” should render to him; or rather, it means that all who are saved shall acknowledge “him” as their God and Saviour. The original reference was not to “all men,” but only to those who should be saved; Isaiah 45:17, Isaiah 45:21-22, Isaiah 45:24. In this sense the apostle uses it; not as denoting that “all men” should confess to God, but that all “Christians,” whether Jewish or Gentile converts, should alike give account to Him. “They” should all bow before their common God, and acknowledge “his” dominion over them. The passage originally did not refer particularly to the day of judgment, but expressed the truth that all believers should acknowledge his dominion. It is as applicable, however, to the judgment, as to any other act of homage which his people will render.
Every tongue shall confess to God - In the Hebrew, “Every tongue shall swear.” Not swear “by God,” but “to him;” that is, pay to him our vows, or “answer to him on oath” for our conduct; and this is the same as confessing to him, or acknowledging him as our Judge.
God will prepare the mind to recognize Him who alone can help the striving, struggling soul. All who stand under His banner He will educate to be faithful stewards of His grace. God has given man immortal principles, to which every human power must one day bow. He has given us truth in trust. The precious beams of this light are not to be hidden under a bushel, but are to give light to all that are in the house. Truth, imperishable truth, is to be made prominent. Show those with whom you come in contact that the truth is of consequence to you. It means much to you to stand by the principles that will live through the eternal ages. LHU 366.5Read in context »