Isaiah 43-45


Lost in Plain Sight

My brother and I owned a welding shop that built trailer hitches among other things. Every once in a while a tool we used all the time would go missing. We would search the shop high and low for the tool and one day, while the search was on, I said that when I find my lost tool I was going to paint it red. To that, my brother replied, “yes, but how are we going to find it when everything is painted red.”  He was right. Over the ten years we owned the shop we misplaced a lot of tools. Most of the time, when we found the tool we were looking for, it was lost in plain sight. We just didn’t see it.

Israel and Judah were lost and didn’t know it. They were in rebellion against God and on the path to destruction. Unlike my lost tool, God had not lost sight of them. They had lost sight of God because they were focused on their idols and the ways of the nations around them. They could not see all that God was doing nor were they willing to listen to the prophets God had sent. They were blind and deaf.

In this section of Isaiah, starting in Chapter 40, Isaiah describes the two nations crying out to God from captivity. For Israel, the captivity has already taken place. For Judah, it will just be a matter of time. In this section and in our chapters today, God is trying to get the people to see and hear Him. The problem is that God is only seen or heard by faith.

Jesus, speaking of being born by the Spirit in John 3, said that the Spirit is like the wind. You don’t see the wind. You can hear the sound of the wind and you can see what the wind is doing but you can’t see the wind. God has been saying, look around you. Who do you think created all this? You can’t see the end of the universe because it is so big. God, who created it, is bigger. We see God through eyes of faith when we look at what He has done and what He is doing. We cannot see Him face to face. The only person that did see the wind was Peter when He was walking on water. When he took his eyes off of Jesus and saw the wind. When he saw the wind, this seasoned fisherman was so frightened he sank in the water and had to be rescued by Jesus.

In Isaiah 43:1 we read, “But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name and you are Mine.’” NASB

God says you cannot see me but you can see what I am doing. Chapter 43 deals with the redemption of the people from captivity. In Chapter 44 God reminds them that he created them and formed them into a nation. God challenges them to look around and see what He has done. But again, He will be seen and heard only by eyes of faith. When people look with their physical eyes and listen with their physical ears, they wander into all kinds of things. In the case of these two nations they formed idols and created a god in their minds and worshiped their idol. God shows them the foolishness of this thinking as He describes how they made the idol in their image yet much lower because their idols were lifeless. The people were lost in plain sight.

In the last verse of Chapter 44 and in the first verse of Chapter 45, God names the man who would defeat Babylon and allow the people to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple and the city some 200 years before he was born. His Name was Cyrus. Who does that? Who could possibly do that except God? In fact, God even asks who else can prophesy what will happen in the future with accuracy. Only God can and the Bible is His record.

God has given the people, and us, examples to see and His Word to hear. The question is, will they and we, for that matter, see and hear by faith? The other option is to be lost because we cannot see what is in plain sight!

Proverbs 20:1

Pastor  Dave