But yet, God is going to restore them. Chapter 43 gets in the restoration.
But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, and the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Arabia for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, I will gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the end of the earth (43:1-6);
And so God predicted this present-day gathering together of the people of Israel back into the land. Coming from the east, the west, the south. And even Russia, God is saying, “Give My people up.” And I expect there to be a real relaxing of the Russian government on the immigration of the Jews.
Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him (43:7).
Now God says concerning them, “I have created them. I have formed him. Yea, I have made him.” In the Hebrew there are three different words: created, made, and formed, as God speaks of His work. One is that of creating something out of nothing, which only God can do. And then how God made them and then formed them. Formed them and made them.
Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears. Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and show us the former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth (43:8-9).
Now God said of the Jews, “Ye are My witnesses.” And surely someone said if you want proof of the Bible, just look at the Jews. There’s proof of the Bible. God said that He would make them a nation once again. They are a nation once again. You can’t deny it. That’s an impossibility and yet it’s a reality. It’s impossible that an ethnic group of people could live for two thousand years without a national homeland and still survive as an ethnic group. Unparalleled in history.
Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour (43:10-11).
Now those who say, “Well, it doesn’t matter really what you believe. There are many gods, many paths to God.” Hey, He doesn’t agree with that. “Before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me.” I wonder what the Mormons do with that. Sort of puts the brakes on their ascending into the godhood status.
I have declared, and have saved, and I have showed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God. Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall hinder it? Thus saith the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships. I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King. Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; Which brings forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow. Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field shall honor me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. This people have I formed for myself; and they shall show forth my praise. But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel. Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings (43:12-23);
Now God is speaking how the nation Israel has not really been keeping the covenant with God. And for almost 1,950 years they have not offered to God a burnt offering.
neither hast thou honored me with sacrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense. Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of your sacrifices: but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with your iniquities. I, even I, am he that blotteth out the transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that you may be justified. Thy first father hath sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me. Therefore I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, I have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches (43:23-28).
And so because they have not kept God’s covenant, they have experienced the desolation.
Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jeshurun (44:1-2),
Now Jeshurun means upright.
whom I have chosen. For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses. One shall say, I am the LORD'S; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the LORD, and surname himself by the name of Israel (44:2-5).
God speaks of a real revival among the young Israelis, among the young people. As they begin to claim, “I am the Lord’s and my name is Jacob.” And another will say, “My name is Israel.”
Thus saith Yahweh the King of Israel, and his Redeemer Yahweh of hosts (44:6);
The Father and the Son.
I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them show unto them. Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have I not told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any. Now they that make graven images it’s all such emptiness; and their delectable things, they shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed. Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all of his fellows shall be ashamed; and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together. The smith with his tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, he works on it with the strength of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and his strength fails: he drinks no water, and is faint. The carpenter stretches out his ruler; he marks it out with a line; he fits it with planes, and he marks it out with the compass, and then he makes it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house (44:6-13).
And so he’s talking about these people making their gods, making their gods in the form of men. Some of them making them of molten gods out of the metals and others making gods with wood, carving them to look like a man so that they can set it up in their houses.
In recent archaeological diggings, on the hill of Ophel, which was the city of David which is above the springs of Gihon there in Jerusalem, they have recently uncovered houses that were destroyed by the Babylonian army under Nebuchadnezzar. And as they have uncovered these houses there on the hill of Ophel, they have found multitudes of graven images that the children of Israel had made. Some of them of iron, some of them of other types of metal, some of them, of course, of wood. And they have found multitudes of these graven images in the homes of the people. Which, of course, just brings to life this prophecy of Isaiah as he is speaking out against these very things. Talking about how the carpenter will take his ruler, measure the thing out, take his compass and make a circle. And then the plane and carve the thing out and make it look like a man. But here’s the inconsistency. Here’s the stupidity of the whole thing.
He cuts down the cedars, he takes the cypress and the oak, which he strengthens for himself among the trees of the forest: he plants an ash, and the rain nourishes it. Then it shall be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and bake bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto. He burns part of the tree in the fire; with part of it he heats his oven to bake his bread; and with part of it he makes his god (44:14-17).
All of the same piece of wood. They take a tree. You cut it down. And you take part of the tree and you carve your little god out of it. But you take the rest of the tree and you burn it in your fire and you warm yourself. You say, “Aha, I’ve seen the light, you know.” And part of it you break your bread and part of it you bow down and worship and you say, “Oh, you’re my god.” How totally illogical and inconsistent. And God points this up how foolish man is when he seeks to create his own god, when he makes his own god like himself. So he burns part of it in the fire, verses 16. With part he eats his flesh, he roasts his meat and he’s satisfied. He warms himself and he says, “Aha, I’m warm. I’ve seen the fire.”
And the rest of it he makes a god out of it, even a little graven image: they fall down unto it, and he worships it, and prays unto it, and says, Deliver me; for you are my god (44:17).
Oh, how foolish!
They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; their hearts, that they cannot understand (44:18).
Tragic when a person has gone so far in his rebellion against God that God just allows him the blindness of his own folly. Shuts his eyes that he cannot see. Therefore, Jesus said, as Isaiah the prophet spake of them declaring, “Therefore they could not believe.” It is possible for a person to reject the Lord so much that he’ll come to a place in his life where he cannot believe. In John’s gospel 12:38, it doesn’t say, “Therefore, they would not believe.” It says, “Therefore they could not believe, as Isaiah the prophet said, ‘Having eyes to see they cannot see; ears to hear, they cannot hear.’ Therefore they could not believe” (John 12:39-40).
There is a time, we know not when, a line, we know not where, that marks the destiny of man twixt sorrow and despair. There is a line, though by men unseen, once it has been crossed even God himself and all of His love has sworn that all is lost. It’s possible for a man to go over that point of no return. Where God gives him up to his own blindness and his own folly. Turns him over to his own folly and allows him to go. And they cannot believe. Very tragic condition indeed. That they cannot understand. Not, it’s no longer will not, they cannot.
And none considers in his heart, neither is there any knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of this in the fire; and I have also baked my bread on the coals; and I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the rest of it an abomination? and fall down to the stock of a tree? (44:19)
Now nature does reveal God to man. “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the earth shows His handiwork. And day unto day they utter their speech, night unto night their voice goes forth. And there is not a speech nor a language, where their voice is not heard” (Psalm 19:1-3). But there is an illogical way of observing nature and there is a logical way of observing nature. There is a logical way of looking at a tree. Admiring the blossoms, enjoying the beauty. Admiring the capacities of reproduction that are there in the tree. The seed that develops. It falls into the ground; the new tree that forms. The way the seeds are propagated by little fins of propellers or by hooks or whatever, as a tree is capable of propagating itself. And to look at all of these processes and say, “Oh my, that’s God.” No, no, that isn’t God. That tree isn’t God. That’s stupid.
The logical way to look at the tree is to see it, to admire it, to enjoy its beauty, and to say, “That is a part of God’s handiwork. That’s a creation of God.” And to worship the God who created the tree rather than to worship the tree. But many people get hung up at the tree. And they never get beyond the tree. And so Paul says, “Who worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever more” (Romans 1:25). And this is a common mistake that men often make. They get bound up in the creation and they worship the creation rather than the Creator. But the creation was always intended to point us to the Creator. But men get hung up here on the material level and they worship and serve the creature more than the Creator. And yet God says, “They don’t have any understanding.” Part of this tree I’ve warmed myself with in the fireplace. Part of it I roasted my meat. Part of it I baked my bread. And the rest I’m falling down and worshipping saying, “You’re my God, deliver me.” “Shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?”
He feeds on the ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand? Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, your transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel. Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreads abroad the earth by myself; That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and makes diviners mad; that turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolish (44:20-25);
All you have to do is read the scientific textbooks of the first of this, scientific textbooks of 1890. And the knowledge of men in those days and you read it today. Did you know that when bathtubs were first introduced in the United States that they were outlawed by many of the cities? And doctors were predicting all kinds of dire consequences if a person bathed every day. And because of the tremendous danger, the health hazard the bathtubs posed, many cities and all outlawed bathtubs in the beginning. Because the doctors were warning of the dangers of taking baths too often. Oh, yes. As Paul said, “Professing themselves to be wise, they’ve become fools” (Romans 1:22). Any time a man leaves God out of his life or out of his consideration, that man has become a fool. The Bible says, “The fool hath said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1). “I am the God who turns wise men backward and makes their knowledge foolish.” The knowledge of man.
That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performs the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, You shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers: That saith of Cyrus (44:26-28),
“Now I’m the Lord, I’m the One.” And now He is naming a man a hundred and fifty years before this man is born. So now God gets really specific. He said,
That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid (44:28).
Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings (45:1),
You remember I told you he prophesied that Nebuchadnezzar’s knees will be smited together. “His loins were loose,” the Bible says, “his knees smote one against another” (Daniel 5:6). And God here predicted, “I’m going to loose the loins of the kings.” It happened to be Belshazzar.
to open before him the two-leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut (45:1);
Now, in the city of Babylon, which, of course, was considered to be impregnable against his enemies, had walls 300 feet high, eighty feet thick, that encircled the city fifteen miles square, the outer wall, the moats, the river Euphrates flowing through the midst of the city, the big wide thoroughfares going from one end of the city to the other, blocking it off into the fifteen major square mile areas. And where the walls, where the river Euphrates flowed through, they built walls along the upper bank of the river Euphrates. And they had at these fifteen major intersections where these roads crossed the river Euphrates, they had built these bridges across the river Euphrates and they had these great gates in the wall that they would open for the concourse of the people through the streets of Babylon. But at night, the gates would be shut and barred.
Now when Cyrus came with the Medo-Persian army and began his siege of Babylon, Belshazzar felt so secure within the city that in more or less defiance against Cyrus and the Medo-Persian army, he ordered this great feast, where for months they were feasting, drinking, partying because they felt so secure within this great fortress of the city of Babylon. Now Cyrus in studying the situation realized that there was no way that they could assault the walls, 300 feet high. No way could these walls be assaulted. So he devised upon a scheme of building diversion channels for the river Euphrates. And they went upriver to divert the channels or divert the river Euphrates into these channels. And then on this particular night, which so happened to be the night that Belshazzar ordered the golden vessels that his grandfather Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, on this night they turned the river Euphrates into the channels and the soldiers came through on the banks of the river under the wall. But then they had the problem of these great gates and the wall that was there along the river Euphrates. But for some reason, probably because the soldiers were so drunk from the parties, they had not locked the gates to these walls that night. And so the troops of Cyrus were able to come through these gates that were open and were able, of course, to conquer the city of Babylon that evening.
Now, again, notice what God said concerning Cyrus, “I will loose the loins of the kings to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut.” That was 200 years or not quite, a hundred and eighty years, hundred and ninety years before the event took place, God speaks of it, naming Cyrus as the king that would be involved. Calling him by his name.
I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, I will cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places (45:2-3),
Of course, he gained the tremendous wealth of the Babylonian Empire.
that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name (45:3),
Now God’s bragging a little bit. “I’ve called you by your name.”
am the God of Israel. For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though you have not known me (45:3-4).
Interesting indeed that God names the king who will give the decree for the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem after their Babylonian captivity. God calls him, “My shepherd.” And, “You’re the one that is going to release My people from their captivity. I’ve subdued the nations before you. I will open the gates, the leaved gates,” and so forth. And God calls him by name and gives out the detail. That’s why God said, “Hey, if you’re gods, tell us something before it happens so that when it happens we’ll really know that you may know that I am God. There is none like me; I am the Lord. I frustrate the tokens and so forth. I confirm the word. And I say of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd and will perform My pleasure.”
No way, no way could this be written except by divine inspiration of God. No way Isaiah could know this. No way Isaiah could call the guy by his name except God who dwells outside of our time domain, looking into the time domain, speaks to a man within the time domain because He knows outside of the time domain the things that are going to be. He is able to tell him what is going to be the names of the people and the events and how they are going to transpire. And so we have here a message from an extraterrestrial source that is outside of our time domain. God speaking to man. The eternal God declaring things before they happen that we might know that He is God when we see them happen. Marvelous prophecy.
And, of course, the Bible critics when they get again something like this they just say, “Well, there were two Isaiahs and this one was written after the event. Quite obvious.”
I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though you have not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, I create darkness: I make peace, I create evil (45:5-7):
Now this verse has caused a lot of problems to people where God said, “I create evil.” And the problem is caused probably in the translation of the Greek of the Hebrew word ra, which word in Hebrew means sorrow or wretchedness or adversity or calamities or afflictions. Now it was unfortunately translated evil, but we know that God did not create evil. But He did create the calamities and the afflictions that would come upon those who did evil. So it’s just an unfortunate translation. The Hebrew word is ra, which means sorrow or wretchedness or calamity or adversity or affliction. It has never been translated sin.
I the LORD do all these things. Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it. Woe unto him who strives with his Maker! (45:7-9)
Now, God has told us all that He has done, all that He is. And then He says, “Woe.” Isaiah says, “Woe unto the man who strives with his Maker.” Man, to strive with God has to be the height of folly. Woe unto the man who is striving with God. And yet, how many people do strive with God. They fight with God. They run against God. They try to run away from God. “Woe unto him who strives with his Maker.”
Why would a man strive with God? Because he has the wrong concept of God. That’s the only reason I can conceive a man striving with God, because he has the wrong concept of God. If you had a true concept of God, you wouldn’t want to strive with Him because you know that what God has for your life is the very best that could ever happen to you. Why fight it? God said, “My purposes towards thee are good, not evil” (Jeremiah 29:11). Why fight it? But woe unto him who is fighting with God, because he is fighting against his own good. And there are people who do strive with God. But if they win, then they’ve really lost. God says, “My Spirit will not always strive with man” (Genesis 6:3). But people strive against the Spirit of God and the work of God’s Spirit in our hearts, in the rejecting and the refusing of Jesus Christ. “Woe unto that man who strives with his Maker.” The woe of God’s judgment will come upon the man who wins in that strife. If you refuse God, if you refuse to submit your life to God, oh, what judgment and woe is destined upon your life. But how foolish it is to fight with God. “Woe to him who strives with his Maker.”
Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What are you making? or to thy work, He has no hands? (45:9)
Here’s a bit of clay on the table and it’s spinning. The potter’s getting ready to shape it. And so he begins to mold and the clay begins to, “Hey, what are you making out of me?” You see, the clay has no power over its own destiny. It’s in the hand of the potter what the clay is to be. And in the same token, we really have no power over our destiny. Our lives are as clay in the hand of God. He has the capacity to form of us whatever He wants. But woe unto the man who strives with his Maker, who begins to challenge the work of God in his life. “I don’t want to be that. I don’t want to do that. Why are You doing that?” You see, God has a purpose and a plan for you that you can only discover by yielding to God. The potter has in his mind that which he wants this bit of clay to become. The clay of itself is pretty worthless. It’s so common, one of the most common elements in the earth today—clay. But the clay has the capacity for infinite value according to the ability of the potter.
Now if the potter is capable, he can take a worthless bit of clay and make it into something of great worth and great value. Now who can deny the ability of God, the Master Potter, to take our lives which are so common, and yet to make something uncommon of us. Something of great value and worth as He makes me a vessel that He might use for His purpose. So God has in mind that which He wants my life to be. I can only discover what God has in His mind by yielding my life to God. But He shows the folly of the clay objecting to the potter or trying to direct the potter.
Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What have you begotten? or to the woman, What have you brought forth? Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. For 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. I have raised him up in righteousness [talking of Cyrus], and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for a price or for a reward, saith the LORD of hosts (45:10-13).
He’s going to do it. Not for a price, not for reward, not for bribery, but I’ve raised him up for that purpose. God formed him for that purpose.
Now the Lord in verse 11 challenges us to ask Him concerning things to come. “Command ye the work of My hands, concerning the work of My hands, command ye Me.” Now this doesn’t mean as it has been interpreted by men today that we have the power to command God to do things that we want done upon the earth, that through prayer we can command God to perform certain things. To consider God as a glorified Santa Claus in the sky is a wrong concept of God completely. And to think of prayer as an agency to get my will done is the wrong concept of prayer completely. The real purpose and thrust of prayer is to get God’s will done. You see, if I use prayer to get my will done, then I would be governing the universe. I would be guiding and directing the affairs of my life and the lives of men around me. I would be in control. The clay would be determining its own destiny. That’s not what it’s all about. The real purpose of prayer is to get God’s will done and to submit my life to God and to come into harmony with His purposes for me, because His plans for me are far wiser than mine could ever be. His knowledge of the situation is far greater than mine. And it would be sheer folly for me to try to command God to do things as I see and as I think they ought to be done. I could botch up this whole world in ten minutes with that kind of prayer. Not to get my will done, to do the work of the Father.
So God declares to Cyrus, “I’ve raised him up.”
Thus saith the LORD, The labor of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God [beside yours]. Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour. They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go into confusion together that are makers of idols. But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end (45:14-17).
God going to cast off Israel? Never! World without end God is going to be dealing with them. The everlasting work of God and salvation of God to these people. You say, “But I don’t like the Jews.” That’s tough. God does. And God has promised to work with them.
For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else (45:18).
Now there are some who use this particular Scripture to support what is known as the gap theory. That is, that between verses 1 and 2 of Genesis, there does exist a gap of an indeterminate period of time. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Now between that statement and the next, which declares, “And the earth was without form, and void,” there are many Bible scholars who believe that there is an indeterminate period of time between those two verses. In that indefinite period of time, God created the angels, including Satan, and during that period of time Satan rebelled against God and against the authority of God. So that in verse 1 of Genesis, you have the original creation declared, “In the beginning God created (bara), the heavens and the earth.” They would translate verse 2, “But the earth became wasted, and desolate; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved or brooded over the face of the waters.”
By seeing this indefinite period of time between verses 1 and 2 of Genesis, they can then rationalize all of the fossils that are dated back to several million years. Makes no difference because of this indefinite time period that they see existing between verse 1 and 2 of Genesis. And this is one of the verses that they use to prove this idea. There are many verses, this being one of them as God declares concerning His creation of the earth, “I created it not in vain.” Or, “I did not create it without form and void.” Now for God to create something without form and void does seem to be inconsistent with the creation of God, because God looked upon the days of His creation and He saw that it was good.
And so for God to create something without form and void would be inconsistent with the nature of God’s creation which is good. And God saw all of the things that He created and they were good. So when God created the earth, they believed that in the original creation, that He created the earth to be inhabited and that it was inhabited by what we would call prehistoric beings. That Adam became the first of man after man in the present form. But it is quite possible that prior to Genesis, and these recreative acts of God, that there were other beings that inhabited the earth in prehistoric times. And that as the result of perhaps Satan’s fall, for they do theorize that it is possible that Satan actually was the ruler over the earth in this period of indefinite time between verse 1 and 2. As God, and we will get to it in Ezekiel, said concerning Satan, “I have set thee in Eden,” or “I have set thee in Eden. Yes, I have set thee in Eden, the garden of God. Every precious…I have set thee in the garden of God. Every precious stone was for thy covering, the onyx, the carbuncle, sardius and so forth. And thou was perfect in wisdom, perfect in all of thy ways until the day that iniquity was found in thee” (Ezekiel 28:13,15). And then he speaks of his being cast out, cast down and so forth. So this is one of the verses. God said, “I didn’t create the earth vain. I didn’t create it without form. I created it to be inhabited.” And thus the argument for the gap between verses 1 and 2 of Genesis.
There are… Pember’s Earth’s Earliest Ages is probably one of the best presentations of the gap theory. And he presents quite an argument in his book, Earth’s Earliest Ages by Pember. There are others such as Dr. Morris in his book, The Genesis Record, which does not believe that a gap does exist between verse 1 and 2 of Genesis. He has difficulty determining when the angels were created and when Satan fell. Because it wasn’t long after man was in the Garden of Eden that Satan in his fallen form came and tempted him. So if Morris’ theory is correct that it all happened just 7,000 or 6,000 years ago, and that within this short span of time everything was created, and Satan has fallen and everything else, then there are difficulties with Morris’ theory even as there are difficulties with the gap theory.
But either one of them in my mind are credible. You say, “But if we were only created 7,000 years ago, how do you explain all the fossils and all this kind of stuff that we’ve carbon dated?” Well, there could be a mistake in carbon dating, or how old was Adam when God created him? Day that God created Adam and breathed His breath of life into Adam, how old was Adam? He must have been one day old. But if he was one day old, he had the skeletal form of an adult. He no doubt had teeth and he had muscle coordination. So when God created Adam, He would have to create him as an adult, which means that he would already have age-dating factors built in. You look at his teeth and you say, “He’s got the teeth of a thirty-year old.” There would be the age-dating factors that were built in, though he was one day old. There were age-dating factors built in. God could very well have created the earth with age-dating factors built into the thing. All of the fossils, He could have just created them all just to confuse men. How big is your God? If He created man with age-dating factors, then He could very well have created the earth with age-dating factors. The universe with age-dating factors. So we’ll leave that for the more learned men to worry about.
I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare the things that are right. Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save (45:19-20).
People are ignorant that do these things.
Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; and there is none beside me (45:21).
Now, the Bible is a revelation of God. Men may develop their concepts of God, but they’re wrong. Because men in developing his concept of God makes a god after his own image, after his own likeness. He has an anthropomorphic concept of God. But God has declared Himself, God has revealed Himself and the Bible is God’s revelation. And here we have this glorious, awesome description of God as He declares Himself to us. He said, “Look unto Me,” for He said, “I’m a Savior; there is none like Me. I’m a just God.”
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and it shall not return (45:22-23).
God said I have sworn this, the word is gone out, it’s not going to return. It’s going to happen. Why?
every knee is going to bow, every tongue shall swear (45:23).
Now Paul tells us in Philippians, “Let this mind be also in you, which was in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, and thought it not something to be grasped to be equal with God, humbled Himself or emptied Himself and took on the form of a man and came in likeness as His servant. Was obedient even unto death, the death of the cross. Wherefore God has also highly exalted Him, and given Him a name that is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:5-11). God said, “I have declared it. I’ve sworn by Myself.”
Now in Hebrews it says because God can’t swear by any higher; He has to swear by Himself. Now, he says when a man takes an oath he takes an oath by something greater. But when God takes an oath, God wants to declare a truth, He can’t swear by anything greater so He has to swear by Himself. But in order that it might be confirmed by an oath that shall not be broken, God does swear by Himself. And whenever you get this in the Scripture, you know you’re getting into something that is more positive than anything else in life or in the world. It shall be. It cannot be broken. It shall come to pass. The day will come when every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord to the glory of God the Father. But for many, that day will be too late for their own salvation, tragically. They may curse Him now. They may swear by His name now in a profane way, but the day will come when every knee shall bow. God said, “I have sworn it.”
Surely shall one say, In the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed (45:24).
Oh, what a shame for those who have spoken against Jesus Christ in that day. Heavy, heavy.
In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory (45:25).
Powerful, powerful, powerful stuff. Father, we thank You for the certainty of Your Word. We stand in awe before Thee, O God, the Creator of the heaven and the earth and everything that is in them. Who have declared the former things and also have declared to us the things that shall yet come to pass. Lord, we bow our knee before Thee tonight and we confess that Thou alone art God. There is none beside Thee. Who is like Thee, O God? Great and majesty and in power and in glory. Truly Lord, honor and dominion are Yours. Praise and worship is to be given unto Thee. O God, open our lips that we might praise Thy name. Open our hearts that we might, Lord, just worship Thee in spirit and in truth. And help us, O Lord, to yield ourselves unto Thee as unto the Master Potter, knowing that Your ways are best for us. And thus, may we yield our lives to the touch of Your Spirit that You might make of us that which You would have us to be. Vessels, Lord, that are for Thy glory. Bringing praise and glory unto Thy name. O Lord, Thou art God. We worship Thee. In Jesus' name.