#DailyDevotion YHWH Has Done A New Thing
Isa 43:16-21 Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, (17) who brings forth chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick: (18) “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. (19) Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (20) The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches, for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, (21) the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.
At first, Isaiah recalls Israel’s salvific history, how the Lord had parted the Red Sea. He made a path for the Israelites so that they walked on dry ground with walls of water on either side of them. The mighty waters were parted and the Israelites were baptized and made a new nation, a holy people of God. The Lord then drew the armies, the chariots, the warriors of Egypt into that path and extinguished their lives, quenched them like a wick. They became no more and they were no longer a threat to God’s people.
As so as Isaiah wrote these words, the Lord speaks, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you no perceive it?” Yes, Israel and Judah had broken the covenant the Lord had made with them in the Red Sea and upon Mt. Sinai. They had revoked the covenant which their fathers had made with the Lord before entering the Promised Land.
So what is this new thing? He says he will give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert to my chosen people. Indeed in the wilderness John came forth. He was baptizing with a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, preparing the way for the Messiah. Jesus who is that Messiah also came baptizing in similar fashion. Having provided a way for salvation, becoming the sacrifice to atone for the sin of the world, pouring forth his blood upon the cursed world, he sends for his Church to baptize his people, to bring them the salvation won for them on the cross.
The Lord, Jesus, institutes a new covenant, not only with the Jews and Israel, but calls forth all nations to be joined to Israel, joined to himself in baptism. In this New Covenant, sealed with his body and his blood, he forgives us our sins and remembers them no more and calls us his people.
Now as the holy people of the God of Israel, we sing the praises of our Lord Jesus Christ. He took our infirmities upon himself on the cross and heals us. Jesus bore our grief and shame which we deserved because of our sins. He took upon himself the guilt of our iniquities and trespasses and received in himself the penalty for them. He conquered death and devil by his resurrection, procuring for us and the world a resurrection from the dead. All who put their trust in him shall be raised to life eternal and those who reject him shall receive what they deserve along with the devil and all his minions.
Heavenly and Merciful Father, grant us grace always to be your people, trusting in your son Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and grant to the nations repentance and faith so they may escape the wrath to come and inherit your kingdom. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.