Unlike the created elements (which cry out for the revealing of the sons and daughters of God [Romans 8:19]), human beings are prone to disobedience. Thus, the heavens and the earth shame us with their willing and prompt obedience to the command of God.
Having rebuked Babylon, HaShem now turns to His chosen people in their captivity. His message is an intimate challenge, a fierce rebuke and a promise of a redemptive act of grace. He does not prophecy Israel’s deliverance as a reward for her righteousness. To the contrary, He calls out her sin and her stubborn self-destructive behaviour, concluding in the end that it is for the sake of His own Name (Because the redemption of humanity relies on His Name being honoured) that He will deliver her from captivity.
Isa 48:1 Shimu-zot Listen, hear, understand, obey this, Beit-Yaakov house of Jacob (follower), Ha-nikraiym the called be’sheim in/by the name Yisrael (Israel: overcome in God), u’mimeiy and waters of Yehudah (Judah: praise) yatza’u come forth; who ha-nishbaiym make oaths be’sheim in/by the name of HaShem (YHVH: Mercy), u’veiloheiy and in the God of Yisrael, but yazkiru lo you call not ve’emet out in truth, ve’lo and not vitzadakah in righteousness, right action, charity.
“Hear and receive this message house of followers, those called out to overcome in God, and you waters of praise, come forth; you who make oaths in the Name of Mercy Himself, and according to the Judge of those who overcome in God, but you don’t call out in truth, nor in righteousness.” -Author’s paraphrase
The general theme of this opening verse correlates to words formerly prophesied by Isaiah:
“So Adonai says,
“Since these people draw near with their mouths
and honour Me with their lips,
yet their hearts are far from Me,
and their fear of Me is a mitzvah taught by men.” -Isaiah 29:13 (TLV)
Israel is guilty of professing a connection to HaShem while acting in an entirely contrary way. “Among the nations My Name because of you…” (Isaiah 52:5; Romans 2:24).
Israel (ethnic, religious) is instructed to “Shimu” listen, hear and receive the truth of God’s word to her through the prophet Isaiah.
Three names are given for Israel, each showing a step in both the physical and spiritual growth of the nation. Yaakov the follower of God meets the “Man” with Whom he wrestles and from Whom he eventually receives the blessing of redemption, thus becoming Yisrael, the one who overcomes in God. Following the division of the northern and southern kingdoms and the exile, first of the ten tribes and subsequently of Judah (& Benjamin), the entirety of the tribes (all 12) would inevitably return to the land under the title of Yehudiym (Jews). This is one of the primary reasons for the allusion to the waters of Yehudah (Judah), who come forth from Babylon and return to the land of Israel, the twelve tribes united under the name of the tribe from which the King Messiah was prophesied to come.
“The scepter will not pass from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until He to Whom it belongs will come.
To Him will be the obedience of the peoples.” -Bereishit (Genesis) 49:10 (TLV)
HaShem is calling Yaakov to follow Him out of captivity in Babylon (confusion). He is calling Yisrael to remember that only in God can she overcome. He is reminding Yehudah that the tribes of Yisrael have been split and exiled but that HaShem will reconcile them under the tribe and King of Yehudah. HaShem calls Yehudah to offer praise for all that He has done in her, so that the world might know that the God of Yehudah, of Yisrael and of Yaakov is One, Creator and King of the universe.
“Who make oaths in/by the name of HaShem, and in the God of Yisrael, but you do not call out in truth, nor in righteousness.”
The Hebrew ha-nishbaiym meaning, the solemn requesting of sevens (oaths, completions, fullness) comes from the root sheva (seven). The exiled Jews were invoking oaths on themselves in God’s Name and expecting to reap favourably results through said oaths, while living sinful, Godless lives, even in their captivity. The writer is making it clear from the beginning that it is not for Israel’s sake that God will deliver her but rather for the sake of His Name, which He has placed upon the people of Israel.
Yeshua says to the religious leaders of Israel in the 1st century CE:
“Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:
‘These people honour me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’” -Mark 7:5-7 (TLV)
Isa 48:2 Kiy Because (for) mei’iyr a city (alt. from anguish) ha-kodesh the holy nikra’u they call themselves, ve’al and upon the Eloheiy God of Yisrael nismachu they rest; HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) Tzevaot Who goes warring (of hosts) shemo is His name:
This is the first time in the Tanakh that Jerusalem is referred to as “The Holy City”. The post exilic prophet Nehemiah later affirms the title (Nehemiah 11:1).
In one sense the text is saying that the exiles identify themselves with the Holy city of God, while in another sense the text literally says that they consider themselves to be a Holy city. In both cases pride is the mitigating factor.
The city of Jerusalem, is called the Holy city because the temple of HaShem is located there, God had placed His Name there, thus, it is considered the residence of the Holy One of Israel. Therefore, the exiles of both Judah and the remaining tribes (Israel) considered themselves, not only children of Jacob, and of the tribe of Judah, but as inhabitants of Jerusalem, the holy city, both literally and figuratively. Given the extent of Israel’s sin at this point in her history, her claims show great hubris and a sad lack of repentance. However, while God’s children may dishonour and reject Him, He is none the less incapable of dishonouring or rejecting His children.
It seems that in spite of their sinful behaviour they have none the less continued to pay God lip service, even to the extent of resting on the belief that He will redeem them regardless. However, the God Who goes warring (Adonai Tzevaot), will remind Israel yet again of the fact that He disciplines the ones He loves. Thus, in freeing her He will also discipline her both on her way back to the land and in the land upon her return.
“The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet they lean upon HaShem, and say, Is not HaShem in the midst of us? no evil shall come upon us.” -Micah 3:10
Isa 48:3 Ha-rishonot The former (heads of) things mei-az from time (of old) past higadtiy I have declared; u-mipiy and from My mouth yatzeu they went forth, ve-ashmiyeim and I caused them to be heard: suddenly asiytiy I fashioned, accomplished, did them, and they came to pass.
“The former (heads of) things from time (of old) past I have declared”. God had declared from the beginning of the people of Israel, from the head of the Hebrews, our father Abraham, to whom God spoke of what would come; that we would sojourn in Egypt, the land of double distress, be enslaved there, and come out in freedom with great wealth: being brought into the land of Kena’an (Canaan: lowland, humility), toppling the inhabitants and driving them out (albeit ineffectively due to our sin)[Gen. 15:13].
“And from My mouth they went forth, and I caused them to be heard…” These things were told to Abraham by the Word of God’s mouth and were passed on to the subsequent generations of the father of faith both in blood and in spirit.
“Suddenly I fashioned, accomplished, did them, and they came to pass.” Historically speaking, what God had promised to Abraham, He did quickly, and all that was prophesied came to pass precisely as it was foretold; not one thing which HaShem had spoken into time and space, failed (Joshua 21:45).
In part this is the Godly counterpoint to the Godless invocation of blessing. Where Israel had invoked undeserved blessing, contemptuously, God had none the less previously promised blessing and fully filled it (Sheva: complete, full, seven).
Isa 48:4 Because I knew that you are kasheh obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew, and your forehead brass;
A twofold pride is alluded to here. The neck of iron elevates the head, both literally and figuratively, meaning that both the individual and the leaders of the community (therefore, the community as a whole) were prideful in their self-assessment and in their assessment of the nation. Additionally, the forehead of brass infers spiritual pride. The forehead bore the symbol of prayer (Head Tefillin) and denoted the cleansing of the Word (Torah). However, the brass forehead of the exiles was unable to receive the Word (which resided in the Tefillin) because their minds were closed off to God. They were simply reciting tropes, mindless incantations devoid of practiced Godly spirituality.
Iben Ezra says that “the second person refers to those Israelites who do not believe in God”. However, the prophet does not make this distinction. After all, it is quite possible for a person to believe in God and yet exhibit pride and ignorance in relating to God and others.
“You believe that God is one, great: the evil spirits have the same belief, and tremble in fear.” -Yaakov (James) 2:19
Isa 48:5 Va’agid And it was made conspicuous to you meiaz from of old; be’terem before tavo it came to pass hishmaticha I made it heard by you; lest you should say, ‘Atzebiy My idol asam has fashioned, accomplished, done them, ufisliy and my carved image, ve’niskiy and my molten image, tzivam has commanded them.’
Hundreds of years before the nation of Israel existed, HaShem had spoken of their journey as a people, first to Abraham, then Isaac and eventually in the midst of them He spoke through Moses and the prophets. Thus, “From of old”, and long “before it came to pass”. Why? So that the accurate prophecies of God could not be claimed by the false gods that Israel had turned to. The Israelites could not deny the evidence of God’s faithfulness, provided throughout their generations.
“My idol fashioned them” is the false claim that acts as a counterpoint to the truth of HaShem’s statement that He “fashioned them” (v.3). The Hebrew asam (fashioned etc.) is from the root asah meaning to make (out of something pre-existing).
“My molten image commanded them” is the false claim that acts as a counterpoint to HaShem’s statement, “I have declared; and from My mouth they went forth”.
Isa 48:6 Shamata You have heard; chazeh behold culah all this; ve-atem and you (plural), ha-lo will you not tagidu declare it? hishmaticha I made it heard by you, chadashot new things meiatah from now, u-netzurot even guarded (hidden) things, which you have not yedatam known.
Israel has not merely heard, but has been made well aware of the miraculous deliverances of God. Each generation has witnessed His proclamations, miracles and fulfilments. Now (in the preceding chapters) Isaiah has prophesied the destruction of the Babylonian empire, and the deliverance of the Jews by Cyrus; things that have not yet come to pass, which were hidden in the mind of God, and unknown to Israel prior to the prophesies of Isaiah.
Isa 48:7 Now they are nivreu created, and not from of old; velifneiy-yom and before the face of this day you had not heard of them; lest you should say, ‘Hineih Behold, yedatiyn I knew them.’
“They are created”. The new, redemptive events being prophesied are not made (asah) from things pre-existing, rather God is creating (bara) them from that which has not yet been accomplished. In other words, this is an affirmation of the fact that God continues to participate within His creation in order to bring about the perfection of His redemptive purposes for Israel and humanity through His Son the King Messiah Yeshua. Due to the newness of what God will do, no one can claim to have known of it beforehand. We must remember that at the time these words were prophesied Cyrus had not yet been born, thus, these new things could not possibly have been fathomed by Israel.
Isa 48:8 Gam Also, lo-shamata you didn’t hear; gam also, lo yadata you didn’t know; gam also, meiaz from of old lo-fitechah azenecha your ear was not opened: kiy yadatiy for I knew you bagod tivgod to be deceitful in thought and action, ufosheia and a rebel mibeten from the womb this is what you were called.
This is a rebuke that exposes the extreme lack of faith and expectation among the idolatrous Israelites. Not only did they fail to listen, they also lacked the basic faith to receive what the prophets told them because they had placed their faith in foreign gods. God knew that they would reject His love and would rebel against Him, even from their inception as a nation.
Isa 48:9 Le-ma’an For the sake Shemiy of My Name, will I defer apiy My flaring nostrils (anger), utehilatiy and for My praise (renown) I will refrain for you, so that I don’t cut you off.
“For My Name’s sake” is quite literally the case. Yisra-El literally contains a name for God “El”. The name of the people Yisra (overcome) El (God), conveys the redemptive plan of God for humanity. Thus, because the very salvation of the repentant relies on the integrity and honour of God’s Name, He must show Himself faithful in spite of Israel’s faithlessness. Therefore, God will never completely cut off the Jewish people. Not because we are perfect, nor because we chose Him, but because He is faithful and chose us.
Isa 48:10 Hineih Behold, now, pay attention, I have refined you, but not ve-kasef as silver; becharticha I have chosen, elected, decided on you be’chur in the furnace of oniy affliction, misery, poverty.
“Behold, I have refined thee, but not in the crucible of silver; I tried thee in the distress of poverty.” -Targum Yonatan (2nd Century CE)
“I have refined you by the exile” -Iben Ezra
“I have refined you by taking away the dross, that is, the wicked” -Iben Ezra
We note that the Hebrew in its plainest sense does not speak of trying Israel in affliction but rather of choosing Israel in her affliction. It is the choosiness of Israel that is accentuated because of the One Who chose her and not because she has learned obedience from her having been tried. The rebuke of the earlier verses makes this abundantly clear. In spite of her captivity she has still yet to learn her lesson in regard to God’s redemptive love for her.
Having said this, it is clear from the figurative language that Israel is being refined for several reasons. First and foremost, so as to bring the attention of the nations toward the God Who alone can offer deliverance from sin, and second, to show that God disciplines and refines those He loves. He remains faithful even when His people are unfaithful.
“If we are faithless, He remains faithful,
for He cannot disown Himself.” -2 Timothy 2:13
Isa 48:11 Le’ma’aniy For My sake, le’ma’aniy for My purpose, I will e’eseh fashion, accomplish, do it; for how should my name be yechal profaned, defiled, polluted, desecrated? U-chevodiy And My glory I will not give to another.
“For my name's sake, for the sake of my Word, that it may not be profaned, I will do it, and my glory in which I have revealed myself unto you, I will not give to another people.” -Targum Yonatan (2nd Century CE)
It is for the sake of both the Name of HaShem (Mercy) and the application of His work (The Messiah), that HaShem will not allow His Name to be profaned, nor will He give the glory due Him to another.
Interestingly, the Targum illuminates the Davar (Word, logos, Messiah), and attaches the revelation of God’s glory to the people of Israel, saying that God will not allow His glory to be made manifest in this particular way on any other people. This understanding is consistent with the Scripture as a whole, and provides a platform for better understanding the intrinsic link between God’s coming Kingdom and the Temple Mount.
Isa 48:12 Shema Hear, receive, obey, listen to Me, Yaakov (follower), and Yisrael (Overcome in God) mekoraiy My called: Ani-hu I am He; I am rishon first, also I am acharon that which follows perpetually (the last, the goal).
Again God calls Israel by several prophetic titles that reveal both her physical and spiritual journey. Yaakov the follower and Yisrael the overcomer are reminded of the calling of the chosen people and of the One Who called her.
“I am the first and the perpetual goal”. The Hebrew rishon (first) is related to rosh (head) and denotes God’s Kingship (Headship) over all things as well as alluding figuratively to the King Messiah as head over the body of believers. God is not only the uncreated beginning of all things, He is also the perpetual goal and continuation of all things (Rev. 1:8). It appears that God describes Himself in these terms through the prophet in order to remind Israel that He is the Creator of the universe and that His choosing of her is part of a much grander plan for the redemption of the repentant from among all of humanity.
Isa 48:13 Af Surely, yadiy my hand yasedah founded, established, laid the foundation of eretz earth, viymiyniy and my right hand has spread out shamayim the heavens: when I call to them, ya’amdu they stand up yachdav together, in union.
“By wisdom Adonai founded the earth.
By understanding He established the heavens.” -Proverbs 3:19 (TLV)
“My hand established the earth, and My right hand has spread out the heavens.” (Isaiah 40:12) The hand of God is a figure for strength and the right hand the multiplication of power. Iben Ezra and Kimchi interpret the creation of the earth of the left hand, and the work of the heavens they ascribe to the right hand; inferring that the heavens are of greater importance due to them being the perceived dwelling place of God, Who is outside of all things (Vid. T. Bab. Menachot, fol. 36. 2.). However, this is a distinction without a difference given that God is uncreated and that the heavens and the earth are both created entities within the universe that exists in God. Therefore, the debate between Hillel and Shaminai over which came first, the earth or the heavens, is redundant, for as R. Simeon ben Yochai rightly observes, according to the text, they were both created together (Vid. T. Bab. Chagigah, fol. 12. 1.).
“When I call to them they stand up together in union.” The personification of the created order serves to remind the reader that God commands all things in the same way that He commands humanity. However, unlike the created elements (which cry out for the revealing of the sons and daughters of God [Romans 8:19]), human beings are prone to disobedience. Thus, the heavens and the earth shame us with their willing and prompt obedience to the command of God. In addition, the created elements respond in union to the command of God: they show distinction devoid of separation. They are united in essence while unashamedly maintaining their uniqueness.
Isa 48:14 Assemble yourselves, chulechem all of you, u-shamau and listen, hear, receive, understand; who among them has declared these things? HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) has loved him, ya’aseh has fashioned, accomplished, made cheftzo his desire be’va’vel on Babylon (Bavel: confusion), and his arm against the Kasdiym (Chaldeans: increasers).
HaShem calls the collective captives of Israel and Judah together to hear and receive the truth of His words.
“Who among them has declared these things?” Which of all the idols has been capable of the kind of prophecy God has displayed? This is of course rhetorical, the answer is “None!” “These things”, are the prophesied events that concern the redemption and salvation of Israel.
“HaShem has loved him, He has fashioned, accomplished, made his desire on Babylon, and his arm against the Chaldeans.” Who is the “him”? First, in the plain sense of the text and with deference to the historical context, the “him” is the yet to be born Cyrus of Persia. Second, and in respect of the perpetual nature of Hebrew prophecy, the “Him” is a figurative allusion to the Messiah and His redemptive work that frees all who will turn to Him from confusion (Babylon).
Isa 48:15 Aniy Aniy I, even I, dibartiy I have spoken; af indeed, keratiyv I have called; haviy’otiyv I have brought him, ve’hitzliach and successful, prosperity, advancement to his darko way, road, distance, journey.
The emphatic doubling of “Aniy” (I, Me, I am), is intended to convey the certainty of what is going to happen. HaShem has brought Cyrus to affect the deliverance of Israel, and therefore, will prosper the work of Cyrus in spite of the fact that Cyrus was a heathen king (albeit a king whose heart became soft toward the God of Israel and the plight of the Jewish people).
Isa 48:16 Kir’vu Come near, draw close eilay to Me, shimu-zot you, hear, listen, receive this (f.); lo not meirosh from the head (beginning) ba’seiter in hiding, covering, shelter, secrecy have I spoken ba’seiter; from the time it came to pass, there Aniy I am: and now the Adonaiy Lord HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) shelachaniy has sent me, ve’rucho and His Spirit.
“Draw near to Me.” This intimate phrase requests a greater depth of communication. God is seeking a face to face meeting as it were.
“I have not spoken in secret from the head (beginning).” This is intended to call Israel to account. They have witnessed God’s prophetic word and His miraculous deliverances throughout their generations. Therefore, they are without excuse. As the text states, He has not hidden His word from them.
“I am: and now the Lord HaShem has sent me, and His Spirit.” All the linguistic and interpretational gymnastics in the world cannot change the plain meaning of this verse. It is HaShem that is speaking, therefore, it cannot be Cyrus who speaks the latter clause. The “I am” is God, how then can God send Himself? The text says, “I am: and now YHVH has sent me”, this finds a correlation in the words of David, “The YHVH said to my Lord…” (Psalm 110:1). Cyrus did not bring with him the Spirit of HaShem, rather he was spurred on by God’s Spirit. There is only one person who qualifies for the role of being sent in the way described here: Yeshua the King Messiah. He qualifies because He is both God with us Imanu-El, and the One through Whom God imparts His Spirit to the Jew first and also to the nations. Thus, in the middle of a prophecy of near future deliverance for the Jewish captives in Babylon, HaShem also seeds a prophecy for the yet future deliverance of the Jewish people from the confusion (Babylon) of sin.
Isa 48:17 Thus says HaShem (YHVH: Mercy), Goal’cha your Kinsman Redeemer, the Kedush Yisrael Holy One of Israel: I am HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) Eloheycha your God, me’lamedcha Who teaches you le’hoiyl to profit, benefit you, mad’riychacha who leads you be’derek in the way teilech you go.
This incredible list of titles for God must bring the reader to attention. God makes known some of His primary attributes and characteristics in these beautiful names. He is demanding the attention of Israel and of all humanity.
YHVH – Mercy
Goel – Kinsman Redeemer
Kedush Yisrael – Holy One of Israel (those who overcome in God)
YHVH Eloheycha – Mercy your Judge
Always, His Mercy precedes His judgement. He offers Himself as Redeemer. He reminds Israel and the world that He is the God of Israel (ethnic, religious). Finally, He shows Mercy to the repentant and brings judgement against the wicked.
HaShem also takes on the role of Israel’s teacher. This He does for her benefit. He leads Israel be’derek in the Way she should go.
Isa 48:18 Lu If only hikshavta you had heard, heeded, hearkened to My lemitzvotay commandments (instruction to right action)! Then chanahar like a river shelomecha your peace, wholeness, well-being would have been, ve’tzidkatecha and your righteousness kegaleiy as the billowing waves of ha-yam the sea (body of water):
It is because of Israel’s disobedience that she found herself in captivity. If Israel had obeyed the instruction of HaShem and kept His commandments, she would not have been enslaved and afflicted.
There is a spiritual principal here for all believers. If we love Him and keep His commandments we will reap rivers of peace, wholeness and well-being, and as a result we will impart righteousness, our right action will flow forth from His presence in us and will be like billowing waves, powerfully shifting the ocean of life.
Isa 48:19 Zarecha Your seed (sowing) also had been as the sand, ve’tze’etza’eiy and the offspring (issue) of mei’echa your womb (internal organs) like the grains of sand: lo yikareit not cut off ve’lo yishamed and not destroyed shemo his name, from before Me.
Israel’s population had diminished in captivity due to her disobedience. However, God will not cut off the name of Israel from before Him. Why? Because His Own great Name is on her.
Isa 48:20 Go forth mibavel from Babylon (confusion), flee mikasdiym from the Chaldeans (increasers); be’kol in a voice rinah ringing out, crying out, hagiydu make known, hashmiyu zot convey this (f.), utter it even ad ketzeh to the furthest extremity of ha-aretz the earth (The Land): you should say, ‘HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) has ga’al redeemed avdo His servant Yaakov (follower, Jacob).
“Go forth out of confusion, flee from increasing; in a voice that cries out, make known in murmur and in volume, to the extremities of the earth: say, ‘Mercy Himself has redeemed His servant the follower (Yaakov, Israel).’” – Author’s paraphrase
Even before her captivity, and in retrospect during her captivity, Israel hears and reads the promise of her redemption: Mercy precedes Judgement.
Note that the prior verse says, “The name of Israel (ethnic, religious) will not be cut off from before Me.” And, the current verse, “HaShem has (past tense) redeemed Israel (ethnic, religious).” God is zealous for His chosen people Israel, fierce in His love for her, and His promise of redemption is spoken in the past tense because from His perspective it has already been accomplished and has come about in the eternal present.
Isa 48:21 And they did not thirst bochoravot in the deserts, desolations, waste lands holicham when He led them; He caused mayim waters to flow mitzur from the rock for them; vayika-tzur He split, divided, broke the rock also, vayazuvu and gushed out mayim waters.
As is so often the case, HaShem reminds Israel of His provision for her as she came out of Egyptian bondage. In the plain sense the prophet is speaking of a correlation in the provision God would bring to those escaping from Babylon and returning to the Land of Israel, and the historical journey of Israel in her escape from Egyptian bondage.
The use of the specific symbol of waters is significant. Messiah is the Mayim Chayim (Living waters) of God. The use of the symbolism of the rock is also important. God is the Rock of Israel’s security. Thus, the living waters of the Messiah flow forth from God our Rock. Notice also that allusion is made to the splitting of the Rock. The Rock Himself suffered the pain of redemptive sacrifice in order to offer the waters of living to His people.
Isa 48:22 ‘Eiyn shalom There is no peace, wholeness, well-being,’ says HaShem (YHVH: Mercy), ‘la’reshaiym to the wicked, criminal, one hostile to God, guilty one.’
Finally, a strong warning to those who might reject God’s loving redemptive offer. First to the Jews and also to the nations (in this case, specifically Babylon).
“There is no peace, wholeness or well-being given to the wicked, those who reject God’s love.” Why? Is it because God is punitive? Of course not! What is the result when one person rejects the love offered by another, and subsequently walks away from them and seeks out a lifestyle of self-abuse and torment? In this case, is the person who offered the love guilty of sending the one who rejected it into torment? Of course not! Torment results when we refuse genuine love for the sake of selfish gain. God is just, and therefore, there must be a place of punishment. He is also loving and merciful, therefore, He offered Himself as a substitute for us so that we might be freed from the punishment we deserve. However, if we refuse His offer of substitution and the love that goes with it, it is not His fault. Love cannot exist without free will. Therefore, God does not send people to eternal punishment, rather, those who end in perpetual torment have chosen to be there.
Such is the hatred, pride and wickedness of Satan, that if he were offered a place in the world to come, providing he submitted to the love and governance of God, he would refuse outright, why? Because he wants to be King without it costing him anything. On the other hand, God is King, and has willingly paid an incomparable price to set His subjects free, a cost paid in His own blood: making it possible for His subjects to become His sons and daughters. Satan seeks to subjugate, God seeks to dwell alongside, Satan seeks to promote himself, God seeks to promote love. Satan fails, God has already succeeded.
© 2019 Yaakov Brown
Spiritual leader of Beth Melekh Community, Auckland, Aotearoa, N.Z.