In making reference to Babylon’s impending downfall (43:14, 15) God answers an unspoken objection that such a thing is incredible. ‘Do you not remember what I did at the Red Sea?’ He asks (43:16, 17). ‘Yet what I am about to do now is greater still’ (43:18-21). He answers, too, a deeper cause of their unbelief, namely, a guilty conscience (43:21-24). ‘I know it all,’ he says, ‘but I will pardon all’ (43:25). ‘My purpose toward you is one of blessing’ (44:1-5).
- What was the new thing that God was about to do, greater even than his deliverance of Israel at the Red Sea? Cf. chapter 35. What application has it to us?
- How does 43:22-28, show that Israel was not justified by works, but only by free grace? Cf. Rom. 3:23, 24. What further gift had God in store for his redeemed people, and what blessings will it bring (44:3-5)? Cf. John 7:37-39.
- What is the effect of idolatry on the mind of the worshipper? See 44:18-20. Have you realized the greatness of our privilege in knowing the true God? See 44:6-8.
- 43:22-24. During the exile, God had not burdened them with demands for sacrifice and offering. But they had burdened him with their sins.
- 43:27, 28. ‘Your first father’: a reference probably to Jacob; cf. 48:1. ‘Dignitaries’ may refer to priest and prophets; cf. Jer. 2:8.