God Calls Israel to Hearken

Key Verse: “Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.”
—Isaiah 48:17

Selected Scripture:
Isaiah 48:12-21

THROUGH THE PROPHET Isaiah, the Lord admonished Israel saying, “Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called.” Repeatedly he told Israel, “I am the first,” and “the last,” meaning he was the only one they should recognize as God.—Isa. 41:4; 44:6; 48:12

God’s supremacy over all the universe is also indicated by his only begotten Son, when Jesus stated, “My Father … is greater than all.” (John 10:29) After the restitution work of Christ’s thousand-year kingdom shall be completed, restored mankind will recognize the Heavenly Father as the author of the great plan of salvation. Paul writes concerning this time, “When all things have been placed under Christ’s rule, then he himself, the Son, will place himself under God, who placed all things under him; and God will rule completely over all.”—I Cor. 15:28, Good News Bible

Our Key Verse identifies Jehovah as Israel’s teacher. God taught Israel, from the time of Moses, saying: “Hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live. … Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it.”—Deut. 4:1,2

The Lord, in our Key Verse, also tells Israel the reason he taught them was for their “profit.” This was not in the sense of Israel becoming profitable or wealthy in a worldly sense, but rather that his teachings would be of great value to them in understanding God’s principles and being led in the way they should go. In this verse we note also the word “way,” which in the original Hebrew, denotes a course of life.

God’s instructions, indeed, are valuable to all who trust and follow them. Through the psalmist, the Lord tells us, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” (Ps. 32:8) We should look to the Heavenly Father and his wise words of counsel given to us in the Scriptures to lead us in all of life’s affairs.

The words of Isaiah 48:20 remind us of how the nation of Israel was instructed by God to go back to their homeland after their years of captivity in Babylon, to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and reconstruct their Temple of worship to God. (II Chron. 36:11-23) In a greater picture, during Christ’s kingdom on Earth, all mankind will be given the opportunity to return to their homeland, being resurrected from the grave. They will be taught in the way in which they should go, to rebuild the walls of their character and reestablish their individual temple, symbolically speaking, of worship to God.

Isaiah describes the work and conditions of this kingdom: “An highway shall be there, … and it shall be called The way of holiness. … The redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isa. 35:8-10) What a wonderful and bright future lies ahead for mankind!