Isaiah 43

Isaiah 43:1 I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine
Bruce C. Hafen
[The Lord] describes those whom he has redeemed in the language of belonging and possession. As Paul wrote, "Ye are bought with a price." (1 Corinthians 7:23.) Similarly, the Lord said of the Saints in Missouri: "Yet I will own them, and they shall be mine in that day when I shall come to make up my jewels." (D&C 101:3; emphasis added.)
Among the Lord's most intimate and personal reassurances to us are his words in modern revelation to the children of Christ, teaching us that belonging to him in this doctrinally based sense is the ultimate source of safety and peace-the spiritual fulfillment of our amae: "Fear not, little children, for ye are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me; and none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost." (D&C 50:41-42; emphasis added.)
The doctrine of belonging to Christ clearly derives from his Atonement: "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. Behold, the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet." (D&C 6:37.)...
The concept of belonging to Christ is the doctrinal context that explains how all of these blessings flow from the Atonement. When we "come unto Christ" through repentance and baptism, we enter into a covenant relationship with him. Our faith and our repentance qualify us to enter that relationship, just as the Savior's Atonement qualifies him to enter it. As the Master taught his disciples in the doctrines of the last supper, this relationship becomes the medium by which the unlimited range of the Atonement's blessings begins its everlasting flow...
Because we are his and he is ours, the Lord will continually "at-one for" our separation and estrangement from him, whether that separation has been caused by our sins, our mistakes, the sins of others, or any other cause.
These are the blessings of belonging to Christ, ultimately made possible by the power of his Atonement: "O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour." (Isaiah 43:1-3; emphasis added.) (Bruce C. Hafen and Marie K. Hafen, The Belonging: The Atonement and Relationships with God and Family Heart [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], 149-153)
Isaiah 43:3 I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee
"The land of Sheba or Seba-the land of the Sabaeans-was the southwestern part of today's Arabian Peninsula, specifically the modern land of Yemen." (D. Kelly Ogden, Where Jesus Walked: The Land and Culture of New Testament Times [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1991], 43)
Isaiah 43:5-6 The Gathering of Israel
Ezra Taft Benson
In the scriptures there are set forth three phases of the gathering of Israel. One, the gathering of Israel to the land of Zion which is America, this land. That is under way and has been under way since the Church was established and our missions abroad were inaugurated. Then two, the return of the lost tribes, the ten lost tribes, from the land of the north (see D&C 133). And the third phase is the reestablishment of the Jews in Palestine as one of the events to precede the second coming of the Master. Isaiah said they will be gathered together, the dispersed of Judah, from the four corners of the earth and they will be set in their own land, they will build the old wastes and repair the waste cities (see Isaiah 11:11-12). Jeremiah, who predicted the dispersion and the scattering, said that in the last days the Lord would cause them to return to the land that He gave to their fathers and they shall possess it; and they shall build it up as at first (Jeremiah 30:3).
Isaiah 43:7 Even every one that is called by my name
The implication in this verse is that there will be some who are called by the name of the lord but are not descendants of Israel. Gentiles who have been adopted into the fold of Christ will inherit the same blessings as the literal descendants of Jacob. "Even every one" infers "even the Gentiles" will be gathered into the fold-a concept unacceptable to Isaiah's self-righteous and nationalistic audience.
...the Gentiles shall be blessed and numbered among the house of Israel (2 Ne. 10:18)
And even so I have sent mine everlasting covenant into the world, to be a light to the world, and to be a standard for my people and for the Gentiles to seek to it, and to be a messenger before my face to prepare the way before me. (D&C 45:9)
...if the Gentiles will repent and return unto me, saith the Father, behold they shall be numbered among my people, O house of Israel.
And I will not suffer my people, who are of the house of Israel, to go through among them, and tread them down, saith the Father. (3 Ne. 16:13-14)
Isaiah 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen
Bruce R. McConkie
And if there is one wondrous thing about this work, it is that it is true; that there is saving efficacy and virtue and force in the gospel of Jesus Christ; and that the power of God unto salvation is found here in the tops of these everlasting hills; and this glorious truth is spreading out to all the nations of the earth as rapidly as people in them accept the testimony and witness that is borne and believe the truths that our fellow representatives proclaim. This is a day of which God has said that all of gathered Israel shall be witnesses of his name. "... ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God." (Isa. 43:12.)
This is a day when he has said that every elder in his kingdom, everyone who holds the holy priesthood, has power to speak in his name, to have the Holy Ghost bear record and enlighten his mind, and to proclaim the truths of salvation. ("The Testimony of Jesus," Ensign, July 1972, 110)
Isaiah 43:11 I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no savior
"Wherever 'Lord' appears in the Old Testament, we can substitute the name Jehovah.
"Thus we can read from this chapter, 'For I am [Jehovah] thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior' and 'I, even I, am [Jehovah]; and beside me there is no saviour' (43:3, 11). The language is clear. Jehovah is the only Savior. The reasoning is simple. If the Lord Jehovah is our only Savior, and Jesus Christ is our only Savior, then the Lord Jehovah must be Jesus Christ.
"Somehow, even before He obtained a mortal body, Jesus had become so like the Father that he was divinely invested with the power and authority to be Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament, who loved us enough to condescend from that position of power and authority to take upon Himself mortality and work the great and infinite Atonement." (Terry Ball and Nathan Winn, Making Sense of Isaiah, [SLC: Deseret Book, 2009], 124)
Isaiah 43:13 Yea, before the day was I am he
This translation is a bit awkward. We are reminded of the name of Jehovah as revealed to Moses:
...when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you (Ex. 3:13-14)
Isaiah is saying, "In the beginning, I AM already existed" (unlike your strange gods). The idea, the concept, the principle was taught more eloquently by John:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)
"There are many other names used in the Old Testament to signify the Savior. An interesting one was Ha-Qadosh, Baruch Hu, 'The Holy One, Blessed be He.' Another name used at the time of Christ was Meimra, meaning 'message' or 'word.' Thus, when John the Beloved began his Gospel account he said in good Aramaic usage, 'In the beginning was Meimra, and Meimra was with God. ...'
"Some discern intellectually that Jesus is I AM (John 8:58; cf. Ex. 3:14-15), and that I AM (Hebrew Eheyeh) is grammatically similar to HE IS (Hebrew Yiheyeh), which is in turn related to Yehovah. Thus, Jehovah born in the flesh was Jesus." (Ellis T. Rasmussen, "The Unchanging Gospel of Two Testaments," Ensign, Oct. 1973, 27)
Isaiah 43:16-17 the chariot and horse, the army and the power... are quenched as tow
The plagues brought upon Egypt by Moses are a type for the destruction of the wicked. Consider the similarities between the plagues the Eyptians experienced and those described by John in Revelation:
Seven angels sound seven trumpets (Rev. 8-13)
The seven last plagues (Rev. 15-17)
Ten Plagues upon Pharaoh and Egypt (Ex. 7-12)
Hail and fire mingled with blood destroys 1/3 of trees and green grass
A noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast
Plague 7: The Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground.
Plague 6: Boils upon man and beast
Third part of sea became blood, killing 1/3 of sealife, destroying 1/3 of ships
The sea became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea
Plague 1: All the waters in the river were turned to blood, And the fish died; and the river stank
Third part of rivers and fountains of waters became bitter (wormwood). Many men die.
The rivers and fountains of waters became blood
Plague 1: All the waters in the river were turned to blood, And the fish died; and the river stank
Night and day darkened by 1/3 of sun, 1/3 of moon, and 1/3 of stars being darkened
The sun scorched men with fire. And men blasphemed the name of God
Plague 9: There was a thick darkness in all the land for three days
Smoke from bottomless pit releases locusts which torment men for 5 months with the sting of their tails
The beast and his followers gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed because of their pains and their sores
Plague 8: east wind brings locusts which destroy fruit and herbs
Plague 6: Boils upon man and beast
Euphrates River: Four destroying angels released to slay 1/3 of men. Army of 200 million horsemen kill 1/3 of men.
Euphrates River: Unclean spirits from the dragon, beast, and false prophet come like a plague of frogs to the battle of Armageddon
Plague 2: Frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt
Lightnings, voices, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail destroy them which destroy the earth
Voices, thunders, lightnings, and a mighty earthquake destroys cities. Islands and mountains flee. Great hail from heaven.
Plague 7: The Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground.
Plague 10: Firstborn of man and beast die
Isaiah extends the analogy to include the destruction of Pharaoh and his armies in the collapsing columns of the Red Sea. The event is used as a type for the destruction of Babylon at the end of the world. Notice that these chariots, horses, and army are from Babylon and Chaldea (near Babylon). Therefore, the chariots, horses, army, and power that are destroyed belong the spiritual kingdom of Babylon. The term, "quenched as tow" refers to the burning flax of a candle that is extinguished with water. Such will be the fate of the wicked, like Pharaoh and his armies in the Red Sea, when the kingdom of Babylon is drowned by the power of God. John used the same imagery:
And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all...
And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee...
And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth. (Rev. 18:21-23)
Isaiah 43:20 I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert
LeGrand Richards
I love the prophecies of Isaiah. It seems to me that he almost lived more in our day than when he was actually upon the earth. He saw so much of what would transpire in our day. He saw us settled here in these valleys of the mountains. He saw this desert, where we were once a thousand miles from transportation and supplies, made to blossom as a rose (see Isa. 35:1). He saw the rivers flow in the desert where we have built these great irrigation canals (see Isa. 43:19). He saw the water flow down from the high places where we have reservoired it in these mountain fastnesses for summer's use (see Isa. 41:18). He saw the redeemed of the Lord come up and sing in the heights of Zion (see Isa. 51:11). And where do you find anything in the world to fulfill that like the singing of the Tabernacle Choir for over fifty years without a break?
He saw the mountain of the Lord's house established in the top of the mountains in the latter days when all nations would flow unto it, and they would say, "Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths" (Isa. 2:3). ("A Testimony," Ensign, Nov. 1980, 64)
Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins
Spencer W. Kimball
Sometimes a guilt consciousness overpowers a person with such a heaviness that when a repentant one looks back and sees the ugliness, the loathsomeness of the transgression, he is almost overwhelmed and wonders, "Can the Lord ever forgive me? Can I ever forgive myself?" But when one reaches the depths of despondency and feels the hopelessness of his position, and when he cries out to God for mercy in helplessness but in faith, there comes a still, small, but penetrating voice whispering to his soul, "Thy sins are forgiven thee."
The image of a loving, forgiving God comes through clearly to those who read and understand the scriptures. Since he is our Father, he naturally desires to raise us up, not to push us down, to help us live, not to bring about our spiritual death. "For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth," he has said, "... wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye." (Ezek. 18:32.)
As he fervently prayed at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple in 1836, the Prophet Joseph Smith expressed his assurance that sins could be blotted out: "O Jehovah, have mercy upon this people, and as all men sin forgive the transgressions of thy people, and let them be blotted out forever." (D&C 109:34.) The thought of blotting out of sins during the process of forgiveness was also expressed by the Lord when he said: "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins." (Isa. 43:25.)
"Great are the words of Isaiah," said the Savior (3 Ne. 23:1), and that prophet's words rise to the sublime in the well-known passage wherein he made a promise of forgiveness to all who will repent:
"Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." (Isa. 55:6-7; italics added.)
What a glorious promise of forgiveness the Lord made through the great Isaiah! Mercy and pardon! What more could men want or hope for!
"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isa. 1:18.) ("God Will Forgive," Ensign, Mar. 1982, 4-5)
Boyd K. Packer
Letters come from those who have made tragic mistakes. They ask, "Can I ever be forgiven?"
The answer is yes!
The gospel teaches us that relief from torment and guilt can be earned through repentance. Save for those few who defect to perdition after having known a fulness, there is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no offense exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness.
"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." That is, Isaiah continued, "if ye be willing and obedient." (Isa. 1:18-19) ("The Brilliant Morning of Forgiveness," Ensign, Nov. 1995, 19)
Boyd K. Packer
Those who make one serious mistake tend to add another by assuming that it is then too late for them. It is never too late! Never!
While your temptations are greater than were ours, that will be considered in the judgments of the Lord. He said that "his mercies [are suited] according to the conditions of ... men." (D&C 46:15.) That is only just.
A great contribution to Christian doctrine is the explanation in the Book of Mormon of how justice and mercy and repentance and forgiveness work together to erase transgressions. (See Alma 42.)
The discouraging idea that a mistake (or even a series of them) makes it everlastingly too late, does not come from the Lord. He has said that if we will repent, not only will He forgive us our transgressions, but He will forget them and remember our sins no more. (See Isa. 43:25; Heb. 8:12; Heb. 10:17; D&C 58:42; Alma 36:19.) Repentance is like soap; it can wash sin away. Ground-in dirt may take the strong detergent of discipline to get the stains out, but out they will come. ("To Young Women and Men," Ensign, May 1989, 59)