God is Making A New Way
Daily Reading: (Isaiah 43:18-19):
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
“Do not call to your mind (zakar) the former things.” If you read this verse out of context- if you put this awesome verse up as a fridge magnet you would think that God is telling us to forget about our past mistakes.
Actually, what God is saying is that you might have thought that what I did in the past was awesome, you haven’t seen anything yet. I have something even better coming. I want you ready to receive it. If you keep rehashing the Old and living in the past (even dwelling on the good things) you will miss the New better thing I am about to do (Isaiah 43:18-19).
So great and wonderful shall be God‘s future for Israel, that what He has done, as great as that was in your past, it shall be comparatively forgotten by how awesome this new thing is that I am doing.
The verses before our text gives us the insight that God is reminding them of the awesome things He did in their past, yet He doesn’t want them to dwell there because the New thing will be so much better.
Everything God mentioned is wonderful about the past, yet God doesn’t want the Israelites to dwell on those past good things because those things were not the main thing, they were pointing to what God was preparing to do through Jesus (Isaiah 43:16-17). God brought Israel out of Egypt, and through the Red sea, drowning Pharaoh’s army in it. Though these things were worthy to be remembered with thankfulness and praise, and to the glory of God, and for the encouragement of faith, yet in comparison of the spiritual and eternal redemption by Christ that was coming everything else pales in comparison. We are talking physical salvation versus spiritual salvation. Temporary extension of life versus everlasting life. The point of us not calling to our mind and dwelling on our past is done as we remember the new thing Jesus has done (Isaiah 43:18-19).
Isaiah says the new thing I am doing is I am sending my Son. Now “it springs up” the Hebrew word also means to bud. One of Messiah’s names in Zechariah 3:8 is the Branch. The new thing, the New Covenant would come about and be enacted with the death of Jesus who defeated sin and death for all who believe. What Jesus did is the next part of the verse- “I am making a way” in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Only Jesus, the New thing God brought forth, the bud (Zechariah 3:8) that springs up will be able to bring God’s people into the Promised Land (Isaiah 43:19).
For the Israelites, striking the rock represents the crucifixion of Christ and shows that Christ is the supplier of all of our needs, pointing us to the New and better thing God was preparing to do. The water that flowed represented all we need in life, health, prosperity, relationships. All we need flows from Jesus our Rock.
In Numbers 20, when God told Moses to speak to the Rock, he struck it instead. Christ was struck once for all sin, as His one sacrifice was sufficient for our needs. God desires that we now speak to the exalted Rock for our needs to be met (Numbers 20:8). As a child of God there is no need to wonder if God wants to bless you. He has forever settled that at the cross. The Rock has been struck. The waters of God’s salvation blessings are flowing. Because of these truths we can expect to blessed, redeemed, and healed. When you are faced with a problem, what should your response be? Speak to the Rock of your salvation. Agree with God’s Word and what it says about you and your situation.