The Salvation of Jehovah
These verses in Isaiah 52 bear on the way the Israelites came out of Egypt. It says in Exodus 14 that "Jehovah saved Israel that day", and it says in Isaiah 52, "All the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God."
So the glad tidings are in view in these two sections of scripture. "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that announceth glad tidings, that publisheth peace; that announceth glad tidings of good, that publisheth salvation." And in the next chapter of Exodus which we didn't read, we have the song of redemption that Moses and the children of Israel sang after they had come through the Red Sea. "My strength and song is Jah, and he is become my salvation." Think of the glad tidings seen, the power of God evidenced, in these two sections of scripture, in view of salvation for His people.
I read in Isaiah 52 because it bears upon current exercises. Salvation is not just an initial thought in our lives, but in these two passages, God comes in to save his people really in a collective sense. The children of Israel went out of Egypt "with our young and with our old", Moses said. And a distinct difference was made between the children of Israel and the Egyptians. The pillar of cloud and the Angel of God behind them made a separation between the children of Israel and the Egyptians. And Isaiah 52 brings in separation too: "Depart, depart, go out from thence, touch not what is unclean; go out of the midst of her, be ye clean, that bear the vessels of Jehovah." And then, "the God of Israel will be your rear-guard." I am sure, as Isaiah wrote this section, he would be reminded of the way the children of Israel went out of Egypt. They were not to be afraid; they were not to go out in pandemonium or in fright; the power of God was with them as they went out.
This scripture in Isaiah — "ye shall not go out with haste" - has perhaps been used to say that the Lord's commandment is that we shouldn't go out with haste, but I believe God is saying, "ye shall not out with haste, nor go by flight", as to the manner in which His people are going to be saved, the manner of their salvation, because so it was in the way the children of Israel departed out of Egypt. The power of God was with them. Moses stretched out his hand over the Red Sea, and the waters were parted, and the children of Israel went through on dry ground. Think of the dignity of that movement of the children of Israel: the pillar of cloud and the Angel of Jehovah behind them, serving to make a distinction — a separation — between them and the Egyptians. And here, "Jehovah will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear-guard." The dignity and the power of God are evident; the power of God is available and is directing the whole movement!
Well, dear brethren, this is a wonderful experience to have: "ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight." That is, there is a sense of God's power directing and helping the saints move forward. It says here in Exodus, "Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward." They were not retreating, not going backwards, not fleeing, in that sense. They were leaving Egypt, but they were not to be scared or frightened by the Egyptians. Moses said to the people, "Fear not, stand still, and see the salvation of Jehovah, which he will work for you today; for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever."
The power of God has dealt with the Egyptians! The Lord Jesus Christ has gone into death and been buried for us, which the Red Sea portrays. What power that involves, in view of our salvation, in view of saving us from Egypt and all that it represents typically!
So it says here, "Break forth, sing aloud together, waste places of Jerusalem; for Jehovah comforteth his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem." As we go through sorrows currently, we feel the outward smallness of things, but I believe God would give us an inward sense of His mighty power, in view of saving His people. And He would give us to understand too that it is not by our own strength that we are to be saved. It is not by our own works or our own power, our own activities, but "Stand, still, and see the salvation of Jehovah." He is the One who is going to bring in salvation. He is the one who has brought in salvation, the salvation of our souls. And He is the Man who has gone on high. He has been into death, He has been buried, He has been raised again for our justification, and He has ascended up on high, and He has led captivity captive.
So the Egyptians were dead on the seashore. The power of God caused the waters of the Red Sea, which had been parted for the children of Israel, to come back and cover the Egyptians. These Egyptians were not able to go through by faith; they were not marked by faith. The waters covered them, and there was not one remaining.
Well, the power of God is able to do that, and it is what His salvation has done, beloved brethren. It has saved all those who have faith, but it has brought in death for all those who have not had faith in the salvation of God.
So it says, "Jehovah will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear-guard." Divine Persons are directing this whole exercise. The people were afraid when they came out of Egypt and were on the banks of the Red Sea, and they saw the Egyptians coming after them. They said, "Why didn't we just stay in Egypt?" "Why have ye brought us out to die in the wilderness?" Perhaps thoughts like that fleet across our minds sometimes. Why have we done what we've done? Why have we separated from evil?
Well, the word is from God: "Stand still, and see the salvation of Jehovah, which he will work for you today." Let us have confidence in God and in His salvation. There is salvation in none other than in the name of His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Man whom God has appointed for our salvation. Let us trust in Jesus, beloved brethren. Let us trust in the Lord Jesus, the One whom God has appointed, not only in view of our eternal salvation, but our salvation in every exigency of the testimony. And as we go forth to Him without the camp, I believe that we will see His salvation in it all.
May the Lord bless the word. For His name's sake.
S. E. Hesterman
The Salvation Of Jehovah