By Christina M Wilson
Septuagint Isaiah 59
The Deliverer and the Spirit
Septuagint Isaiah 59 hides quietly behind its poetic images. Yet it presents the entire Gospel message of Jesus Christ, God’s Servant. This gospel message is: 1) Every person needs deliverance from sin. 2) God himself, through his Servant, is the Deliverer. 3) Everyone is invited. 4) God sends his Spirit to those who embrace the Deliverer. The four points below expand upon this message of the Deliverer and the Spirit.
I. God gave Isaiah an assignment to present the Deliverer and the Spirit. During the span of centuries which Isaiah covers, Israel’s history demonstrates the incapacity of humankind to deliver themselves. This is point one of God’s message. Isaiah begins to deliver this message in the very first chapters. Septuagint Isaiah 59 develops this theme through poetic images and metaphors (59:1-16a).
The Lord had given his people Israel every advantage. These include his presence with them in many times, forms, places, and situations, his law, godly leaders strategically placed, and multiple rescues from their enemies. Nevertheless, as chapter 59 demonstrates, even after the return from exile, “… there was no judgment. And he [the Lord] looked, and there was no man, and he observed, and there was none to help (59:15-16).
II. Point two of God’s gospel message through Isaiah is that God himself will deliver Sion from her sins. He will send his divine Servant to drive out sin for him (59:16b-20).
III. God presents point three in 59:19. He intends to redeem the whole world. The book of Isaiah repeats this theme from start to finish (see, for example, Septuagint Isaiah 2:2-4).
IV. Finally, God will send his Spirit to the Servant and his seed forever (Septuagint Isaiah 59:21). (See also Septuagint Isaiah 4:2-6 LXE; 11:1-3; 32:14-18; 42:1-8; 44:2-4; 48:16; 57:16; and 59:21.)
The Deliverer and the Spirit in the New Testament
The New Testament delivers the same gospel message as Isaiah in chapter 59.
Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us– for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”–14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. (ESV)
Titus 3:3For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (ESV)
John 3:34 For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (ESV)
The Deliverer and the Spirit in John 4
John 4 demonstrates the love of God for all people. In this chapter, the Servant/Messiah/Deliverer speaks of sending his Spirit. Septuagint 59:16 likewise displays God’s love. There, the word is “mercy.” Following this, verse 21 tells of the Spirit.
And he looked, and there was no man, and he observed, and there was none to help: so he defended them with his arm, and established them with his mercy. (Septuagint 59:16)
20 And the deliverer shall come for Sion’s sake, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. 21 And this shall be my covenant with them, said the Lord; My Spirit which is upon you, and the words which I have put in your mouth, shall never fail from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your seed, for the Lord has spoken it, henceforth and for ever. (Septuagint 59:20-21)
God, the speaker, connects mention of “My Spirit” (the Holy Spirit) with “my covenant with them.” What covenant is this? This will be the topic of the next post, Lord willing.
… to be continued