Isaiah 48 … Consider His Name in Truth and in Righteousness

“Hear this, O house of Jacob, who are named Israel
And who came forth from the loins of Judah,
Who swear by the name of the Lord
And invoke the God of Israel,
But not in truth nor in righteousness,”
(48:1).

The majority of this chapter, we listen in on God reprimanding His chosen people for their persistent and obstinate rebellion, as well as reminding them of how He had previously disclosed the future so they would be unable to give credit to any but Him.

“Because I know that you are obstinate,
And your neck is an iron sinew
And your forehead bronze,
Therefore I declared them to you long ago,
Before they took place I proclaimed them to you,
So that you would not say, ‘My idol has done them,
And my graven image and my molten image have commanded them,’”
(48:4-5).

And He goes on to address them as a “rebel from birth,” as He lets them know He is doing something new to prevent them from claiming knowledge, and thus knocking the feet out from under their rebellious pride.

“They are created now and not long ago;
And before today you have not heard them,
So that you will not say, ‘Behold, I knew them.’
“You have not heard, you have not known.
Even from long ago your ear has not been open,
Because I knew that you would deal very treacherously;
And you have been called a rebel from birth,”
(48:7-8).

And His heart is again conveyed, desiring they would come near to know Him as their Redeemer, to follow His lead and to be brought to His place of abundance.

“Come near to Me, listen to this:
From the first I have not spoken in secret,
From the time it took place, I was there.
And now the Lord God has sent Me, and His Spirit.”
17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,
“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit,
Who leads you in the way you should go.
18 “If only you had paid attention to My commandments!
Then your well-being would have been like a river,
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea,”
(48:16-17).

And if only they had paid attention to His commandments and had learned to follow His leading as they trust in His Name.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God,
(Psalm 20:7 NIV).

For His promise to those who would trust His Name was that He would make them to know His power and might.

“Therefore behold, I am going to make them know—
This time I will make them know
My power and My might;
And they shall know that My name is the Lord,”
(Jeremiah 16:21).

And as they come to trust and know His Name they would come into His protection and safety.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous runs into it and is safe,
(Proverbs 18:10).

But, His Name is not some magic charm, something to shout out or attach to the end of our prayers. His Name is not a formula that achieves our desires like rubbing the proverbial genie’s lamp. His Name represents all that He Is; and He Is Truth and He Is Righteousness.

Consider His Name in Truth and Righteousness

“Hear this, O house of Jacob, who are named Israel
And who came forth from the loins of Judah,
Who swear by the name of the Lord
And invoke the God of Israel,
But not in truth nor in righteousness,”
(48:1).

Though the people of Judah were called and named by the Lord God, though they took oaths in His Name and talked much about Him, something integral was missing, Truth and Righteousness. But they were without excuse, for He had revealed His Name in Truth and Righteousness in all of His Holy Word.

The sum of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting,
(Psalm 119:160).

From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:
Truth: “571. אֱמֶת ʾemeṯ:  A feminine noun meaning truth, faithfulness…”
Righteousness: “6666. צְדָקָה eḏāqāh: A feminine noun meaning righteousness, blameless conduct, and integrity…”

His Name reveals His Truth; He Is Faithful in all that He does.

“Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments,” (Deuteronomy 7:9).

His Name reveals His Righteousness; He is blameless in all His ways.

The Lord is righteous in all His ways
And kind in all His deeds,
(Psalm 145:17).

God will only speak Truth for He is Righteous; that is Who He Is and He cannot be anything else.

“God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent;
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
(Numbers 23:19).

“The Rock! His work is perfect,
For all His ways are just;
A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
Righteous and upright is He,”
(Deuteronomy 32:4).

Truth: He Is the Lord of Hosts; Righteous in His mighty power, and our Strength on Whom we can lean.

“For they call themselves after the holy city
And lean on the God of Israel;
The Lord of hosts is His name,”
(48:2).

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me, (Philippians 4:13).

Truth: He Is Patient; Righteous in delaying and restraining His wrath, not wishing for any to perish

“For the sake of My name I delay My wrath,
And for My praise I restrain it for you,
In order not to cut you off,”
(48:9).

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance, (2 Peter 3:9).

Truth: He Is Exalted; Righteous in His acts, sharing His Glory with no one else.

“For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act;
For how can My name be profaned?
And My glory I will not give to another,”
(48:11).

Therefore when he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; 32 if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately,” (John 13:31-32).

How do we respond to His Name in Truth and Righteousness?

His Name must always be considered according to His Truth and Righteousness that He has revealed about Himself, and not according to our own thoughts or imaginations.

Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom,
(Psalm 51:6).

Have we trusted His Truth that Salvation is found only in the Name of Jesus?

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me,” (John 14:6).

And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved, (Acts 4:12).

Do we truly understand His Righteousness? He is perfect in His Holiness. Do we honor His Name as Holy, not just in our prayers, but in the way we live?

“Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name,”
(Matthew 6:9).

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship, (Romans 12:1).

His rebuke was jarring at the opening of this chapter as He called for His people to hear Him. God’s people had invoked His Name without Truth and without Righteousness.

“Hear this, O house of Jacob, who are named Israel
And who came forth from the loins of Judah,
Who swear by the name of the Lord
And invoke the God of Israel,
But not in truth nor in righteousness,”
(48:1).

The word, invoke, in the Hebrew language means to mention, to remember, to think about or talk about. But without Truth and without Righteousness all our talk, all our thinking is meaningless and vain.

In closing, let us consider how we invoke the Name of the Lord.

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain,” (Exodus 20:7).

Taking God’s Name in vain would be speaking His Name without meaning or worth. Using His Name as an exclamation, or worse, as an expletive, would be anything but speaking His Name in Truth and in Righteousness.

When we speak His Name, let us make sure we are intentionally speaking to Him or about Him, for His Name is Worthy to be honored and glorified. Oh, that every thought we think and every word we speak would be acceptable to Him as we are deliberate to consider and invoke His Name in Truth and Righteousness.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer
, (Psalm 19:14).

Let’s Grow Together!

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