The Message of the Old Testament

“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:22)

Ever since sin entered into God’s created world, His message to all people of all ages has been the same. At the time of the curse, God prophesied that there soon would be a coming Redeemer—the seed of the woman who would crush the head of the serpent, although the Redeemer Himself would be made to suffer in order to do away with the effects of sin (Genesis 3:15). “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11).

God repeatedly warned the people of His hatred of sin and wickedness (see, for example, Psalm 5:4-6; Proverbs 6:16-19), but He recognized that humankind was totally incapable of measuring up to His standard of perfection. That great statement of righteous requirements, the Ten Commandments, demonstrated the utter impossibility of complete compliance (Exodus 20; Psalm 14; etc.). Conversely, God repeatedly extended His invitation to be rescued from sin and its effects and its necessary judgment by confidence in His plan for mankind. In our text, we see that “all the ends of the earth” have the opportunity to be “saved.” “Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come” (Isaiah 45:24).

This plan of God focuses on the promised Redeemer who would come to buy back humanity from its enslavement to sin. “A virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: . . . and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:5-6). JDM

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