Things happen with Israel's God! The prophet recalls the Exodus, God's revolutionary making of a way through the sea. The prophet warns against staying focused on the treasured resource of the past, for God is "about to do a new thing." He speaks of God bringing liberation again by sending his servant, Cyrus, to Babylon (Isaiah 44:28, 45:1). God will make "a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert" (Isaiah 43:19).
God's miraculous freedom is not restricted to Israel. Indeed, the response of praise sounds from wild animals, "the jackals and the ostriches" (Isaiah 43:20). Why not from us too? We may live with the oh-so-familiar sense that we are locked into destructive patterns as individuals and in larger social realities. Repentance calls us. But more is possible for us walking with Jesus this season: praise, for God is doing a new thing, even for us.
Liberating God, we praise you for the good word. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17) and the promise that you will pour out your spirit on all flesh (Acts 2:17). Amen.
Isaiah 43:16-21 (NRSV)
16 Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters,
17 who brings out chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:
18 Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old.
19 I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
20 The wild animals will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches; for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people,
21 the people whom I formed for myself so that they might declare my praise.