New American Standard Bible
14 This is what the Lord your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says:
“For your sake I have sent to Babylon,
And will bring them all down as fugitives,
I am the Lord, your Holy One,
The Creator of Israel, your King.”
16 This is what the Lord says,
He who makes a way through the sea
And a path through the mighty waters,
Who brings out the chariot and the horse,
The army and the mighty man
(They will lie down together and not rise again;
They have been extinguished, and have gone out like a wick):
“Do not call to mind the former things,
Or consider things of the past.
Behold, I am going to do something new,
Now it will spring up;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.
The animals of the field will glorify Me,
The jackals and the ostriches,
Because I have given waters in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert,
To give drink to My chosen people.
The people whom I formed for Myself
Will declare My praise.
The Lord is the redeemer of Israel. He is the one who not only chose Abraham and established a covenant. But it was the Lord who raised up Moses and empowered and equipped Moses to set the Israelites free. It is the Lord who would bring down the mighty nation of Babylon. Every ruling power in the world believes itself to be invincible until its time comes to an end.
God using the term The Lord, Your Holy One, The creator of Israel, Your King all speaks to the intimate relationship God had with the nation of Israel. It was God who went before them. It was God who protected them. It is God who goes before us. When we are in relationship with Jesus Christ we are adopted into God’s family. We become sons and daughters of the Most High God. It is all accomplished through faith. Our sins are forgiven and our lives redeemed through the precious blood of Jesus. Jesus paid it all so that we could be restored to right relationship with the Living God.
The Lord points Israel’s attention to what He did at the Red Sea. The Lord split the sea in two by His mighty power. He made a way for Israel to walk through on dry land. He drew the armies of Pharaoh in and when Israel was safely on the other side, the Lord destroyed the armies of Pharaoh in a moment.
God always points to His word and what He has done to remind us of His faithfulness. Looking at what God has done in the past encourages us, but we should never believe that it hinders God from doing something brand new. This is God Almighty we are talking about. Sometimes we tend to forget this. Many times we see our problems as something huge, and our God as something insignificant. But we must daily immerse our minds and hearts in the word of God.
The Lord says not to call to mind the former things, or ponder the things of the past. God is always doing newer and greater things. We should look to the past to remember the faithfulness of God. He has proven Himself time and time again in every situation. But the Lord says not to look to the past here because His deliverance of Israel would be a new thing. The things of the past point to the exodus from Egypt. The new thing God will do is Israel’s exodus from Babylon. Their sin and wickedness had caused them to enter into exile. But God in His grace and mercy would bring them out of exile and bring them back to their land.
The Lord will do a new thing. God would move on the heart of Cyrus king of Persia. During the exodus from Egypt the Lord raised up His servant Moses. But here the Lord will do a new thing. He would make a highway or roadway in the wilderness. The distance from Babylon to Jerusalem before it took place seemed like an impossible journey for the Israelites to make. How would they ever be free to return to the land? But God made a way by His mighty power. We must remember this in our own lives when faced with impossible circumstances. We serve the God of the impossible. For those who believe nothing is impossible. But the question is do we truly trust God?
All of creation will praise the Lord. The jackals and ostriches were animals who would often be found in a deserted place. This is what Jerusalem had become because of the sin and wickedness of the people. But God in His grace and mercy had not forgotten nor forsaken Israel. He simply calls Israel to trust Him and look to Him for hope and strength alone. The Lord would bring forth waters in the wilderness, rivers in the desert. God called Moses to bring forth water from a rock. Water is essential in the wilderness and desert regions because without it one will die from lack of thirst. But the water God speaks of here is not physical water, but renewal of life. Jesus spoke of living water flooding the soul of those who trusted Him and walked with Him. It is God who brings restoration and healing. No matter how dire our circumstance seems, God is in control.
It is God who has formed man in His image. It is God who created the nation of Israel through His call of Abraham. God established a covenant with Abraham and that covenant was passed onto Isaac and then to Jacob. From Jacob we have the nation of Israel. Israel is God’s chosen people. What God begins in the life of His chosen servants, He will indeed complete (Phil 1:6). We are saved by the grace of God and we are kept by the grace of God. Jesus calls us to abide in Him. The mistake Israel made throughout their history is they continually wandered from the way established by God. Obedience is very important to God Almighty. But obedience is only possible as we abide in Him on a daily basis.