In vs. 8-13, Isaiah records God covering a lot of ground, which might be better as bullet points:
- Israelites are stubborn and "far from righteousness" (13), transgressors of God's law and ways (8) and are called to remember His uniqueness (9).
- God knows the end from the beginning and will accomplish what He's set out to do (10). In this case it's using the Babylonian's (and/or Persian King Cyrus [Ch 45:1]), to accomplish His purposes, what He has planned. This is huge, because we see that God is using someone who is not of His people to accomplish what He wants, so that others will see the greatness of God (45:5-6, 14). Whether it's Israel or not, God's purpose is for people to come to know His greatness and follow Him (45:20-23)! But back to Ch. 46...
- God reminds the Israelites of the availability of His righteousness, and HE is the one who imparts both salvation and the presence of His glory to Israel (13).
The beginning of Ch. 47 seems to indicate that God is still talking about Babylon, having moved on from King Cyrus for the time being. Vs. 1-7 speak of Babylon's coming humiliation also being purposed by God not just because God is Israel's redeemer but because the Babylonians were unmerciful to God's people. But in vs. 8-11 God proclaims that their wickedness will be their downfall, even though they claim to be without rival and no one will hold them accountable for what they've done. Interestingly, amongst talk of sorcery and spells, God says, "Your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you" (10), which implies that their sorceries were not really wisdom or knowledge, but delusions. In fact, their predictions cannot save the Babylonian people from what will befall them (12-15) because astrology has no substantive value.
How many times will God have to make Himself known to us, confirming His lovingkindness toward us, before we concede our wills and follow Him into the now-available abundant life that precedes eternal life? Let our answer not be the enigmatic, and never satisfied, response, "One more."