Isaiah 46:11-13

Isaiah 46:11-13

11 From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill My purpose.
What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.
12 Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, you who are now far from My righteousness.
13 I am bringing My righteousness near, it is not far away; and My salvation will not be delayed.
I will grant salvation to Zion, My splendor to Israel.

Could have included this yesterday, but did not have space to do it justice. It is seldom one sees stubborn and heart linked in the Bible as we have here:

12 Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, you who are now far from My righteousness.

Including the above there are fourteen instances, usually linked with rebellious or evil hearts; only two of them occur in the New Testament. You may view all of them here.

Now back to our verse of the day starting with verse eleven, the bird of prey (ravenous bird in some versions) and a man to fulfill My purpose are linked to Cyrus as foretold in chapter 45 and the standard carried for Cyrus and those who followed him was that of an eagle, a bird of prey. Then in verse twelve we discover the stubborn-hearted are those far from My [God’s] righteousness. I like what MacLaren’s Expositions says about this verse:

God has promised that He will dwell with him that is humble and of a contrite heart. Jesus has shed the oil of His benediction on the poor in spirit. It is the men who form the exact antithesis to these characters who are addressed here. The ‘stout-hearted’ [stubborn-hearted] are those who, being untouched in conscience and ignorant of their sin, are self-reliant and almost defiant before God. That temper is branded here, though, of course, there is a sense in which a stout heart [stubborn-hearted] is a priceless possession, but that sort of stoutness of heart [stubborn-hearted] is best secured by the contrite of heart. Those who are far from righteousness are those who are not only sinful in act, but do not desire to be otherwise, having no approximation or drawing towards a nobler life, by aspiration or effort.

So what is God doing or rather going to do to get the attention of the stubborn-hearted to provide them an opportunity to return to God? He speaks of bringing His righteousness near and here the word righteousness refers to the truth and the implementation of His promises. His promises would be manifested to them so plainly and unmistakably there could be no doubt on what they were [are] seeing. It will not be far away, they would be able to see it clearly so there could be no misunderstanding what they were seeing or experiencing.
Imagine, if you will, you are a person left behind after the rapture, and now you know the truth that you once only gave lip service to, not really believing. Then with the truth in front of you, you now believe, and become one of those who will follow Christ now during the tribulation.

Salvation comes to Zion and God’ splendor to Israel as His people return from captivity and Diaspora then and later when Israel again experiences His salvation and splendor. Of course there is another fulfillment of this prophecy when Jesus, the salvation, came to Zion and His splendor to Israel and the world. As was also predicted they could not see who Jesus was because of their stubborn-hearts.

19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. John 3