STUDY 7: GOD - THE SAVIOUR AND REDEEMER

© Rosemary Bardsley 2017

Isaiah knows that God – the Holy One of Israel, the LORD Almighty – is also the Saviour and the Redeemer. Indeed, it is because he is the Holy One and it is because he is the LORD God Almighty that of necessity he is Saviour and Redeemer. He alone is the Sovereign God who holds not only the whole universe but also its inhabitants in his hand. There is no one else who could save; there is no one else who could redeem. No one is strong enough or authoritative enough to release humans from his justice and his judgement. If release is possible, if salvation is available, it can only be so because God himself both initiates and provides it.

As we look at God as Saviour and Redeemer we will see that much of what Isaiah says is about physical salvation – salvation in the context of physical threat or physical bondage of some sort. But there is also reference to spiritual salvation, and we will be looking at that more fully in another study. However, even the physical salvation and redemption of which Isaiah speaks has a spiritual significance. We can see this at two levels: [1] That often the physical circumstances that make salvation and redemption necessary are circumstances that are directly related to Israel’s sins and God’s judgment. [2] That the physical salvation and redemption are symbolic references to the deeper truth that God, and God alone, is the one who is our spiritual Redeemer and Saviour. What is true in a purely physical sense is also, and, more importantly, true in a spiritual sense.

A. GOD IS SAVIOUR

Isaiah refers frequently to God as the one who saves, the source and giver of salvation. He uses a variety of images to do this. As he does so he makes it clear that salvation is not limited to the people of Israel. He also makes it clear that salvation is something that only God – the Holy One, the LORD Almighty - can give.

Study these texts. What do they teach about God as the only Saviour and about salvation?
19:20-22 – Who is God saving in these verses?

25:9 – How should we respond to God and the salvation he gives us?

 

30:15 – What human response to God results in salvation?

33:22 – What identity is given to the God who saves us?

 

35:3,4 – How does Isaiah encourage those who need to be saved?

 

38:20 – Describe the confidence of those who know God as Saviour.

 

43:3 – Who is the Saviour?

 

43:11,12 – How does God stress the fact that he is the only Saviour?

 

45:15-17 – Is salvation permanent or temporary?

45:18-22 – What does God say about himself to increase our confidence in him and the salvation he gives?

 

46:5-7 – What does God say cannot save us? List God’s reasons for this.

 

47:12-15 – What else cannot save us, that actually does the opposite of saving us?

 

49:26 – What is one of the final results of God’s saving work?

 

59:15-18 – What connection is there between God’s justice and God’s salvation?

 

61:10,11 – Describe the spiritual salvation taught in these verses

 

 

63:1-6 – How are these verses prophetic of the saving work of Christ?

 

63:7-9 – From these verses describe the compassion of God that moves him to save.

 

B. GOD IS REDEEMER

The concept of God as Redeemer is grounded in God’s liberation of the Israelites from their 400 years of slavery in Egypt. That massive redemptive act identified God forever as ‘the Redeemer’. The prophets repeatedly refer back to this historic revelation of the sovereign power and mercy of God, reminding the people of who God is, demonstrated in what he has done for them in the past. This God, this powerful sovereign Redeemer, is the one whom they had, in Isaiah’s day, rejected, the one against whom they were then rebelling, the one they had replaced with worthless idols.

Study these verses from Isaiah. What do they teach about God as Redeemer, and about redemption?
41:14 – Who is Israel’s Redeemer?

43:1,7,10 – As well as redeeming Israel, what else had God done for this nation? How true is this for you also?

 

44:6 – How does God’s self-description in this verse help you to trust his redemption?

 

44:21-24 – How do these verses impact your joy and confidence in God, your Redeemer?

 

48:17-20 – What is the appropriate response for those whom God has redeemed?

 



51:10,11 – How is God’s past act of physically redeeming Israel from Egypt used to encourage hope for the future?

 


54:5,8 – How is God’s redeeming love expressed in these verses?

 

62:12 – What are those God has redeemed called?

 

63:16 – How does this verse indicate that love and intimacy are included in God’s act of redemption?

 

C. GOD AS SAVIOUR AND REDEEMER TODAY

For deeper thought:
Isaiah’s references to God as Saviour and Redeemer had immediate relevance to his hearers in the context of

[1] The fact that they had substituted trust in idols, the nations and/or the occult for trust in God;

[2] The judgement of God that must fall on them because of this primary sin and the secondary sins that resulted.

How is this relevant for us today?
[1] Identify what the secular world today has substituted for God.

 

[2] Identify what Christians individually and churches corporately sometimes substitute for God.

 

[3] How valid is a similar warning of judgement today?

 

[4] If redemption was possible for sinful Israel then, to what extent can we be confident that redemption is possible today?

 

[5] How does the concept of God as the physical Saviour and Redeemer of Israel help you to understand and appreciate God as your spiritual Saviour and Redeemer?