God the Saviour



Isaiah knows that God – the Holy One of Israel, the LORD Almighty – is also the Saviour and the Redeemer.

‘For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour’ – 43:3.

Indeed, it is because he is the Holy One, it is because he is the Creator, it is because he is the LORD God Almighty, that of necessity he is also the Saviour. There is actually no other Saviour. Only this God who is the only God, who is the Sovereign Lord of all the earth, is able to save us.

‘I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no saviour. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed – I, and not some foreign god among you’ – 43:11, 12.

‘... there is no God apart from me, a righteous God and a Saviour; there is none but me. Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is no other’ – 45:21, 22 (read verses 18 to 20 also).

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.

‘For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us’ – 33:22.

No other ‘god’, and no other spiritual power, has the ability to save us:

About idol gods: ‘Though one cries out to it is does not answer; it cannot save him from his troubles’ – 46:7.

About occult powers: ‘Let your astrologers come forward ... let them save you from what is coming upon you. ... They cannot even save themselves ...Each of them goes on in his error; there is not one that can save you’ – excerpted from 47:12 – 15.

When Isaiah talks about God as Saviour much of what he 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.

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 physical salvation and redemption necessary are circumstances that are directly related to Israel’s sins and God’s judgment, which make spiritual redemption and salvation necessary. [2] That the physical salvation and redemption are symbolic references to the deeper truth that God, and God alone, is the one who is the Redeemer and Saviour of our souls. What was true for Israel in a physical sense is also, and, more importantly and more broadly, true in a spiritual sense.

Isaiah spoke of spiritual salvation in terms that anticipate the salvation we have in Jesus Christ:

‘I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness’ – 61:10.

For those who have received salvation from God there is a mindset of trust, peace, joy and praise:

‘Surely, this is our God; we trusted him, and he saved us.
This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation’ – 25:9.

‘This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength ...”’ – 30:15.

‘The LORD will save me, and we will sing with stringed instruments all the days of our lives in the temple of the LORD’ – 38:20.

‘...the ransomed of the LORD will return.
They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and mourning will flee away’ – 35:10.

With such a salvation, with such a Saviour, let us encourage each other, as Isaiah encouraged the Israelites:

‘Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts.
Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon’ – 55:6, 7.

© Rosemary Bardsley 2023