How does God identify himself, and why is that important? The 101 Bible Study meeting on August 23 looks to Isaiah 41 for answers.
“The emphasis on water and trees had also been found in the account of Eden in Genesis 3. Through the entrance of sin into the world, however, the garden was forfeited, and man entered a world where thorns and thistles would grow and he would labor by the sweat of his brow. In picturing the future age of blessing, the eschatalogical period when restoration will occur, Isaiah uses the combined figures of water and trees. It is as though a bit of heaven had come down to earth; and, indeed, those who one day will be blessed of these rivers and these trees are in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus.” (E. J. Young, Commentary on Isaiah, Vol. 3, p.95).
“This verse [Isaiah 41:22] illustrates the true nature of Christian apologetics. Falsehood is here placed upon the defensive; it is commanded in the name of the God of Israel to defend its cause and to out its justification for existence. There are difficulties in the acceptance of Christianity, but the Christian need not be expected to answer every difficulty. Rather, he must challenge the very right of unbelief to a hearing. The cause of God is best defended by means of a challenging offensive such as is here offered.” (E. J. Young, Commentary on Isaiah, Vol. 3, p.98).