6 This is what Yahveh, Israel’s king, says, their protector, the LORD who leads armies: “I am the first and I am the last, there is no God but me. 7 Who is like me? Let him make his claim! Let him announce it and explain it to me– since I established an ancient people– let them announce future events! 8 Don’t panic! Don’t be afraid! Did I not tell you beforehand and decree it? You are my witnesses. Is there any God but me? There is no other protector; I know of none.
prophecy as witness
Interpretation options for verse seven are numerous, but here is my take on it: God is challenging the false idol to prove that it is the same as God. He is also challenging his own people – the ancient people whom he has established – to prophesy what he tells them to predict. This is how the Israelites in Isaiah’s day were to be his witnesses.
Fast forward a few centuries to the New Testament era, and we have Jesus challenging his followers to be his witnesses. That would involve prophesying as well. Because the message of Christ in the gospel is not just about what Jesus had done on the cross. It also includes what he is going to do in taking back this world. He is its rightful king.
LORD, give us insight into what you have told us in scripture about the future, and give us courage to proclaim that truth to a world which is not ready.