The meaning of Isaiah 43:19 is rich with encouragement for rough times. This Scripture ( I am doing a new thing in the Bible) helps us to understand Gods heart towards us, even when we are stubborn, stupid, and wayward. What can we learn from Isaiah 43:19?
Isaiah 43:19 scripture: I am doing a new thing NKJV
Here is the New King James Version of the verse we are about to dig into.
Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
There are other versions at the end of this post. I recommend reading them.
Isaiah 43:19 meaning – What is Isaiah 43:19 all about?
For us to understand what Isaiah 43:19 is saying, we have to first understand the context. This verse is being spoken by the prophet Isaiah. He is saying what God has inspired him to say.
The question is: why is he saying this thing and to whom is telling this wonderful promise?
From the time He led Israel out of Egypt, God had been trying to accomplish one goal: to get the Israelites to love Him and Him only.
But Israel constantly strayed. They constantly worshipped idols. They were always doing things that God did not approve of. They kept doing things God told them not to do. They were stubborn and wayward.
For this reason God was going to punish them for being disobedient. Isaiah was given the responsibility of prophesying what would happen to them in the future.
God was going to send the Babylonians to conquer Judah. The Babylonians would capture hundreds of Judaens and take them as slaves to Babylon.
But at some point God would allow the Babylonians themselves to be conquered and the Judaens would be released to go back home.
This verse is addressed to people who were living in sin and refused to turn. In one sweep, Isaiah delivered terrible news but also a message of hope. It is the wonderful part of God’s promise that is recorded in Isaiah 43:19.
Isaiah 43:19 meaning – I am doing a new thing meaning
Leave it to God to give both bad news and good news all at once. God never leaves His beloved people without hope and comfort. Who doesn’t love a promise of something new?
What does it mean when God says I am doing a new thing?
God is always in the business of starting over. In this verse, he tells his people that after their release from Babylonian captivity, He would do a “new thing”.
In Hebrew the word for “new thing” is chadash. It refers to something that has never happened before or something that has not existed before.
But, God had already done so much for these people. Now, if God is promising a new thing, there must be old things, right?
In the previous verse, God says this:
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” Isaiah 43:18
The Judaens, who were also Israelites, had a rich history of God doing marvelous miracles for them. They were descendants of those who had walked through the Red Sea on dry land when God built walls out of the waters. They were the descendants of those who drank water from the rock when Moses struck it.
For generations, these stories were told and retold to remind them of the God whom they served.
It is these stories that would have kept their hope afloat throughout all that life was throwing at them. And it was also very likely that these stories would help them endure slavery in Babylon. But before they even went into slavery, God was sending them a new reason to hope.
God was telling them not to look back on those old stories or to dwell on them too much. Instead, God wanted them to look forward. He wanted them to build their hope on what He would do for them in the future.
I will make a way in the wilderness meaning
When these Israelites were to be released from Babylonian captivity, they would have to walk through wilderness to get from Babylon to Judah.
For a people coming out of slavery, that was not going to be easy. They would be battling open country, hot, dry, dusty land with little vegetation. They would have to deal with wild animals, dangerous reptiles like snakes, no food, no water, and scores of barbaric nations who could attack them.
God had done this before for the Israelites when they were escaping Egypt. But, this time would be different. God would do it in a way that they could never have imagined.
God would ensure that during their journey back home, no harm would come to them. They would be guided and protected. God was going to create a highway to make their journey a little easier.
Rivers in the desert meaning
When God released the Israelites from Egypt, the water of the Red Sea was a hindrance to their escape from slavery.
They had to cross water to get to the promised land. God provided a way out by creating dry land. That was the miracle that made up the “former things” that God was telling this generation to forget.
For them, God would do something new. They would have to cross very dry and hostile land. God would provide water for them. Water that was a hindrance to their ancestors at the Red Sea would become their blessing. God would create not just streams but rivers. Some versions say flood. They would have so many blessings in the “new thing” God was bringing their way.
This was going to be another Exodus with a whole new set of miracles.
What does Isaiah 43:19 teach us?
We have looked at the literal, contextual meaning of Isaiah 43:19. What lessons can we draw for our lives today?
God wants to give you your own testimonies
In my first year of college, I met one of my dearest friends. I so admired her relationship with God. She had (and still has) the sharpest ears for hearing God’s voice. I lived for her testimonies and stories of how God moved in her life.
I was extremely sad when it was time for her to graduate. She recognized my sadness. I will never forget what she told me. She said sometimes God has to move people out of our lives so that we can recognize our own abilities and strengths.
My problem was that I was leaning on her testimonies a little too much. God wanted to give me my own testimonies. The same is true of the Judeans. They leaned on the testimonies of their ancestors who witnessed the Red Sea and the water flowing from the rock in the desert.
God wanted to give them their own experiences, first hand. And he wants to do the very same for you. The testimonies of your parents, friends, church folks etc are not enough. Because, there is nothing like a personal encounter with God. There is nothing like your own story to stand on.
God wants to give you new testimonies.
Since I was a teenager, I have always loved listening to the testimonies of others. I found them uplifting and energizing.
But there was this one man in church whose testimony I didn’t like. At least, not after he told it for only about the 700th time. I could recite that testimony from memory.
If you find yourself repeating the same old stories of what God has done for you, it’s time to go about getting some brand new stories.
Listen, God is ready to take you on a faith journey that will blow your mind. If you are ready for those new testimonies, He’s always been ready.
God adjusts his blessings according to our needs
When the children of Israel were first released from Egypt, God showed up to cater to their needs. They had a problem with water, He created dry land.
When they were thirsty, He gave them water. They were struggling to trust Him so he showed up in a cloud by day and fire by night. He gave them what they needed at that time.
Now, centuries later, these Israelites had different issues so God tailored His help accordingly. They were stubborn so he sent them consequences to get their attention and turn their hearts.
They were going to cross wilderness, He created a road. They would have to deal with too much dry land so he had plans to provide water.
God knows what we need for every season of life. He’s not in the habit of wasting your time or taking you on useless adventures. He is all knowing and all wise. His every move is carefully measured and crafted for your benefit.
So if you feel like God is giving you what you don’t need right now, maybe check to see if you’re on the same page with God. It might be time to start a conversation with Him.
God wants to do more for us than we realize
Isaiah perceived the grand and glorious future for them with such intensity. It is as if he was living in the future, in what was not yet. As Isaiah was prophesying, it was as if he was there when God was doing the “new thing” He was promising. It was so real for Isaiah.
… now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? (Isaiah 43:19)
God wants to do more for us right now than we are perceiving. We need to get the spiritual eyes of Isaiah so we can see the colorful and bountiful future that God has in store for us.
We need to let go of the stale testimonies and look at the picture of the future testimonies that God is getting ready to execute in our lives. He wants us to see it, feel it, taste it, get excited about it, and get ready for it.
God always has grand plans for us. But we often forfeit them when we refuse to repent and follow Him in humble obedience.
What has God dropped into your spirit about the plans He has for your future? Do you feel resistant? Or, are you excited and eager about them?
Isaiah 43:19 meaning – I am doing a new thing Scripture versions
Reading a verse from various translations is a great Bible study habit to have. You can get a better understanding of the verse before you even consult a commentary or begin an in depth study.
I am doing a new thing KJV
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
I am doing a new thing NLT
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
I am doing a new thing ESV
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
See, I am doing a new thing (The Message)
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.
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