Isaiah 43:18 - The Past Should Not Be Your Focus.

Isa.43:18; The Past Should Not Be Your Focus.

CONTENT; What's in the verse; Translations; Paraphrase; Word 

Isaiah 43:18 (KJV)  Remember ye not the former things, neither 
consider the things of old. 

Isaiah 43:18 (NIV)  "Forget the former things; do not dwell on 
the past. 

CONTEXT; What's around the verse; Overview; Topic:

Judah's sovereign LORD intends good for His people (40:1-31). 
God, not the idols worshiped by the nations, controls the future 
(41:1-29). Though Israel failed its national calling as God's servant, One 
from the nation will fulfill God's purpose (42:1-25) when the Creator 
acts to redeem His chosen people (43:1-44:25). As evidence, God will 
appoint one named Cyrus to restore Jerusalem (v. 26-45:25). Oppressive 
Babylon will be crushed, and God's word of blessing for Israel will be 
fulfilled (46:1-48:22). [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

Restoration and Protection Promised
The LORD's Promise of Victory
God Will Save His People Again

CROSS REFERENCES; What's in verses elsewhere.

Deut. 7:18 (KJV)  Thou shalt not be afraid of them: but shalt 
well remember what the Lord thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all 

Deut. 8:2 (KJV)  And thou shalt remember all the way which the 
Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble 
thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou 
wouldest keep his commandments, or no.  

1 Chron. 16:12 (KJV)  Remember his marvellous works that he hath 
done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;  

Isaiah 46:9 (KJV)  Remember the former things of old: for I am 
God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,  

Isaiah 65:16-17  That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall 
bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth 
shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are 
forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.  For, behold, I create 
new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, 
nor come into mind.  

Philip. 3:13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: 
but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, 
and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  

COMMENTARY / APPLICATION: Moving From The Head To The Heart
What is God teaching here? What does it teach about Jesus?

Remember ye not. God had done great things for His people in 
ages past, but these would be small in comparison with what He would 
do for them in the future. [SDA Commentary] 

Former things refers to the prophecies of judgment by Isaiah and 
other prophets (see 42:9, 21-25; 43:9, 10; 46:8, 9; 48:3). [Nelson 

43:14-21  God would destroy Babylon and bring His people back to 
Palestine, a new thing that, when compared to most other wonders of 
Israel's history, would make those seem as nothing. [Ryrie SB] 

The Lord commanded the people not to remember the past (46:9, 
10). The kingdom of Israel inaugurated at the first Exodus and the 
conquest of the Promised Land would be insignificant compared to the new 
kingdom God would establish. [Nelson SB] 

43:15-21 This section pictures a new exodus for a people once 
again oppressed, as the Israelites had been as slaves in Egypt before 
the exodus. They would cry to God, and again he would hear and 
deliver them. A new exodus would take place through a new desert. The 
past miracles were nothing compared to what God would do for his 
people in the future. [Life Application SB] 

Isaiah 43:14-21 God's creative work never ends. He constantly 
works to create a people. See note on vv. 1-7. As holy King, He is 
morally perfect and absolute ruler. He will not let His people totally 
perish. He will destroy enemies and renew His disciplined people. The 
Creator God is not a figure of the past who has become senile and 
forgetful. He is the Creator bringing new redemption to His people. Because 
God is holy, He cannot overlook iniquity. Because He is a God of 
redemption, He forgives and restores His people. He is constantly creating 
new things for His people so we can serve Him and bring His purposes 
to pass in the world. [Disciple SB] 

Philip. 3:13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: 
but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, 
and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  

Isaiah 65:17  For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: 
and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.  

It has been said that the depressed person lives in the past. 
The obsessive person lives for tomorrow. The healthy person lives in 
today. Where do you live? 
Those who choose to dwell in the past tend to focus on "shoulds" 
and "coulds." What should they have done? What could they have done 
differently? Some people look at their pasts, assume the future is going to 
be the same way, and give up. True, some have had difficult past 
experiences, but God is in the present and can make a difference. 
We can deal with the past in the sense that we can forgive 
people and forgive ourselves, but we cannot live the past over. This is 
not to say we are to ignore the past. Some people figure they must 
never think about the past; if they do, it must mean they have not 
forgiven those who hurt them. This negative rigidity usually indicates 
that they really have not worked through the pain to choose 
forgiveness. When this is the case, the patterns from the past generally 
repeat in the present and. future. When people "gloss over" the past, 
they get mired in bitterness,  
The goal is not to push the past from our memories but to get to 
the place where we are not embittered by it, where we do not dwell 
on it or let it control us. Dr. Verle Bell  [Passages Of Life SB re 
Phil.3:13, 14] 

Child of mine, This journey we are on together is forward 
looking. The destination is ever before you. You have not arrived, but 
you are on your way. Press on. Take hold of that glorious purpose 
for which Jesus Christ has taken hold of you. His purpose is that 
you know him, that you become like him, that your life become a 
channel through which his love can flow to others. His purpose is that 
you spend eternity enjoying me, starting now! 
Many have traveled this road before you, and you can learn from 
them. Consider Paul. Suppose he had taken time out from his journey to 
dwell on past failures. He could have looked back and become paralyzed 
by the guilt and shame of a life spent persecuting the church of 
Jesus Christ. Why, Paul even held the coats of the murderers who 
stoned my servant Stephen! He stood by watching in approval. But once 
he was forgiven, Paul did not waste time or spiritual energy 
looking back. He knew that the past had been put under the blood of 
Jesus, and he was free to press on toward the goal. 
Do you know these things about your past? Come be forgiven, once 
and for all, and then look back no more. Instead, look ahead to the 
glory that lies out before you. And press on! God [Postcards from 
Heaven by Claire Cloninger re Phil.3:13, 14]