Isaiah 43:19 Meaning of Behold I Am Doing a New Thing

Isaiah 43:19
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Explanation and Commentary of Isaiah 43:19

The Israelites had wearied God with their sin and disobedience, but God is faithful and promises once again to care for them and provide for them. In former times he rescued them from Egypt, parting the waters and throwing horse and rider into the torrent (Isa 43:16-17). But now God has a whole new chapter of the redemptive story in store for them.

Part of it is what he tells them in this passage, that he will provide water in desolate places to turn a wasteland into a fruitful land. But Isaiah should also be read as a prophet of the coming Messiah. In this light, the rescue from slavery in Egypt is a sign and symbol of the rescue from slavery to sin and death. The passing through waters in the Red Sea is a foretaste of the passing through the waters of baptism. The salvation from Egypt did not create a new heart for the people, it did not cause their spirit to be regenerated and indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

God always does new things, or, “He makes all things new” (Rev 21:5). He never changes, but as he reveals deeper and deeper layers of the truth, his people experience aspects of God and his salvation in brand new ways and depths.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of Isaiah 43:19

#1 “See, I am doing a new thing!”
God is beginning to reveal the salvation that comes by Jesus Christ, who will die for our sins and rise again. In fact, he did that over seven hundred years later. The next “new thing” will be his return and the final judgment of all things. We wait patiently with the assurance that when God says, “I am doing,” he is.

#2 “Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”
All around is the evidence of the objective reality that God is working. One who believes can read Scripture and perceive the truth of God promises, as events and surroundings agree with the Word of God and our faith.

#3 “I am making a way in wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
This is symbolic language about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, rivers of living water (Jn 7:38). What is the difference between God’s people in the Old Testament who were trying to follow a God who had saved them from slavery in Egypt, and the people of the New Testament who are trying to follow a God who has rescued us from slavery to sin? The Holy Spirit is the difference-maker who enables us to walk by faith in obedience to Christ. The Holy Spirit allows us to abide in him (Jn 15).

Expert Overview of Isaiah 40-66

Biblical Translations of Isaiah 43:19

NIV
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

NKJV
“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.”

Isaiah 43:19 Meaning and Commentary

Author Bio
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Masters Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years. If you would like to reach out to contact Natalie, then go here to send her a message.