Isaiah 43:18–19 (NKJV)
“Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
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.
God demonstrates His faithfulness to His people Israel promising that which was as yet unseen and long desired. God promised to do a new thing. He first convicts Israel for their unbelief and their sin and yet promises them that He would forgive and restore. Pointing to the evidence of the past as sufficient to show them that He alone was the true God and in Him alone was salvation. He was the true God who redeemed, the God who worked, and the God who would blot out their transgressions.
The evidence from the past was sufficient for right conclusions during present crisis. But God said “I will do a new thing.” In what way was it new? It was not new in motivation for it was for His glory and in a love for His people to restore them to covenant relationship. It was not new in method. For He chastens His people with bondage, delivers them by destroying a world power, and sustained them in the wilderness. It was then new in time. What God had done He would do again. It is consistent with His nature to give fresh evidences of His goodness that we would not have to rely on the old shucks of history alone but by the harvest of fresh grain of new experiences strengthen our faith and reveal himself to a new generation.
So each year we look back to see how well we have eaten of His goodness, and if in recent time it be a lean feast ; if received with thankfulness, it stands to us as an appetizer only, causing us to wait expectantly for things to come. If it seems that troubles and sins abound it may be He is drawing out the quantity of ingredients from which He will prepare the feast. So we rejoice in God’s faithfulness and we pray “Lord do a new thing!”