By Em Sumaway
In Isaiah 45:23 Jehovah said: “By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.” Paul, in all boldness and audacity, quoted this text and reapplied it to Jesus. The implication is instantly recognizable and as clear as a cloudless, sunny day—Jesus Christ is Lord. The homage which the prophet said was due to Jehovah, the apostle Paul says is due to Christ; it was also to be universal, involving “every knee” and “every tongue.”
A similar example is the New Testament use of Joel 2:32. The prophet had written that “everyone who calls on the name of LORD will be saved.” On the Day of Pentecost, however, Peter reapplied this promise to Jesus, urging his hearers to believe in Jesus and be baptized in His name (Acts 2:21, 38). Similarly, Paul wrote later that the Lord Jesus “is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” (Rom. 10:12-13). Thus the saving power of Jehovah to Israel has become the saving power of Jesus to Jewish and Gentile believers alike.