What does Isaiah 43:18-19 really mean?

Isaiah 43:18-19 is about God urging us to let go of past events and look toward the new things He is doing in our lives.

18 “Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
19 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.


Setting the Scene for Isaiah 43:18-19

In Isaiah chapter 43, we find the prophet Isaiah addressing the Israelites who are in exile in Babylon. The scene is set in a humble dwelling where a group of Israelites has gathered to hear Isaiah’s words of comfort and hope. The room is dimly lit by oil lamps, casting a warm glow on the faces of those present. The air is heavy with the scent of incense burning in a corner, creating a sense of reverence and solemnity.

Among those gathered are men and women of various ages, their faces reflecting the weariness and longing for their homeland. Isaiah, a revered figure known for his prophecies, stands in the center, his voice resonating with authority as he speaks words of encouragement to his people. He reminds them of God’s faithfulness in the past and assures them of His promise to bring them out of captivity and into a new season of restoration and blessing.

As Isaiah proclaims, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” the room is filled with a sense of anticipation and renewed faith. The flickering light dances on the faces of the listeners, illuminating a glimmer of hope in their eyes as they cling to the promise of a brighter future ahead.

What is Isaiah 43:18-19 about?

When we read this verse, we are reminded of the grace and mercy that God extends to us. It is a gentle nudge to let go of any guilt, shame, or regrets that may weigh us down from our past mistakes. Forgetting the past makes room for God to work in our present and future. We cannot fully embrace God’s new blessings if we are stuck in our past failures, just as a painter cannot create a new masterpiece if they keep focusing on the old canvas.

God’s call to forget the past is not to erase memories or experiences, but rather to release the negative hold they may have on us. It is an invitation to trust in His plan and His ability to transform our lives. When we let go of the past, we open ourselves up to receive the new beginnings and blessings that God has in store for us. Just like a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, we are called to embrace the beauty of the new work that God is doing in us.

Understanding what Isaiah 43:18-19 really means

In the book of Isaiah, specifically in chapter 43, verses 18-19, we find a powerful message of hope and renewal. The prophet Isaiah, speaking to the Israelites during a time of exile and hardship, delivers a message from God encouraging His people to let go of the past and look forward to the new things He is about to do. This message is not just for the ancient Israelites but resonates with us today, reminding us of God’s faithfulness and His continuous work in our lives.

One key phrase in these verses is “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” This phrase urges us to release our grip on past mistakes, sins, and even past glories that might hinder us from embracing the new work God is doing. It challenges us to let go of regrets and failures, allowing us to move forward with hope and faith in God’s promises. Can we, like the Israelites, heed this call to release the burdens of the past and step into the newness that God has in store for us?

God declares, “See, I am doing a new thing!” This proclamation signifies His active involvement in bringing about a fresh start, a new reality, and a path of transformation for His people. It beckons us to be attentive and open to the new opportunities and blessings that God is preparing for us. Are we willing to perceive and embrace the new things God is doing in our lives, even if they may not align with our expectations or plans?

Furthermore, the imagery of God making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland conveys His ability to provide for us even in the most desolate and challenging circumstances. This reassurance reminds us that no situation is beyond God’s reach, and He can create paths of hope and sustenance where we see only barrenness. Do we trust in God’s provision and guidance, even when our surroundings seem bleak and hopeless?

As we reflect on these verses, we can draw connections to other passages in the Bible that reinforce the themes of new beginnings, transformation, and God’s promise of renewal. Verses like 2 Corinthians 5:17, Philippians 3:13-14, and Revelation 21:5 echo the message of leaving behind the old and embracing the new work that God is doing in our lives. These passages serve as reminders of God’s continuous work of transformation and restoration in those who believe in Him.

In our modern world, filled with uncertainties and challenges, the message of Isaiah 43:18-19 remains relevant and poignant. It offers hope and encouragement to those facing difficult circumstances, reminding them that God is always at work, bringing about newness and restoration. Just as the Israelites were called to let go of the past and embrace the future, we are encouraged to release our grip on what was and step into the new things God is doing in our lives today.

Consider a person who has recently experienced a significant loss or setback, feeling overwhelmed by the uncertainty of the future. This verse can serve as a beacon of hope and reassurance, reminding them that God has a plan for renewal and a path forward, even in the midst of their struggles. Reflect on a time in your own life when you faced a challenging situation, and how focusing on God’s promise of new beginnings helped you navigate that period with faith and perseverance.

In conclusion, let us heed the call to forget the former things, be open to the new work God is doing, and trust in His provision and guidance. As we meditate on Isaiah 43:18-19, may we be reminded of God’s faithfulness and His promise of renewal in our lives. Take a moment to reflect on what “new thing” God might be doing for you right now, and may you have the courage and faith to embrace it wholeheartedly. May God grant you the discernment to perceive His hand at work in your life and the strength to walk confidently into the newness He has in store for you.

What new thing is God doing in my life?

God is doing a new thing in your life, a fresh start, and a new beginning that will bring about a transformation. God is asking you to let go of the past and not dwell on former things, just as He promises in the verse you referenced. It signifies a turning point where God is leading you into a season of breakthrough and blessings that you have not experienced before.

This new thing God is doing may involve stepping into uncharted territories, embracing new opportunities, and trusting in His guidance. It’s a reminder to stay focused on God’s promises and have faith in His ability to make a way where there seems to be no way. Allow God to work in your life, setting aside doubts and fears, knowing that He is creating something extraordinary for you.


Escape the chains of the past, and dive into the fresh opportunities unfolding before you. Just like in the world of technology, constantly updating and innovating, let us also adapt and evolve towards betterment. Don’t get entangled in previous versions, but instead, upgrade to a new, improved edition of yourself. Will you seize the moment and embrace the exciting changes awaiting you today?