God’s people have failed to worship properly and faithfully, burdening God with their sins, rather than bringing their gifts with joy. The only remedy is divine forgiveness.
The prophets often condemn Israel’s hypocritical worship practices. Israel brings sacrifices instead of justice (Prophet to the northern kingdom who condemned Israel's oppression of the poor, calling for justice to "roll down like waters." More 5:21-24), attempts to use sacrifices to curry God’s favor (A psalm is a song of praise. In the Old Testament 150 psalms comprise the psalter, although some of the psalms are laments and thanksgivings. In the New Testament early Christians gathered to sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. More 50:7-15), or, as here, brings not gifts but sins to lay upon God. Thus, we get here something that sounds like the typical prophetic judgment An oracle is a divine utterance of guidance, promise, or judgment delivered to humans through an intermediary (who is often also called an oracle). In the Bible oracles are given by Balaam (in the book of Numbers) and by David (in 2 Samuel). A number... More: because Israel had burdened God, God delivered the people to “utter destruction” (v. 28). There is a surprise, however, in the middle–not judgment, but forgiveness: “I will not remember your sins” (v. 25). Just as Israel was not to remember the former things (see Isaiah, son of Amoz, who prophesied in Jerusalem, is included among the prophets of the eighth century B.C.E. (along with Amos, Hosea, and Micah)--preachers who boldly proclaimed God's word of judgment against the economic, social, and religious disorders of their time. More 43:16-21), neither will God. A new work is afoot.
The odd sequence, with forgiveness in the middle, reflects the poetic structures of Hebrew poetry. The argument here is not linear, but concentric. The accusations and the judgments are at the outer limits of the text, but God’s forgiveness anchors things in the middle: You have brought me sins instead of sacrifices (vv. 22-24); your ancestors sinned and were justifiably punished (vv. 26-28); but now, as the center of all things, “I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake” (v. 25). The structure is this: sin, forgiveness, sin–with the God of forgiveness established as the center of all things.
The wordplay on “burdened” in vv. 23-24 uses the same root as the verb “to serve,” so important in Second Isaiah refers chapters 40-55 of the book of Isaiah. This work was likely written during Israel's exile in Babylon (597-538 B.C.E.). Second Isaiah includes poetic passages of hope as well as descriptions of the Suffering Servant. More. I have not enslaved you (“en-servanted you”) with burdensome requirements, says God, but you have “enslaved” me with your sins–that is, laid on me a burden, a barrier that has prevented me from acting fully for your good. Now, God must remove the burden of sin in order to be the God of deliverance. Proper servanthood is what Second Isaiah is about: Israel is called to be God’s servant in doing God’s work and glorifying God (41:9; 49:3, and often in the book); for the sake of Israel and the nations, God does the same work that is allotted to God’s servant (compare 42:1-4 and 51:4-5). Properly, Israel and God serve one another in love and faithfulness. But though God will serve, God will not be enslaved. God will break that bond in order to deliver.
Later, we hear how the one called to be servant does the central work of God described in this text: God is the one who “blots out your transgressions” (43:25); the servant will bear “the sin of many” and make intercession “for the transgressors” (53:12). Forgiveness is seen as God’s primary identifying work: “I, I am He who blots out your transgressions.