Isaiah 49:1–13 – The Call And Mission Of The Servant
Isaiah 49:14–26 – The Repopulation Of Zion
Isaiah 50 – Israel’s Sin And The Servant’s Obedience
Isaiah 51:1–52:12 – The Remnant Comforted Because Of Their Glorious Prospect
Isaiah 52:13–53:12 – The Sufferings And Glories Of The Lord’s Righteous Servant
Thoughts about serving others
This link includes a list of posts about Serving the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely.
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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.
One Reply to “The Servant’s Ministry and Israel’s Restoration”
Today’s text has much to do with being a faithful servant, trusting in God’s plan beyond our understanding, “Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand, and my reward is with my God” (Isaiah 49:4). It’s interesting to note in the middle of Isaiah’s writing, he includes, “I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth” (49:6). So much of the Jewish tradition seems to be wrapped up in keeping themselves separated from others, yet here we read that God is not limited to just his chosen people. Paul and Barnabas will use this verse as their theme in Acts while the pious refuse to regard those outside their clans. God’s plan is for the redemption of all, not limited to those of a particular tribe. Indeed, the land will be too small to contain all the people of God (49:20) for “those who hope in me will not be disappointed” (49:23).
Every day that we have on earth needs to advance the kingdom of God in some way. I try to remember this: You woke me up, what would you have me do today? Or better stated by Isaiah, “He awakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed” (50:4). Wake up and listen! Wake up and learn! That’s why we read the Bible every day, not out of some obligation or checklist, but to learn, to receive instruction. Lord teach me each day!
Verses 10 & 11 need to be read and considered carefully, especially in today’s culture where we believe that our hard work is all it takes to achieve success. We hear about successful people who are quoted as saying, “believe in yourself” and “work hard” as the foundation. It is important to have self-confidence, no doubt, but what is the foundation of that confidence? “Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God” (50:10). First step is to lean on God, hear his voice, his instruction–then work hard and chase your dream because your dream will be God-centered. “But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment” (50:11).
Our time on earth is limited. Read these words over and over again:
Awake, awake! Over and over Isaiah cries out, awake! God’s answer is Isaiah 53. Quoted throughout the New Testament, stop and read this aloud. Just 12 verses, but there is great beauty in these words, “he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his woulds we are healed” (53:5).
Lord, you woke me up today, what can I do to advance your kingdom now? Teach me and lead me, I will follow.