The Exaltation of God’s Kingdom Isaiah 40-66, cont’d.
Isaiah 49-57 God Saves Those in His Kingdom through His Servant, cont’d.
The Servant’s Obedience Isaiah 50:1-11
Isaiah 50:1-3-God tells Israel that He will punish them because they have forsaken Him. At any time, if they had repented, He had the power to save them. He uses two familiar images to describe what had not happened that caused Israel to be separated from God. One, He didn’t divorce them like a man does a wife. Two, He didn’t sell them like a master does a slave. Instead, they had sinned and in doing so they were the one who had separated themselves from God.
Isaiah 50:4-11-In contrast to the disobedience of Israel, the Messiah is perfectly obedient. Every morning He listens to the voice of God in order to know what He desires (:4-5). Despite how He is received by the people, He is faithfully obedient to the Father (:6). Isaiah declares that the LORD will help the Messiah (:7). He tells those that claim to have knowledge that He doesn't have to stand up and contend with them on His own...God will help Him (:8-9,11). Those that think that they have some special light should live by it. But in the end, that very light will serve as testimony against them because it is false and leads them to disobedience before God (:11).
The Servant’s Ministry Isaiah 51:1-52:12
Isaiah 51:1-13-Isaiah tells the people to remember their past and how God had worked among them. They have forgotten Who He is (:13).
- (:2-3) Isaiah tells the people to remember how God brought their great nation into existence from a single couple, in the past. He will do a similar thing, again.
- (:4-8) He tells them to remember that God had given them His law to live by
- (:9-11) He tells them to remember how God rescued them from Egypt (“Rahab” was an ancient mythological monster that represents Egypt, cf. 30:7)Isaiah 52:1-12-God continues His call to the people to prepare for Him to rescue them. He tells them again that He is going to reestablish their nation and that they will be set free from those who conquered them (“the uncircumcised and unclean”, :1) and they will no longer have a presence in Jerusalem. God has watched as His people have been mistreated from the days that the Egyptians enslaved them until the recent deportation by the Assyrians…and He has grown tired of it (:4). Even though these things happened to them because of their disobedience…it actually causes His name to be ridiculed (:5). So, God says that He is about to rescue them in such a way that His name will be glorified and honored (:6). He says that those who proclaim what He is about to do will be spoken well of (:7). He commands the watchmen to tell the people to prepare to leave (:8-11). God will prepare the way for them and He will guard them from behind (:12). In these verses we are given a broad description of the Servant (Messiah) and the suffering He would endure in order to save God’s people.
The Servant’s Suffering Isaiah 52:13-53:12
- Isaiah 51:14-23-Isaiah says that the people who are in exile will return to the land of Israel (:14-15). God has chosen to save them (:16) despite the fact that they are suffering as a result of their own disobedience (:17-20). When this happens, they are to remember that it was accomplished by the power of God. Those who conquered and tormented them will be conquered and tormented themselves. (:21-23).
One of the most treasured and important passages in the O.T. These verses present the Servant suffering vicariously for men's sins...The passage divides into 5 sections of three verses each...52:13-15 The preeminence of the Servant; 53:1-3 The person of the Servant; 53:4-6 The passion of the Servant; 53:7-9 The passivity of the Servant; 53:10-12 The portion of the Servant.
The Ryrie Study Bible, footnote on Isaiah 52:13
Isaiah 52:13-15…The preeminence of the Servant
Because of the punishment that the Servant would endure (this speaks of the cruel mistreatment of Jesus at the hands of Pilate's soldiers), He would rise to a position of even greater prominence among His people. The word "sprinkle" is a reference to the work a priest does to purify them (1 Peter 1:12).
Prayer: Father, sometimes I forget all that You have done for me. I don’t do so intentionally…it just seems that time blurs the memories and clouds the details. But I need to remember. I need to remember how You answered me in prayer. I need to remember how You blessed me with provision. I need to remember how You kept me from making bad decisions. I need to remember how You protected me in difficult situations. I need to remember how you strengthened me in trials. I need to remember how You forgave me of sin. I need to remember…because this is another day and life is bearing down. I need to remember Your faithfulness then…so that I will trust in it, now.