I remember the day someone very important coming to the school where I taught that everyone knew and wanted to meet. All the students, in rapid fire, kept asking, “When is he coming? What time is now? Where will he be? Can we talk to him? Can we give him a hug?” I taught first grade at the time to help you understand this form of questioning. When he finally entered the room, you could hear the gasps in unison from all the students gathered in assembly. He finally came, in person, and began to talk with them about going into space. Yes, an astronaut came to our school! He had been where “no man had gone before.” We were excited. He needed no introduction, but the principal said many words of praise before allowing this man we respected to speak.
Isaiah is excited to introduce THE SERVANT to the remnant. It will be centuries before God’s People will see God’s Word made flesh, born of a virgin, grow as Son of Man and Son of God and move into the neighborhood of all humanity. Isaiah is introducing God’s Son right now with God’s message about “The Servant.” Prophecy and scripture are true, validated by fulfillment in every detail. This is a case in point.
Jesus, God’ Son, came to earth to seek and to save the lost, turning hearts, minds, and souls back to God. Jesus Christ, Messiah, Son of God, came with power, enough power to raise from death to life, but only used this power when His Father God told him to use it. Jesus’ teaching and behaviors were revolutionary for that time and place and were counter culture to the religion that God’s priests maliciously formed to gain power over their own people. Instead, Jesus came to serve. Jesus was the ultimate example of a servant to mankind. “For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve — and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28
Paul will write of Jesus to the Philippians eloquently describing Jesus as The Servant along with what He did and how He served as He established the Kingdom of God. (See Philippians 2)
Isaiah must reintroduce who God is and then introduces His Son, “The Servant.” How could the people say they were forgotten and forsaken, when the Lord is a compassionate Father, a courageous warrior, and a constant lover of their souls? He is faithful to His Word even when we are unfaithful (2 Tim. 2:11–13). He is faithful to discipline when we rebel (Heb. 12:1–11), but He is also faithful to forgive when we repent and confess (1 John 1:9). The Servant’s message to the Gentiles was one of hope and blessing. He would deal with His people so that they, in turn, could bring God’s blessing to the Gentiles. Why? “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3;16
Isaiah 50, The Message
Who Out There Fears God?
1-3 God says:
“Can you produce your mother’s divorce papers
proving I got rid of her?
Can you produce a receipt
proving I sold you?
Of course you can’t.
It’s your sins that put you here,
your wrongs that got you shipped out.
So why didn’t anyone come when I knocked?
Why didn’t anyone answer when I called?
Do you think I’ve forgotten how to help?
Am I so decrepit that I can’t deliver?
I’m as powerful as ever,
and can reverse what I once did:
I can dry up the sea with a word,
turn river water into desert sand,
And leave the fish stinking in the sun,
stranded on dry land . . .
Turn all the lights out in the sky
and pull down the curtain.”
* * *
4-9 The Master, God, has given me
a well-taught tongue,
So I know how to encourage tired people.
He wakes me up in the morning,
Wakes me up, opens my ears
to listen as one ready to take orders.
The Master, God, opened my ears,
and I didn’t go back to sleep,
didn’t pull the covers back over my head.
I followed orders,
stood there and took it while they beat me,
held steady while they pulled out my beard,
Didn’t dodge their insults,
faced them as they spit in my face.
And the Master, God, stays right there and helps me,
so I’m not disgraced.
Therefore I set my face like flint,
confident that I’ll never regret this.
My champion is right here.
Let’s take our stand together!
Who dares bring suit against me?
Let him try!
Look! the Master, God, is right here.
Who would dare call me guilty?
Look! My accusers are a clothes bin of threadbare
socks and shirts, fodder for moths!
* * *
10-11 Who out there fears God,
actually listens to the voice of his servant?
For anyone out there who doesn’t know where you’re going,
anyone groping in the dark,
Here’s what: Trust in God.
Lean on your God!
But if all you’re after is making trouble,
playing with fire,
Go ahead and see where it gets you.
Set your fires, stir people up, blow on the flames,
But don’t expect me to just stand there and watch.
I’ll hold your feet to those flames.
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?
Fear God with respect and awe only for Him. Know God. To know God is to know real, unconditional, relentless love, love that cannot be removed from us. This love of God, from God, drives away all other fears on earth.
This passage is also called “The Song of the Servant” and foretells details of Jesus will suffer but remain our Redeemer, fulfilling what God sent His Son to be and do. The song emphasizes the Servant’s submission to the Lord God in every area of His life and service. If we say we want to “be like Jesus”, then submission is the first act of obedience upon repentance of our sins.
Come before God and be with Him before doing anything. The Servant’s mind was submitted to the Lord God so that he could learn His work and His will. Everything Jesus said and did was taught to Him by His Father, (See John gospel). He prayed to the Father for guidance and meditated on the Word. What God taught the Servant, the Servant shared with those who needed encouragement and help. The Servant sets a good example here for all who know the importance of a daily quiet time with the Lord.
“Not my will but your will be done.” The Servant’s will was yielded to the Lord God. “I have listened” is the description of one that hears and obeys the voice of the master. The people to whom Isaiah ministered were neither willing nor obedient, but the Servant did the will of the Lord God. This was not easy, for it meant yielding His body to wicked men who mocked Him, whipped Him, spat on Him, and then nailed Him to a cross.
Hold fast to faith in God. The Servant was falsely accused, but he knew that God would vindicate him and eventually put His enemies to shame. Keep in mind that when Jesus Christ was ministering here on earth, he had to live by faith even as we must today. He did not use His divine powers selfishly for himself but trusted God and depended on the power of the Spirit.
I submit all I am to you again this morning as I pray, read, reflect, and listen. I love you with all my heart, mind and soul. May your will be done. You set the agenda for today. I yield to what you want. I’m listening. I’m yours. I am your servant.
In Jesus Name, Amen