The Coming Servant of God, Part 1: Isaiah 42, 43 (4)
Pray Psalm 33.1-5.
Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous!
For praise from the upright is beautiful.
Praise the LORD with the harp;
Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.
Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
For the word of the LORD is right,
And all His work is done in truth.
He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.
Read Isaiah 42.21-25.
1. What pleases God? What does not?
2. How would you describe God’s anger at His people? A little? A lot?
God is pleased when His righteousness abounds (v. 21). Righteousness reflects the character of God. The world was made for righteousness. People thrive and flourish in righteousness. When we walk in righteousness, we partake of the Lord Himself, for He manifests His righteousness in us. And this is pleasing to God.
To accomplish this pleasing objective, God gave His Law to His people (v. 21) – an “honorable” achievement, if ever there was one. His Law is life and liberty and love – the very stuff of righteousness.
So, why were the people of Israel so bereft of blessing, snared in pits, chained in transgressions, fearful of other nations, and despairing of help (v. 22)?
Because they would not listen to God (v. 23). Consequently, God Himself gave them over to their destitution and desperation (v. 24), to show them the folly of living outside the parameters of His Law. And His anger was great as He did, sending the Assyrians to destroy and deport the people of Israel, and – soon – the Babylonians to do the same to the people of Judah and Jerusalem.
And still, the people did not hear God’s Word, and “did not take it to heart” (v. 25).
We do well never to forget that “our God is a consuming fire” and that it is “a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 12.29; 10.31).
1. Meditate on Hebrews 12.3-11. What forms does the discipline of God take today? Why does God consider such discipline necessary?
2. Since the Law of God is righteous and honorable, what place should it have in the Christian’s life?
3. What does it mean to “hear” the Word of God and “take it to heart”? What can keep us from doing this?
As Isaiah writes, “Who gave Jacob up to the looters and Israel to the ponderers.” It was the Lord, against whom we sinned, in whose ways we would not walk and whose law we refused to obey. So he unleashed the fury of his anger against us. And again, when Solomon strayed from the precepts and paths of the Lord, it was recorded, “The Lord stirred up Satan against Solomon himself.” Cyprian of Carthage (fl. 248-258 AD), The Lord’s Prayer 25
Help me daily to hear You speaking to me, Lord, and to take to heart all Your Word, so that I…
Pray Psalm 33.
So many reasons to praise and trust the Lord! As you pray this psalm, let the Lord bring His many blessings to mind, and rejoice in His power, wisdom, sovereignty, salvation, and presence.
Sing to the Lord.
Psalm 33 (Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns)
Sing with rejoicing in the Lord, for praise becomes His righteous ones!
With harps and songs raise grateful words, and let new songs of praise be sung!
Joyfully shout! His Word is true; He does His work in faithfulness.
His love prevails the whole world through; the Lord loves truth and righteousness.
God spoke and heaven came to be, and all its hosts His Spirit wrought.
He heaps the waters of the sea; the deeps their dwelling place are taught.
Let all below now fear the Lord; let all in awe of Him abide!
The worlds exist by Jesus’ Word; let all on earth in Him confide.
He nullifies the nations’ plans; forever stands His sov’reign Word.
All they are blessed who with Him stand – the chosen people of the Lord.
God from His throne looks down on men; He knows our works and made our hearts.
Let not Your Church, let none depend on strength or skill or human arts.
God watches those who fear His Name, who hope upon His grace and love;
He keeps their souls from death and shame who trust in Him Who reigns above.
God is our Helper and our Shield; upon us let Your grace descend!
We hope in You; to You we yield; we trust in Jesus to the end.
T. M. Moore
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Forward today’s lesson to some friends, and challenge them to study with you through this series on Isaiah. Each week’s lessons will be available as a free PDF download at the end of the week. Get a copy for yourself and send the link for the download to your friends. Plan to meet weekly to study Isaiah’s important message.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).