The Coming Servant of God, Part 1: Isaiah 42, 43 (5)
Pray Psalm 72.18, 19.
Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel,
Who only does wondrous things!
And blessed be His glorious name forever!
And let the whole earth be filled with His glory.
Amen and Amen.
Read Isaiah 43.1-21.
1. This glorious promise of restoration unfolds in two stages. Can you identify them?
2. Why does God love His people so much? To what end is He going to restore them?
There are few places in Scripture where the Lord proclaims more clearly and effusively His love for His people. His purpose in doing so here is to comfort His people before their great trial begins, and to assure them that Babylon is not the last stage of their relationship with Him.
They are His people. He called them by name, and they belong to Him (v. 1). How could He not be with them during their time of trial (v. 2)? He reminds them of His Name and attributes, and of what He has done for them in the past (vv. 3). And He insists that He will do the same and more for them in time to come (vv. 4-7).
Though the people of Judah and Jerusalem may now be blind and deaf to the Lord, yet He has appointed them to be His servants and witnesses (vv. 8-13). His purpose for them will not fail. He will destroy Babylon (v. 14), and, as He had delivered them through the Red Sea (v. 16), so He will make a “road in the wilderness” to deliver them to Himself (v. 19).
While the short-term promise is of return from Babylon, a longer-term blessing appears to be in view. When all creation is redeemed, and God has done “a new thing” (v. 19), then even the desert will abound with life and refreshment for the people of God (vv. 18-20). God promises to give “drink” to His people, whereupon they will declare His praise and fulfill their calling to be His witnesses (vv. 20, 21). It takes no great imagination to see in these words a reference to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, Who is our power to fulfill our appointment as witnesses to Jesus Christ (cf. Jn. 4.13, 14; 7.37-39; Acts 1.8).
Again, Isaiah is merely dropping hints here, and setting the stage for the remaining chapters of his book, when he will richly unfold the mysteries to which he points in these middle chapters.
1. God appointed Israel to be His witness. Could they possibly fail in that calling? Explain.
2. God has appointed you to be His witness (Acts 1.8). What does that require of you? Can you expect to know fullness of life in God’s love without fulfilling this calling?
3. The second part of this prophecy pertains to the times in which we live. How does it lead us to think about what God promises us? What He expects of us?
“You are mine.” For we are said to have been Christ’s, even before the separation from God that occurred when we as sinners went out of the garden, though by nature we were always God’s. But he has made us once more to be his own through the Holy Spirit making us strong through every trial. Procopius of Gaza (465-530 AD), Commentary on Isaiah 41.1-13
Lord, You have appointed me to be Your servant and witness, and I ask You to help me today as I…
Pray Psalm 72.
How many Kingdom promises can you claim from this psalm for your life today? Receive them with thanksgiving, claim them with resolve, and make plans to live them out today.
Sing to the Lord.
Psalm 72 (Martyrdom: Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed)
O give the King Your judgment, Lord, and righteousness Your Son;
and let Him judge by Your good Word the need of every one.
Let now the mountains ring with peace, the hills in righteousness.
Let justice rise, oppression cease, and all the needy bless.
Let nations fear You while the sun and moon endure on high;
refresh, renew us, every one, like sweet rain falling from the sky.
Let righteousness abundant be where Jesus’ reign endures;
Let peace increase from sea to sea ‘til moonlight shall be no more.
And let the Righteous rule the earth, and let His foes bow low;
Let nations praise His matchless worth, and all His bidding do.
The Lord the needy rescues when he cries to Him for grace;
All they who suffer violence find mercy before His face.
Let Christ be praised and all the gold of Sheba be His right;
Let blessings to His Name be told, and prayers made both day and night.
And let the earth abound with grain, let fields His fame proclaim;
and may our King forever reign and nations bless His great Name.
Now bless the God of Israel Who wondrous works performs.
And bless His Name, His glory tell both now and forever more!
T. M. Moore
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