Promise of the Spirit

God promises His Spirit for deliverance and restoration.

The Coming Servant Part 2: Isaiah 44, 45 (1)

Pray Psalm 42.11.

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

Read Isaiah 44.1-8.

Reflect.

1. Why does God keep referring to His people as His “servant”? What service do they perform?

2. What effects of the Spirit are mentioned here?

Meditate.
God reminds His people that, whatever may happen to them, they are created, chosen, redeemed, and appointed to be His servants (vv. 1, 2) and witnesses (v. 8). Trials, unfavorable circumstances, or stresses beyond belief do not excuse the people of God from their calling.

But how can they serve and bear witness, given their sinfulness and God’s upcoming discipline? God will show them what His servants do, and point them to the coming Servant Who will set them free to serve Him to the full extent of His covenant and promises.

One key to how God’s people will fulfill their calling is that He promises to send His Spirit upon them, and with Him, His promised blessing (v. 3; cf. Gen. 12.1-3). As a result, they will come alive and flourish, gladly and by many means bearing witness to the fact that they are the Lord’s servants (vv. 4, 5).

Again, those hearing Isaiah or reading his words must have been puzzled. How can this be? God tells them: “I have said it!” Everything He had said about Israel and Assyria had come to pass. And now He was giving His prophet amazing, imponderable promises to set before them again. The answer to “How?” is “He!” From ancient times (v. 7) God has been telling His people in advance what He would do, and not one of His promises or prophecies has failed. So the people should not be afraid or in doubt; they are rather to bear witness to God by their confidence and faith, because He alone is God (v. 8).

We may not be able to see how God can use us as His servants and witnesses. That’s because we’re looking only at ourselves and our circumstances, and not at God. Look to the Lord! Don’t be afraid! Trust His faithful Word! Draw on the power of His Spirit! Serve and witness at every opportunity!

Prepare.
1. We are God’s servants and witnesses today (Jn. 13.1-15; Acts 1.8). What should we be doing? What keeps us from doing this?

2. God keeps pointing His people to His Word past so that they will have confidence in His Word for the future. How does this apply to us? 

3. Verse 6 sounds like it could be Jesus talking. Explain.

God himself testifies that the Holy Spirit presides over his blessings, saying, “I will put my Spirit on your seed and my blessings on your children.” For no blessing can be full except through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Ambrose of Milan (333-397 AD), On the Holy Spirit 1.7.89

Lord, You have sent Jesus, Your Servant, that I might be free from sin to serve You in righteousness. Help me today to…

Pray Psalm 42.

How is the Lord like a refreshing drink of water to you? Count the ways, and offer them up to Him in thanks and praise.

Sing to the Lord.
Psalm 42 (Nettleton: Come Thou Fount)
As the deer pants for fresh water let my soul, Lord, pant for You!
Let my soul thirst as it ought to for the Savior, ever true!
Tears by day have been my portion, tears by night have been my food,
While my foes add to my sorrow, saying, “Where now is your God?”

Now I pour my soul out in me as these thoughts come to my mind.
And I long to once again be where true worship I might find.
Oh my soul, be not despairing!  Hope in God, and praise His Name!
For the Lord, your burden bearing, will restore your peace again.

Oh my God, my soul is weary, therefore I remember You.
Let Your grace and goodness near be, and Your promise, firm and true.
Lord, when trials and fears surround me, Your commands will be my song; 
When distresses sore confound me, Your great love will keep me strong.

Lord, forget me not in mourning ‘neath my foes’ oppressing hand.
See their mocking, hear their scorning; help my weary soul to stand.
Hope in God, praise Him forever when despair on you has trod.
Look to Jesus; never, never doubt your gracious, saving God.

T. M. Moore

Where do the prophets fit with the rest of Scripture? How can I be a better student of God’s Word? Our course, Introduction to Biblical Theology, can help you gain a better approach to and understanding of the Scriptures. Watch this brief preview video, then register at The Ailbe Seminary and enroll in this free online course.

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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).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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