The Coming Servant (3): Isaiah 49, 50 (4)
Pray Psalm 33.1-5.
Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous!
Forpraise 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 49.21-26.
1. Review Isaiah 2.1-4. How does Isaiah 49.21-26 recall and enlarge on the teaching of that passage?
2. In this passage, how can you see that God is anticipating and addressing the questions of His people (cf. vv. 21, 24?
The promise of deliverance keeps getting better and better. Indeed, what God is promising His people, as they prepare to go into captivity in Babylon, seems unlikely, if not incredible. “Where are all these new people of God going to come from?” some will ask (v. 21). “How likely is it that Babylon will give up its captives?” others want to know (v. 24).
God is undeterred by their lack of faith. He invites our questions, but He insists that we hear His Word and trust Him. God promised that the nations of the world, which heretofore had been His people’s nemeses, would, in “that day” – the context of chapters 49 and 50 – nurture, sustain, and add to their ranks (vv. 22, 23). How likely was that? Nevertheless, when you see it happen, then you will know that God is the LORD, and all who trust in and wait on Him will know His blessing and favor (v. 23).
But if Babylon the mighty is “righteous” to serve as God’s chastening rod, how likely are they to give up their prey (v. 24)? God says it will happen, because He will intervene on behalf of His people (v. 25). Then He will turn the enemies of His people on themselves, to devour one another (see Daniel 8, 10, 11). Meanwhile, His people will grow strong and be nourished on the strength of God’s grace and salvation. And as the people of God continue to increase like a great mountain or a mighty stone (Dan. 2.44, 45), the world will know that the LORDthey profess is indeed their Savior, and that He is the Mighty One of Jacob (v. 26).
But His people must be willing to wait on Him (v. 23) – to hear and obey His Word, turn from their idolatrous and unbelieving ways, look to His promises, and live in His covenant until salvation comes.
1. What does it mean to wait on the Lord? How do you wait on Him? Toward what ends?
2. Should we expect churches to continue growing in our day? How does that happen (review Is. 2.1-4)?
3. God refers to Himself as the Savior and Redeemer of His people. What’s the difference between these two terms? Why is each important?
In consoling his people through the prophet, God accordingly promises to judge their enemies.… For the wickedness of the evil ones who customarily tear at the chosen of God with their own teeth. When this happens, the life of the unrighteous is undone while that of the righteous is not, but rather it flourishes. Isidore of Seville (50-636 AD), Three Books of Thoughts 3.57.8-9
Lord, teach me to wait on You, to focus on Your promises, and to live each day so that…
Pray Psalm 33.
Rejoice in the Lord’s salvation. Renew Your commitment to His Word. Rest in His gracious care. And wait on Him for His blessings.
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
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.
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).