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God’s Servant Must Suffer

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Mother Teresea said, “We have drugs for people with diseases like leprosy. But these drugs do not treat the main problem, the disease of being unwanted. That’s what my sisters hope to provide. The sick and poor suffer even more from rejection than material want. Loneli … More

Suffering

In this chapter, Israel is exhorted to walk by faith. Israel was rebellious but the prophet pleaded for her to trust in the Lord and not in her own doings (vv. 1-3). God promised to fight for Israel, but Israel sold itself into sin. Israel had caused its own problems. An emphasis is made on the Lord’s unbreakable commitment of “spiritual marriage” to His people, Israel. The question is asked, “Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement?” The answer implied is that there is none. God never actually divorced Judah. Even though they had sold themselves into sin, God’s love for them is still faithful. The people of Israel forgot God and trusted in other countries to help them. God did not reject Israel but Israel rejected God.

Isaiah also pictures Israel’s exile as being like sons sold into servanthood because of a great debt.  The servant is speaking, for he addresses God as the Sovereign Lord (vv. 4-6). As the Lord taught the servant daily how to comfort the weary (v. 4), the servant did not rebel against that instruction (v. 5). In fact, He even gave His body to those who persecuted Him (v. 6).

The Servant was convinced that He will be vindicated by the sovereign Lord (vv. 7-9). Isaiah exhorts the Servant’s followers to walk by faith, trusting in the Lord (vv. 10-11). If we walk by our own light and reject God’s we become self-sufficient, and the result will be torment. When we place confidence in our own intelligence, appearance or accomplishments instead of in God, we risk torment later when these strengths fade. In spite of the great suffering that lies ahead, the Servant will not turn back because He has set His face like a flint (v. 7) toward this goal (Lk. 9:51).

Application

Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. often said, “Never doubt in the dark what God has told you in the light.” I may find myself in darkness; but there is no need to panic, for He will bring me the light I need at just the right time.

Isaiah 50:1-11 (English Standard Version)

Thus says the LORD: "Where is your mother's certificate of divorce, with which I sent her away? Or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities you were sold, and for your transgressions your mother was sent away. Why, when I came, was there no man; why, when I called, was there no one to answer? Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, by my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a desert; their fish stink for lack of water and die of thirst. I clothe the heavens with blackness and make sackcloth their covering." The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward. I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting. But the Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who is my adversary? Let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord GOD helps me; who will declare me guilty? Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up. Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the voice of his servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God. Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who equip yourselves with burning torches! Walk by the light of your fire, and by the torches that you have kindled! This you have from my hand: you shall lie down in torment.

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