Isaiah 49

 

 

THE MISSION OF THE SERVANT OF THE LORD (CHPS. 49-53).

 

 

The connection of the present section is especially with Isaiah 42:1-7,

where the mission of the Servant of Jehovah was first announced. That

mission was there described with extreme brevity. It has now to be fully set

forth, for the instruction, consolation, and comfort of all Israel, which is

represented as sunk in despondency, deeming itself forgotten of God and

forsaken by Him (vs. 13, 14). In the present chapter Jehovah’s attestation

of His Servant’s mission is set forth (vs. 1-12), and Zion is comforted in

her despondency (vs. 13-26).

 

vs. 1-12 -JEHOVAH’S ATTESTATION OF HIS SERVANT’S

MISSION. Jehovah called His Servant from the womb; mentioned Him by

name; made His mouth a sharp sword; held Him in His hand; caused Him to

be a polished weapon; appointed Him His Servant; assured Him of a right

and a recompense; appointed Him, not only to restore and recover Israel,

but to be a Light to the Gentiles, and to give salvation to the ends of the

world (vs. 1-6); chose Him (v. 7); will help Him (v. 8); through Him

will both deliver the captive everywhere (v. 9), and cause joy to break

out in every part of heaven and earth (vs. 11-13). It is quite impossible

that these things can be said of aught but a person, or of any person other

than Him in whom all the nations of the earth were to be blessed

(Genesis 22:18).

 

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vs. 1-3 – “Listen….hearken, ye people, from far” – the whole world is

            summoned  to hear of the mission of the Servant of Jehovah –

            The Lord hath called me from the womb”Isaiah could not have

            said this of himself, for his “call” took place when he was of mature

            age. But Christ was designated for His office from the womb

            (Luke 1:31-33). He was also still “in the womb of His mother”

            when the name of Jesus was given to Him (Matthew 1:21,

                        Luke 1:31).

 

 

 

 

 

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  Who, being in

the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made

Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and

was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man,

He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of

the cross.  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a

name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee

should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the

earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to

the glory of God the Father.”  (Philippians 2:5-11)

 

in whom I will be glorified”  - (comp. John 13:31, “Now is the Son of man

glorified, and God is glorified in Him”). He who is “the Brightness of the

Father’s glorysets forth that glory before men, and causes them to glorify

him, both with their tongues and in their lives.

 

v. 5 - “yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be

            my strength”

 

vs. 6b-7 –  God is faithful in the performance of His promises

            and the Redeemer so long announced is about to appear

            on earth!

 

God has appointed Him, not only to recover and restore Israel, but to be a

Light to the Gentiles, and to the give salvation to the ends of the world.

 

It is too “light a thing” to have rewarded the labors of Jesus

with the conversion of the Jews only - God gave Him a

recompense of the gathering in of the Gentiles also and

made Him a means of salvation to the uttermost ends of

the earth!

 

The gospel is for the world at large – there is no difference in the

Jew or the Greek  or barbarian – “CHRIST IS ALL IN ALL  - Col. 3:11

 

“Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and His Holy One, to

Him whom man despiseth, to Him, whom the nation abhoreth - there

is such an antagonism between sin and holiness, that the ungodly

everywhere and in all ages detest the godly and the virtuous.

 

Mankind at large dislikes a “Holy One”, since He is a perpetual

reproach to them - (See I John 3:12)

 

v. 8 - “I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant

            of the people”

 

vs. 9-10 – The prisoners are the servants of sin all over the world –

            He would summon them by His messengers to repent and

            be converted and quit the service of sin, and “go forth” from

            the kingdom of darkness and “show themselves” as lights

            of the world.  (Matthew 5:14, Philippians 2:15, Ephesians 5:8)

 

 

 

vs. 13-26 - ZION COMFORTED IN HER DESPONDENCY. While

the future is thus glorious, both for the “Servant of the Lord” and for His

people Israel, the present is gloom and misery.  Zion - not here the city,

but the people of God  - desponds and says, “Jehovah has forsaken me,

and my Lord hath forgotten me” (v. 14). This burst of grief, though

arising from weakness of faith, is forgiven by the compassion of God, and

afflictedIsrael is “comforted” and consoled through the remainder of the

chapter (vs. 15-26).

 

 

v. 13 – There is cause for joy to break out in every part of heaven & earth!

 

vs. 15-16b - The love of God surpasses that of father or mother -

            “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the

            Lord will take me up” - Ps. 27:10

 

“God is love” (1 John 4:8) in His very essence; and His infinite love is deeper,

tenderer, truer, than finite love can ever be. Still, that which is nearest to it

upon earth is, doubtless, the love of a mother for her children (Isaiah 66:13).

 

“Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands” - The metaphor

which he uses is no doubt drawn from the practice, common both in ancient

and in modern days, of burning or puncturing figures and other mementos

upon the hand, the arm, or some other part of the body, and then rendering

the figures indelible by rubbing in henna, indigo, gunpowder, or some other

colored substance. The meaning here is that God has the thought of Zion as

constantly present with Him as if her image were indelibly marked on the

palms of His hands.

 

That there is a witness for God in almost every land — a witness which

testifies unceasingly to the existence, power, and goodness of the

Almighty; to the free offer of redemption through his Son, and to the free

gift of sanctification through his Spirit.

 

 

 

 

 

v. 19 – “shall even be now too narrow” - The object of the prophet is simply

to mark the vast growth of the Church, which would necessarily spread itself

far beyond the limits of Palestine, and would ultimately require the whole earth

for its habitation.

 

vs. 20-22 - the Gentiles shall replace those many faithless

            Israelites who refused to come back after the Captivity.

 

It is certain that the Jewish Church did not at first altogether welcome the

incoming of the Gentiles (Acts 11:1-3; 15:1-11;Galatians 2:11-14). But the

guidance of the Holy Spirit surmounted the difficulty (Acts 15:28).

 

The transformation from a national to a world-wide church -

a multitude which no man can number “of all nations, and

kindreds, and people, and tongues” - praising Him and ready

to do His pleasure for ever.

 

Paul says in Ephesians 3:4-6 that this (the church age)

was not revealed in earlier ages.

 

v. 23 – “they shall not be ashamed that wait for me”

 

vs.  – 23 and 26 – “THOU shalt know that I am the Lord” ……ALL

            FLESH shall know that I THE LORD AM THY SAVIOR AND

            THY REDEEMER,   THE MIGHTY ONE OF JACOB”

 

 

(See Ezekiel – Study of God’s Use of the Word Know  file – this web site)