Wednesday, March 20, 2024

2024.03.20 Hopewell @Home ▫ Isaiah 49:1–13

Read Isaiah 49:1–13

Questions from the Scripture text: Who is commanded to listen in Isaiah 49:1a–b? What does the speaker say about Himself in verse 1c–d? What has YHWH done for this called One (Isaiah 49:2a, cf. Isaiah 11:4; Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 1:16, Revelation 2:12, Revelation 2:16, Revelation 19:15, Revelation 19:21)? How do Isaiah 49:2b–d describe Him? What is this Servant called in Isaiah 49:3? What does the Servant say about the work thus far (Isaiah 49:4a–b)? But why does He continue to be sure of His work (verse 4c–d)? Who begins speaking in Isaiah 49:5a? Where did He form the Servant (verse 5b, Isaiah 49:1c)? To do what (verse 5c–d)? To do what for the Servant (verse 5e–f)? How much glory, by doing what (Isaiah 49:6)? How does YHWH identify Himself in Isaiah 49:7a–b? How will man treat the Servant (verse 7c)? How will the nation (verse 7d)? But Who is He (verse 7e)? What will kings and princes end up doing (verse 7f–g)? Why—to Whom will YHWH be faithful (verse 7h–j)? What does YHWH say He does for the Servant in Isaiah 49:8a–c? What does He say He does through the Servant in verse 8d–f? What will the Servant say to whom in Isaiah 49:9a–b? What will these who were delivered do (verse 9c–d)? What won’t happen to them (Isaiah 49:10a–b)? Why, what will the Servant be doing (verse 10c–d, cf. Psalm 23)? To what level of safety (Isaiah 49:11)? From where will those He saves come (Isaiah 49:12)? Now who are commanded in Isaiah 49:13a–c? Over what do heaven, earth, and all that is in them rejoice (verse 13d–e)? 

What is the greatness of God’s salvation? Isaiah 49:1–13 prepares us for the first serial reading in public worship on the Lord’s Day. In these thirteen verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that the Lord makes His salvation great in quality and in quantity because He is employing it to glorify His chosen Servant. 

A Worldwide Savior. Following Isaiah 42:1ff, Isaiah 49:1ff now makes up the second Servant song. Just as in the last few chapters, the Lord has insisted that Cyrus and the whole world are at His disposal for bringing salvation, now He proclaims that He will be bringing salvation to the whole world. So the song addresses the coastlands and faraway people (Isaiah 49:1a–b), promising that light and salvation will go to the Gentiles and to the ends of the earth (Isaiah 49:6e–f). Though Israel reject Him as a nation (Isaiah 49:7d), kings and princes of the nations (verse 7f–g) will join elect Israel (verse 7b) in worshiping YHWH on account of the servant. The reason given for this worldwide salvation is to magnify the glory of the Servant (Isaiah 49:5-6). Thus, Isaiah 49:12 marvels at the various countries of origin unto the glory of the Servant’s praise.

A Wonder-working Savior. Isaiah 49:2 makes much of the Servant, and especially His mouth, as a weapon. But, in connection with the rejection in Isaiah 49:7d, His initial ministry to Jacob seems to come up rather empty (Isaiah 49:4a–b). So He will be glorified both by the salvation of the ends of the earth (Isaiah 49:6e–f) and by the wondrous work of converting the tribes of Jacob (cf. Isaiah 49:6c) and the fullness of the remnant of Israel (cf. verse 6d). In their being cast away, the Servant has brought the riches of reconciliation to the world; and, in the restoration of their fullness, the Servant raises them from the dead (cf. Romans 11:12, Romans 11:15)! Thus, the Servant is much glorified both by to whom His salvation comes and by how that salvation comes to them.

A Wondrous Salvation. The salvation itself is wondrous both for the desperation out of which the redeemed are delivered and for the blessedness into which they are delivered. They come out of imprisonment and darkness (Isaiah 49:9), and they come into perfect provision and protection as they are led by the hand of the merciful Shepherd Himself (Isaiah 49:10). Indeed, all creation will accommodate them, (Isaiah 49:11) and all creation will rejoice with them (Isaiah 49:13a–c) over the salvation that comfort and mercy that YHWH brings to His people (verse 13d–e).

So, when God saves by giving Christ “as a covenant to the people” (Isaiah 49:8e), it is for the glory of His Servant. How marvelous that this is how God glorifies the Son. And how marvelous that this beloved and glorified Son is the One Who intercedes for His people, pleading on their behalf (verse 8a–d). For what does Jesus pray? To be given as a covenant to the people: that we would be bound to God in Him!

How does delighting in Christ’s glory bring your heart and mind in line with the Lord’s? How does God’s commitment to glorifying the Savior assure you of the certainty of your salvation? Of the blessedness of it? How will all of the earth respond to your own salvation? How have you been responding to it?

Sample prayer:  Lord, thank You for giving Christ as a covenant to the people. Forgive us for the ways in which we have despised Him and abhorred Him. It pains us even to describe it the way that You truly describe it. But You have given Him to bring us back to You and gather us to You. So glorify Him by His leading us in mercy and guiding us in safety, we ask in His Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP23B “The LORD’s My Shepherd” or TPH98A “O Sing a New Song to the LORD”

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