Scripture reading for July 31st: Isaiah 49-51
“And now the Lord says–He who formed me in the womb to be His servant to bring Jacob back to Him and gather Israel to Himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord and my God has been my strength–He says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring My salvation to the ends of the earth.”” (Isaiah 49:5-6)
Isaiah was speaking prophetically of the servant of the Lord. This servant was going to be formed in the womb with the purpose of bringing Israel to God. This servant would be honored in the eyes of the Lord and God had been his strength. God said to this servant, that He was going to give him an additional task of being a light to the Gentiles and bring salvation to the ends of the earth. Who was this servant to be? Was Isaiah talking about himself or someone else?
Looking back from our vantage point of 2700 years, we can see how God was speaking of His own Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus was formed in a womb of a virgin of Israel. Jesus was honored in God’s eyes and was God in the flesh. Jesus drew His strength from His Father. God’s plan was to use Jesus to restore Jacob (Israel) and also to reach the ends of the earth!
God’s promise to comfort His people and have compassion on them was not and will not be forgotten. God promised Israel that He would never forget them and He would restore them to their land and inheritance. “The ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” (Isaiah 51:11) The servant of the Lord would bring them back with joy and gladness after the captivity. He would accomplish this by listening to God and following His instructions. He would offer his back to those who beat him and endure mocking and spitting. (Isaiah 50:4-7) He would redeem them by God’s plan and bring restoration! God’s people enter Zion singing of their Servant’s sacrifice for them!