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Christmas 2020: Behold My Son, in Whom I am well pleased, part 16.

EPHESIANS-1-200126
length: 84:21 - taught on Jan, 26 2020
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Sunday January 26,2020
 

The second Servant Song in Isaiah is in ISA 49:1-6.

 

ISA 49:1 Listen to Me, O islands,

And pay attention, you peoples from afar.

The Lord called Me from the womb;

From the body of My mother He named Me.

 

The spiritual need cries out for remedy and the Servant is described as a Spirit-endowed agent of divine revelation for whose teaching the earth waits, and as one whose mouth the Lord had prepared, whereby He calls the whole world to hear.

 

In none of the songs is the Servant a political figure. He does not free our hands and feet so much as He frees our minds, souls, and hearts into the freedom of that which is life indeed.

 

The first song is a biography, the Father’s word to the world about the Servant. The second song is an autobiography, the Servant’s own testimony of how the task given from the Father has fallen upon Him.

 

ISA 49:2 And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword [near];

In the shadow of His hand He has concealed Me,

And He has also made Me a select arrow [far];

He has hidden Me in His quiver [only revealed at the proper time].

 

ISA 49:3 And He said to Me, "You are My Servant, Israel,

In Whom I will show My glory."

 

Israel (ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom) are in exile. They are not capable at the moment of living up to what it means to be Israel. Either the Lord must acquiesce in failure of His plans and promises or He must find a true and worthy Israel.

 

The Servant claims to be Israel, and to be in His own person to be the Lord’s covenant (vs. 8) and salvation (vs. 6) - not just to be the preacher or revealer of these things, but to actually be them Himself.

 

How could Israel be her own covenant and salvation? If that were true, God would be completely excluded from both, but both of them depend entirely upon God.

 

ISA 49:8c And I will keep You and give You for a covenant of the people,

 

How can the Servant be Israel when “You” is given “for a covenant of the people?”

 

ISA 49:6cd I will also make You a light of the nations

So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.

 

He is the covenant and salvation. The nation of Israel, the recipient of these things (and indeed the whole world) could not be the source of faithfulness, goodness, and salvation.

 

ISA 49:3 And He said to Me, "You are My Servant, Israel,

In Whom I will show My glory."

 

“In Whom” - singular - “I will show My glory.” Not said of any other prophet or king. Singular “You” is a unique thing said to a unique Person.

 

This Servant is much, much more than any prophet or king ever was. The statement “I will show My glory,” is unique here in that it is used for a singular person (“in Whom” is singular) and not for what God does for the nation (plural). This is never said of any other prophet, or individual, or to Israel. It is a unique thing said to a unique person. He is life, faithfulness, fulfillment, power, and salvation; and He is a man and God who has given these things freely to His brethren. Explaining Him fully is like pouring the ocean into a bucket.

 

Now, the Servant who will show God’s glory, the sharp sword, the select arrow, the One upon whom is the Spirit, the One in whom God is pleased; is tempted to think that all He does will amount to nothing.

 

Hear the point, He will do the Father’s will no matter what happens, but He is considering that the work will benefit no one. You and I have thought this many times. “I don’t see the fruit of my labor, my sacrifice, my obedience, and in fact, sight says that no one cares about it and everyone hates it.”

 

Can we say confidently that everyone who does the will of God will bear wonderful, divine fruit that will profit others and impact their lives for good? Are there any exceptions to this?

 

ISA 49:4 But I said, "I have toiled in vain,

I have spent My strength for nothing and vanity;

Yet surely the justice due to Me is with the Lord,

And My reward with My God."

 

No one seems to be responding to the mission that the Servant is accomplishing, and if He remained with that thought alone, He would have fallen into depression and despondency, but He decides to defer to the Lord’s wisdom.

 

PSA 73:1 Surely God is good to Israel,

To those who are pure in heart!

 

PSA 73:2 But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling;

My steps had almost slipped.

 

PSA 73:12 Behold, these are the wicked;

And always at ease, they have increased in wealth.

 

PSA 73:13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure,

And washed my hands in innocence;

 

PSA 73:14 For I have been stricken all day long,

And chastened every morning.

 

PSA 73:15 If I had said, "I will speak thus,"

Behold, I should have betrayed the generation of Thy children.

 

PSA 73:16 When I pondered to understand this,

It was troublesome in my sight

 

PSA 73:17 Until I came into the sanctuary of God;

Then I perceived their end.

 

PSA 73:18 Surely Thou dost set them in slippery places;

Thou dost cast them down to destruction.

 

PSA 73:19 How they are destroyed in a moment!

They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!

 

PSA 73:20 Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when aroused,

Thou wilt despise their form.

 

ISA 49:4 But I said, "I have toiled in vain,

I have spent My strength for nothing and vanity;

Yet surely the justice due to Me is with the Lord,

And My reward with My God."

 

His serving seems like a waste of effort, but He turns from His own perception and rests in the Father who called and appointed Him.

 

Reward” is the outcome of His work. He sees nothing coming out of His effort, but it is not for Him to decide. As the called Servant he has been faithful in laboring and spending Himself, now it is for the Lord to bring what fruit He will out of it all.

 

There is the temptation that tells us that no fruit will be born and there is the temptation that tells us it will take too long to come to fruition.

 

EXO 5:22-23

Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, "O Lord, why hast Thou brought harm to this people? Why didst Thou ever send me? 23 "Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Thy name, he has done harm to this people; and Thou hast not delivered Thy people at all."

 

Resting faith is the answer to despondency.

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