A daily devotion for February 22nd
Israel’s Sin and the Servant’s Obedience
50 This is what the Lord says:
“Where is your mother’s certificate of divorce
with which I sent her away?
Or to which of my creditors
did I sell you?
Because of your sins you were sold;
because of your transgressions your mother was sent away.
2 When I came, why was there no one?
When I called, why was there no one to answer?
Was my arm too short to deliver you?
Do I lack the strength to rescue you?
By a mere rebuke I dry up the sea,
I turn rivers into a desert;
their fish rot for lack of water
and die of thirst.
3 I clothe the heavens with darkness
and make sackcloth its covering.”
4 The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue,
to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.
5 The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears;
I have not been rebellious,
I have not turned away.
6 I offered my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I did not hide my face
from mocking and spitting.
7 Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint,
and I know I will not be put to shame.
8 He who vindicates me is near.
Who then will bring charges against me?
Let us face each other!
Who is my accuser?
Let him confront me!
9 It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me.
Who will condemn me?
They will all wear out like a garment;
the moths will eat them up.
10 Who among you fears the Lord
and obeys the word of his servant?
Let the one who walks in the dark,
who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord
and rely on their God.
11 But now, all you who light fires
and provide yourselves with flaming torches,
go, walk in the light of your fires
and of the torches you have set ablaze.
This is what you shall receive from my hand:
You will lie down in torment.
Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed. The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious, I have not turned away. I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. (Isaiah 50:4-6)
Two remarkable things are described here by the servant. He says, first that
morning by morning God has taught him truth because he listened to his Father. Remember the many times Jesus said in his ministry,
The things that I say unto you I have heard from my Father. Again and again he made that claim. He had the ear of a learner. He pored over the Scriptures. He saw himself in them. He understood what his work would be. There came dawning into his heart the revelation that he was to endure anguish, pain and rejection. But, as he says,
I was not rebellious. I was willing to go ahead. I gave my back to the smiters and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard. I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
It is well for us to remember frequently the sufferings of Jesus, the sheer physical agony that he went through. Think of the Last Supper when he said his soul was
exceeding sorrowful unto death (Mark 14:34 KJV); the shadows of Gethsemane among the olive trees; his loneliness, his prayers, his disappointment with his disciples; his bloody sweat, the traitor's kiss, the binding, the blow in the face; the spitting, the scourging, the buffeting, the mocking, the crown of thorns, the smiting; the sorrowful way and the burdensome cross he had to bear. Think of his exhaustion, his collapse, the stripping of his garments, the impaling on the cross, the jeers of his foes and the flight of his friends; the hours on the cross, the darkness, his being forsaken of God, the terrible cry of anguish,
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34 KJV). And then the end at last,
It is finished (John 19:30). This is all seen in anticipation by the prophet and was all fulfilled in Jesus.
It is well to remember what the book of Hebrews says,
We have not a high priest who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, (Hebrews 4:15a KJV). He has been through it all.
He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin, (Hebrews 4:15b KJV).
Lord Jesus, thank you for being obedient to your Father. Thank you for enduring so much so that I might be set free.
Life Application: The Lord Jesus Christ voluntarily suffered far greater dimensions of suffering than we will ever experience. Are we worshiping our High Priest who continues to bear our burdens and to intercede for us?
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