March 14, 2005

Isaiah 49:1-6 Sermon Notes

Category: Bible - OT - Isaiah :: Permalink

Isaiah 49:1-6
(March 13, 2005 Sermon Notes)

In Isaiah 41, God calls Israel His Servant. In Isaiah 42, He promises His Servant success in his worldwide mission. But He adds that no one is as deaf and blind as His Servant.

Israel was to bring blessing to the Gentiles, but Israel couldn’t. But God promises a Servant who will both restore Israel and bring salvation to the world. In Isaiah 49, that Servant proclaims his mission to the world.

The Servant calls the distant Gentile regions to listen to him. In Isaiah, only Yahweh says, “Listen to me” (46:3, 12; 48:12; 51:1, 7; 55:2). The Servant speaks with Yahweh’s own authority and everyone must listen up.

Jesus could do that because He is God Himself and we need to “Hear Him” (Mk. 9:7). But now, in Christ, we are God’s Servant. When we proclaim God’s Word, it comes with God’s authority and people must listen.

God has prepared the Servant from the womb, already calling him by name. In everything he experienced, God was sharpening him and preparing him for service. That was true of Jesus and it is true of us also.

God made the Servant’s mouth like a sharp sword. God’s Word is a sword (Judges 3; Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12; Rev. 1:16; 19:15) and by that Word the servant wins the victory. He is also a sharp arrow, able to conquer from afar. But God didn’t use the Servant right away. He prepared Jesus (and He prepares us), keeping us safe for the right time.

Who is the Servant? He is Israel (v. 3)! The nation couldn’t accomplish this task, but the Servant will be a man who bears Israel’s identity and carries out Israel’s calling faithfully. He is Jesus and he is us in Christ. Through Christ — the head and the body — God will be glorified in the world.


But the Servant’s work looks like a failure. Jesus’ people rejected Him. His disciples abandoned Him. His labour led to the cross and grave. At times, we too serve — some even die — without seeing fruit from our work.

We share the Servant’s weariness. We must also share his hope. His work looks like a failure, but God will justify and reward him. With that joy set before Him, Jesus endured the cross and God did indeed vindicate Him and exalt Him and reward Him (Heb. 12:2) and He will do so for too. Those who trust in the LORD will not labour in vain (Isa. 65:23).

Yahweh formed the Servant to restore Israel, and the Servant could be sure he would succeed by God’s strength and be glorified in God’s eyes. But now Yahweh promised more. He promised to make him the light to draw the nations out of darkness and the salvation the whole world needs.

Posted by John Barach @ 5:02 pm | Discuss (4)

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