I am struggling today to understand how, on the one hand, I can trust God for the really big things, the important things in my life – yet can become so upset when I am faced with everyday irritating challenges, not seeming to be able to trust in God caring for those as well..
“I have given you a heart of flesh instead of a heart of stone – through My Spirit. For you to receive the full benefit of the work I am doing in your heart, you need to stand back and relinquish your desire to control, to get revenge, to demonstrate your authority. You need to become completely humble – emptying yourself of all the desires you have to run your own life your way. Instead, as you relinquish that and humble yourself under My mighty hand, so that I can start guiding you and giving you love instead of revenge, obedience to Me instead of having things your way – then you will find true peace, as you find My way is always the right way. My outcome is always the one which will benefit you and My kingdom the most. All flesh is frail, take heart and take the first step again today by becoming completely humble.”
Last time we saw The Lord’s almost sense of frustration at the people He had chosen to be His witnesses, the heralds of His reality and love to the world. He ended the piece with a challenge to the people, suggesting that they did not really believe He had the power to carry out His plan. He reminded them of His great works of the past. In today’s section, as we look at 50:4 – 51:9, he once again puts forward His Solution to their problem of disobedience revealed in (50:1). He will raise up a Servant that will have the ability and desire to be obedient under the most trying circumstances. He declares that has not been rebellious (50:5b) despite being rejected and scorned.
Who is this Servant? The text certainly is used a number of times to describe Jesus in the New Testament. What is clear is that this person is coming in the power and through the action of the Lord God or the One, cf vv 4,5,7,8,9. When the text comes to vv 10 and 11 we are faced again with the responsibility that we have to make the right choice. Verse 10 shows us clearly, we must fear the Lord first, listen to the voice of His Servant, trust in the name of Yahweh and lean on Him. The alternative, in v 11, are those who choose their own illumination, which will take them to the place of torment.
There are a number of other pointers to follow. Jesus is the One who instructs us and can sustain us, if we listen to His word. He wants to and will wake you each morning to meet with Him. Just as he has been obedient, we need, through His power, to be obedient too. Then, as much as He was rejected we can expect that to also happen to us, in a world which is at war with Him. Yet he will vindicate us and He has taken care of the condemnation we face. there is much to absorb and meditate on.
These “servant songs” are a bit like an impressionistic painting, where there are splashes of colour which suggest the picture, without painting it in detail. Just so we see brief glimpses which reveal different aspects of our Saviour Jesus, as the prophet saw them, especially in these “Servant Sogs”, which we can complete in our imagination. As you sit back and meditate on them you can see the gorgeous masterpiece slowly being revealed, which is finally going to be revealed on the cross.
Chapter 51 begins with 9 vv which give the reader three incentives to make the right choice between 50:10 and 11 and spur us on to be obedient. See if you can identify them.