Once again a section of Scripture addresses many of our topics. To keep the integrity of the passage, we will adjust the order of our foci. For the next few days we will pray through Isaiah 49.
Often the prophets’ words can and should be applied on several levels.
- The initial application is to the nation of Israel.
- Then, because the Messiah is the ultimate Israel, many passages can be applied to Him, especially the “Servant” passages.
- Finally the passages can be applied to all who love and have made a covenant with God and His Messiah by grace through faith.
We need always to remember however, that a Messianic or personal application of scripture, while it may be appropriate, it will never replace the intended application to Israel.
Isaiah 49:1-9a: “Listen, O coastlands, to Me, and take heed, you peoples from afar! The Lord has called Me from the womb; from the matrix of my mother He has made mention of My name. And He has made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand He has hidden me, and made me a polished shaft; In His quiver He has hidden Me.”
“And He said to me, ‘You are My servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’
Then I said, ‘I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and in vain; yet surely my just reward is with the Lord, and my work with my God.’”
“And now the Lord says, Who formed me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel is gathered to Him (For I shall be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and My God shall be My strength),
Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give you as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’”
Thus says the Lord:
“In an acceptable time I have heard You, and in the day of salvation I have helped You; I will preserve you and give you as a covenant to the people, to restore the earth, to cause them to inherit the desolate heritages; that you may say to the prisoners, ‘Go forth,’ to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’”