In Isaiah 49:1-13, the Servant speaks about his role and his ministry, and he is disillusioned at first. But God responds that He has a glorious plan for His Servant.
Who is speaking?
- It is not Isaiah, because prophets never begin “Listen to me”. They began “Thus says the Lord”, and they do not usually address a worldwide audience.
- It is not the LORD because 49:1 says “The LORD called Me from the womb”.
- It is not the nation of Israel because 49:1 says “The LORD called Me from the womb; From the body of My mother He named Me.”
- We know it is the Servant because of the task given to this speaker.
The Servant’s Testimony (49:1-6)
- From the beginning, the Servant was formed and named and called for a specific task.
- Compare with Luke 1:30-33.
- The Servant will restore the nations by his word, not by the sword.
- His word will be effective (sharp sword) and accurate (polished arrow).
- He was prepared in secret for this task. We know virtually nothing of the first 30 years of Jesus’ life.
- The Servant will pick up the calling of the nation of Israel and he will succeed where they failed.
- At first, it looks like the Servant failed. Compare with Matthew 23:37-39 and Matthew 27:32-44.
- But the Servant trust that God will vindicate him.
- The LORD says restoring the nation of Israel alone is too small a task for the Servant.
- He be a light to all nations instead.
The Lord’s Testimony (49:7-13)
- The LORD confirms that the Servant will be despised and rejected, but that he will also be vindicated.
- God will establish a new covenant through the Servant.
- The Servant will be greater than Joshua for his land will be anew creation of ultimate rest.
- The Servant will be greater than Moses for he frees us from slavery to sin and he gives us food which does not perish but which produces eternal life. .
- The Servant will be greater that Solomon for his city has no geographical obstacles, no internal divisions and not one soul is lost.
For more detail and explanation, please listen to the podcast.
Next: 06 Isaiah 50:4-11 School of the Servant
Previous: 04 Isaiah 42:1-13 Foundation of the Kingdom
Series: Isaiah: Servant Songs
Study Resources: Isaiah Bible Study Resources
Scripture references are from the New American Standard version.