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.