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you ever felt like an unpleasant situation was hopeless? Where is the proverbial
light at the end of the tunnel? “Hope
deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of
life.” (Proverbs 13:12, AMP) The
Israelites experienced heavy oppression under the Babylonian captivity due to
their rebellion against God and their spiritual adultery. (Isaiah
50:1-2) However, glimpses of renewed hope appear in the prophet Isaiah’s
inspired writings, vision and ministry. Isaiah’s
message brings news of
be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will
strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right
hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, NLT) In
Isaiah 41, there is a courtroom scene in which God summons people to come to
speak to Him for judgment in regard to worshipping false idols. In verse 2, the
“one from the east” is the Persian king Cyrus. Note the questions pertaining
to whom raised Cyrus up in verses 3-4. In
41:4, what is God’s answer? The Lord appointed Cyrus to rule over
41:21-29 and 44:9-19, what is Yahweh’s judgment of idols?
How do they compare to the only true living Almighty God? What spiritual
disaster occurs to those trusting idols as in 42:17? Notice the mercy offered to
those who turn from idols and follow the true living God as noted in 42:8-16.
someone experiencing a bad day asked me, “Have you ever felt like God has
forgotten you?” What lie did the
enemy hurl at this discouraged one? (See
Isaiah 49:14-15; Hebrews 13:5b)
could the above verses encourage someone who is disheartened? Will you ask God
what He might have for you through these passages today?
Is My Servant
is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my
Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry
out, or raise his voice in the streets. A
bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In
faithfulness he will bring forth justice; He will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their
hope.” (Isaiah 42:1-4, NIV)
Isaiah there are many “servant” references.
The first four verses of Chapter 42 surely point to Jesus Christ – the
Elected One. While Cyrus is the Lord’s anointed to deliver
God, Creator of the earth, is called the Servant for special redemptive and
salvation purposes. From verses 42:5-7, list the holy purposes for the One
called as a covenant to the people.
the believer, God has rescued us out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom
of the Son he loves. What truths impact you in these verses: Isaiah
49:1-7; John 8:12, 12:46, Colossians 1:9-14? God will not share or yield His
glory to another. Will you respond to Him with a prayer of praise and
thanksgiving for your rescue from the bondage of sin and darkness?
to your old age I am He, and even to hair white with age will I carry you. I
have made, and I will bear; yes, I will carry and will save you. To whom will
you liken Me and make Me equal and compare Me, that we may be alike?” (Isaiah
These verses follow descriptions of the false gods of in 46:1-2. God
exposed their futility. Notice the burdens of the false gods that are placed
upon their worshippers! Yikes!! Who would want to carry such a heavy weight
causing one to be weary, of no help, and even going with them into captivity?!
In the Believer’s Commentary, William
McDonald quotes James S. Stewart, “Ever
since Isaiah, men have been aware that one of the vital distinctions between
true religion and false is that whereas the latter is a dead burden for the soul
to carry, the former is a living power to carry the soul.”
Page over to Ezekiel 14:3-12 for a description of an idol that is not
from carved wood or metal. Name some heart idols common to people today. What
does God have to say about them?
Ultimate Retirement Plan
Isaiah 46:3, 12, twice God instructs: “Listen
to Me…” How often do parents say, “LISTEN TO ME!!!”? God has a vital
message, not for idle ears. Listening has the idea of hearing, heeding and
obeying. What did God want
As a tender, caring Father, the Lord reminds the remnant of
Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains
the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one
being taught. The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears, and I have not been
rebellious; I have not drawn back.” (Isaiah 50:4-5, NIV)
In contrast to
Turn to John 8:28 and read the account of Jesus’ relationship with the Father.
How does Jesus know how to instruct the weary? By being with the Father,
listening to Him and acting out of complete obedience. Jesus told His disciples
to follow Him. How can modeling the example of Jesus in John 8:28 deepen your
relationship with God? Have you been wakened from your sleep with holy thoughts:
tell someone about Jesus… forgive…trust Me this way...spend time with
Me...hug your kid…go to seminary… phone your parents…pray for someone…a
song or Scripture. Hearing His
voice, will you respond with “Speak,
for your servant is listening.”?
offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my
beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. Because the Sovereign
LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint,
and I know I will not be put to shame.” (Isaiah 50:6-7)
the obedient Servant, Jesus offered—willingly gave—His life as atonement for
our sins. The
plucking of His beard, the mocking, spitting, and beating, He purposely did not
escape. The horrendous suffering born on behalf of our sins by the sinless
Messiah would bring glory to Sovereign Lord. The servant will be honored
ultimately. We need a Savior; our sin burden is too much for us to carry and
impossible to unload ourselves. Refer
set His face like flint.” (vs 7)
Not deterred – fully determined – Jesus passionately went to the cross for
you, the world and me. Luke 9:51 records Jesus
“resolutely set his face to go to
Philippians 2:5-11, we read about how Jesus’ humbled Himself, coming from His
glory in heaven and taking on the very nature of a servant. He is described as
being OBEDIENT to death-even death on the cross.
“God exalted him to the highest
place.” What awesome event will happen according to verses 9-11?
To whose glory? Doesn’t that inspire you to fall on your knees and
confess the name of Jesus right now? Glory to His name!
a moment to read of the suffering sin-bearing servant in Isaiah 52:1-15
The inhumane treatment inflicted upon the sin-bearing, suffering servant whom
Isaiah prophesied has been referred to as “the gospel of the Old Testament”
and points to Jesus. Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” depicts an
inkling of Jesus’ suffering on our behalf. As I watched the movie, some of the
all too real tortuous scenes took my breath away when I saw the depraved torment
He vicariously bore in our stead. Through his death on the cross and
resurrection, Jesus won victory over death’s sting caused by our sin. Slowly
read Isaiah 52:13-53:12. As you do, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s great
love poured out for us through Jesus’ suffering for our sins. Next, what will
you do about Jesus the Lamb of God – the Man of Sorrows familiar with
of Sorrows…familiar with suffering.” (Isaiah 53:3)
Jesus understands how it feels to experience sorrow, suffering, and
rejection. Verse 53:4 states He took on our infirmities and carried our griefs.
He is there for us when we have anguish, pain and afflictions. “Seeing
then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus
the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession For we do not have a High Priest
who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we
are, yet without sin.”
need a shepherd. Wandering aimlessly from the flock, they go their own way,
leading to danger, hunger, even death. We are like lost, straying sheep needing
a shepherd – Jesus. Max Lucado
wrote in Traveling Light, “We
humans want to do things our way. Forget the easy way. Forget the common way.
Forget the best way. Forget God’s way. We want to do things our way. And
according to the Bible, that’s precisely our problem. ‘We all have wandered
away like sheep; each of us has gone his own way.’ ” (Isaiah 53:6, NCV)
need a Savior to save us from our sins. We can’t pay the high penalty of our
sins against God. There is nothing good enough on our own merit to earn God’s
forgiveness. He KNOWS that and planned a way for us to be reconciled back to
Him, even before the foundation of the world!
(1 Peter 1:18-20;
Psalm 100:3, the writer beautifully acknowledges that God made us, we are His
people, and the sheep of His pasture. The Lord takes the greatest care of His
sheep. We can’t make it alone on this pasture Earth. Compare Jesus’
descriptions of the good shepherd’s, the stranger’s, and hired hand’s
relationships with the sheep in Luke 15:1-7, John 10:1-30 and John 14:6. Jesus
spoke about one lost sheep being found, “Come
and celebrate with me,’ he will say, ‘for I have found that sheep of mine
which was lost.’ I tell you that it is the same in Heaven - there is more joy
over one sinner whose heart is changed than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need for repentance.” (Luke 15:7, PH)
The only way back to the Father is through the resurrected Savior Jesus!
Heaven celebrates when a lost sheep repents!
God while he’s here to be found, pray to him while he’s close at hand. Let
the wicked abandon their way of life and the evil their way of thinking. Let
them come back to God, who is merciful, come back to our God, who is lavish with
forgiveness.”(Isaiah 55:6-7, MSG)
Have you come to the spiritual place in your life where you recognize you’re a
sinner in need of the Savior Jesus? Have you received Him as Savior and Lord? If
not, please turn to this booklet’s back cover page or go to www.gotlife.com to
clearly know how to receive God’s gift of eternal life and enter a
relationship with God.
bestowed marvelous favors of mercy, grace and forgiveness offered to us, paid by
His son Jesus Christ, the sinless, suffering, obedient Servant.
Read Isaiah 61:1-3 and Luke 4:16-21; what will you say the Lord has done
for you? Beloved, get a reason to praise God for the display of His splendor! We
don’t have to wear clothes of despair when He’s provided a garment of
praise. Hallelujah, what a Savior!
beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who
proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7, NIV )
Lord God, I worship You with
thanksgiving and praise because so high are Your thoughts and Your ways, unlike
mine. I am humbled because when I, like a sheep, had gone astray, Jesus carried
my grief and sorrows. Jesus was wounded for my transgressions and bruised for my
iniquities; yet, He intercedes for me. And by His stripes I have been healed.