Isaiah part 30: Book 2, The Book of the Servant; chapters 38-55 OverviewPosted: Fri. Nov, 13 2020
Isaiah typically hints in one section what will be developed in the next. Book 1 (The Book of the King) began with a developing darkness (chapters 1-5) and hinted at the possibility that divine grace had been exhausted.
“What more was there to do for My vineyard that I have not done in it?,
Why, when I expected it to produce good grapes did it produce worthless ones?”
Yet then, Isaiah discovered in his own experience that forgiveness and reconciliation with God was still an open reality, but that it would have to come through sacrifice.
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, with a burning coal in his hand which he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7 And he touched my mouth with it and said, "Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin is forgiven."
Oh, how precious is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
We would expect Isaiah to develop the theme of forgiveness and sacrifice immediately after this, but he doesn’t. He does reveal that individuals are delivered through faith and that together, these individuals would be the communal restoration of Israel, but for the rest of the Book of the King, he focused on the political errors of his day, both in Israel and the surrounding nations, and the vision of the coming Messianic King. How God would deal with sin and man’s need for forgiveness; Isaiah leaves for the second book in his trilogy.
Book 2 opens with a historical prologue of Hezekiah being delivered from death through prayer.
The events in chapters 38-39 predate the incident of Assyria’s threat upon Jerusalem (chaps. 36-37) by some years.
Hezekiah’s sickness in chapter 38 becomes a pretext for an embassy sent to Judah from the king of Babylon. Hezekiah is recovered and his energy and life seem to motivate him to show Babylonian group his whole house, treasury, and armory. When Isaiah discovered that he had done this, it led to yet another prophecy that in the coming days all that was in Jerusalem would be carried off to Babylon. We are not told that what Hezekiah did in showing off his stuff was right or wrong, but sadness envelopes his action because of what must come. God’s decree must happen despite us. Sad as it may be, let His song be your fight song.
All of it will go to Babylon.
Israel was unfaithful.
Is that her end?
No. God No!
God made a promise to Abraham a long time ago, and it will not be broken.
The rest of Book 2 develops the coming Babylonian crisis in terms of divine action, the historical situation, and the ultimate acts of God.
Chapter: 40 - Consolation to the world. It is full of weakness, but make straight the path for the coming One who is mighty, all-knowing, and willing to save. “Only I have salvation in My hands.”
41 - the Gentiles fear, yet they turn to their idols. Israel He has come to save; do not fear the nations that hate you, for He is coming to judge them that disbelieve and save them that do. And though God will do so permanently and forever in the distant future, very soon He is bringing several prophecies to pass in front of the eyes of history, Babylon, Media, and finally Persia will conquer and enforce God’s will upon Judah as well as the surrounding nations.
42 - the Servant of Yavah is coming, God will not be silent forever, and His Servant will establish justice, and from Him will come new things and a new song.
43 - salvation will come to His saints. They are precious in His sight. True Israel will be gathered to Him. He questions why, after all that He had done and all that He is, why was faith not found in some of Israel?
44 - God will bless Israel and there will be some sons who receive the New Covenant. The first and the last reveals the irony of worshipping idols of wood. He calls Israel to return to Him, for He has blotted out their transgressions and redeemed them. Shout O heavens, for the Lord has done it!
45 - God brought forth and blessed Cyrus so that Jacob would return to Jerusalem. “I am the Lord and there is no other.” Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker thinking He has no power or authority over him. God responds, “Ask Me to show Myself to you, for I will in the near history that you will see.” And He will alone fulfill His purposes. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess to Him and He will justify the saints before Him forever.
46 - There is no one like Me. Listen to Me. My salvation is near.
47 - Though God used Babylon, she will be judged for her pride. “There is none to save you.” And there will be none to save anyone who does injustice.
48 - Judea claimed Yavah but were obstinate towards Him. He had been extremely patient with her for His name sake, but He will not give His glory to another. Yet He still appeals to her. The Servant is coming and His Holy Spirit with Him and He will make His ways successful. Now is the time to believe before the hammer of His wrath is final.
49 - Servant song #2. The Servant will bring Jacob back to Yavah and by doing so will be a light to the nations, yet the Servant will also be despised. The Servant will be helped by the Father and He will set the captives free. The Lord says that He has not forgotten Zion. You will receive back your lost children.
50 - none were found who could deliver. Servant song #3. He gave His back to those who strike Him, but the Father helped Him and so He was not disgraced but rather set His face like flint. Obey the voice of the Servant.
51 - Those who seek the Lord, remember the covenant with Abraham. The Lord will bless and comfort Zion. His righteousness and salvation are forever, so then fear nothing. The Lord’s anger has come upon you, but arise for it is finished.
52/53 - How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news; “Your God reigns!” “Zion is restored.” Servant song #4. Mared more than any man, but He will prosper. Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him as He reveals what they have not seen nor heard. He grew up like a tender shoot, looking as human as the rest, but He was despised and forsaken, a Man of sorrows. Yet He did not open His mouth. Our griefs He bore. Our sorrows He carried. He was pierced through for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. Yavah was pleased to crush Him, and He will see His offspring and He will prosper. He will see the result of His anguish and be satisfied. He will divide the spoils of victory with His saints.
54 - Fear not Israel. You will be more numerous than all the nations and you will forget the shame of your youth, for your husband is your Maker. I will not be angry with you again.
55 - Come and eat and drink without cost. Why spend for what does not satisfy? I will glorify you in the world. So then, seek the Lord while He may be found and let the wicked forsake his way. My thoughts are not your thoughts. I will accomplish all My good pleasure.
I hope that you will read these chapters. These belong to the Book of the Servant.
Someone pointed out to me recently that Christ is not always the Prophet or Priest. I would want my Lord to retain all titles, but what made sense was that He would at one time prophecy, and at another time intercede, and then finally rule. The Prophet would become a priest, as He is now at the right hand of the Father, and when He returns to the earth and become its King. Whether the titles stick or not has no consequence to me. I will always see Him as Prophet, Priest, and King. In the end... KING. My King and yours. He's the only One who deserves the title. "Amen?"
He could have rode in here as King first off and judged us. But He first came as prophet and priest so that He could save us and make us a part of Him and His kingdom. What kind of love does that?
If you are a believer in Jesus as your Savior, then you know the answer to that question.
My friends, just accept His love for you … and breathe its fresh air. If you are a believer in Christ, then you have been blessed beyond your imagination, and sit on your hands no longer… AND LIVE!
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.