The Servant Songs of Isaiah – Chapter 49, pt.2

Tonight, we are gathering to read through excerpts from Isaiah 42:18-49:18, with an emphasis on the Second Suffering Servant Song of Isaiah 49:1-6. Attached is Christopher North’s short commentary on this Second Servant Song from his book The Suffering Servant – An Historical and Critical Study. pp. 142-46. In this Song, we hear from the Servant directly.

In last week’s passage (Isa. 42:1-4), The LORD speaks about his Servant and the Servant’s calling, but here the Servant speaks for himself and about his own calling.  This passage can be broken down into three parts: introduction, his call, and his mission. First, the Servant compels the world, not just his immediate audience to hear him out with the command to “Listen” and “give attention.” The Servant then speaks of his call. This call begins at his conception where God gives him his name, but the Servant and his mission are hidden until the right time. The Servant speaks of how God has prepared him “as a polished arrow” for his mission when his time comes.  The servant then speaks about his mission.  A mission to restore and gather up God’s people, and thereby to become a light to the nations so that God’s salvation will reach to the ends of the earth.

We see in Jesus the ultimate fulfillment of this Servant Song.  Like the Servant, Jesus was called by God from the womb and given his name at his conception. Luke 1:31-33.  And, like the Servant, Jesus was being prepared by God until his time had come. Luke 1:80. Most importantly, however, Jesus fulfills the Servant’s mission of going first to Jacob, then to all of Israel, and then to the ends of the earth.  As Luke tells us, at the Ascension, Jesus tells his disciples that they “shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.”  Acts 1:8.  Ultimately, the Servant’s mission is achieved in us, the Church.

Dinner is at 6. The menu is turkey arayes. Discussion about 6:45.  Hope to see you here.

The LORD says:
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
    to raise up the tribes of Jacob
    and to restore the preserved of Israel;
I will give you as a light to the nations,
    that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

Isaiah 49:6

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