October 16th Isaiah 51 Words of Comfort
1: Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. 2: Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him. 3: For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody. 4: Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people. 5: My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust. 6: Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished. 7: Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. 8: For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation. 9: Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon? 10: Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over? 11: Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away. 12: I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; 13: And forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor? 14: The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail. 15: But I am the LORD thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The LORD of hosts is his name. 16: And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people. 17: Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out. 18: There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up. 19: These two things are come unto thee; who shall be sorry for thee? desolation, and destruction, and the famine, and the sword: by whom shall I comfort thee? 20: Thy sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild bull in a net: they are full of the fury of the LORD, the rebuke of thy God. 21: Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine: 22: Thus saith thy Lord the LORD, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again: 23: But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.
Isaiah 52 Zion will escape
1: Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. 2: Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. 3: For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money. 4: For thus saith the Lord GOD, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. 5: Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed. 6: Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I. 7: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! 8: Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion. 9: Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. 10: The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. 11: Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD. 12: For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.
The suffering Servant
13: Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 14: As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: 15: So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
1: Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2: For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3: He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4: Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5: But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7: He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8: He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9: And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. 10: Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11: He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12: Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Today we are reading Isaiah 51, 52 & 53. In Isaiah 51 we have a call of the Lord through Isaiah to all the righteous – those that see the Lord to look back to their origins. He says when you look far back even to Abraham and Sarah and remember how I blessed them, then you will get a true perspective of the future. Because I will bring security and blessing to Zion. Isaiah says the Lord will make the desert places like the fruitfulness of the garden of Eden. There will be joy and gladness, thanksgiving and the sound of a melody. Listen to me says the LORD – O my nation, because the law will go out from me and I will make my judicial decrees the light of the people. He says my righteousness is here, my salvation has gone forth, I will bring law to the people and the isles will come and serve me and in me they will trust. Lift up your eyes and look at the universe and look on the earth because I will make the universe vanish away like smoke. And the earth will get old like an old coat. Those that live on the earth will perish but my salvation will be forever and ever. (Eternal security is the teaching of scripture) My righteousness will never be abolished. Then the Lord calls on Israel that know the law to not fear men, because they will soon be destroyed, but the salvation of the LORD will go on from one generation to another. Then Isaiah goes on describing the return of the Lords people to Zion. They will return with singing and everlasting joy. They will obtain gladness and joy and sorrow and mourning will flee away. He says you have been afflicted and drunk to the dregs of the fury of the Lord. Your cup of trembling will be given to your oppressors. In Isaiah ch 52 he continues the same theme calling on Israel to wake up from their lethargy. They are to put on their garments of beauty because no uncircumcised and unclean will ever overcome the city again. He says shake off the dust and sit down. Take off the neck bands – you captive daughters of Zion. You sold yourself for nothing and you will be redeemed for no money. You went down into Egypt to live there and ‘The Assyrian’ (a New Pharaoh that didn’t know Joseph), oppressed you there for no good reason. But you will know me – how beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings and publicizes peace. He declares salvation – Your God reigneth. The watchmen will lift up their voices together they will sing, because they will all be agreed when the Lord restores Zion. And so he goes on to call on Zion to rejoice in the LORD their Saviour. Then the LORD through Isaiah speaks of ‘my servant’. He will deal prudently, he will be exalted and become very high. This is the exaltation of Christ. They will be as many as previously were astonished at his humiliation. When his face was defaced more than any man and his body was beaten more than any man. He will sanctify many nations. He will silence kings because that which they only heard they will see with their own eyes and what they had never know they will think about. In Isaiah ch 53 we have the famous passage of Christ suffering and propitiation. (A propitiation is a sacrifice for sin that puts sin away) Isaiah says, who would believe what we say? And to whom is the strength of the Lord revealed? He (Christ) will grow up before him as a tender plant – a root in a dry ground. He has no special physic nor will men see in him any beauty that caused them to desire him. He will be despised and rejected of men. A man of many sorrows and grief will be his friend. Israel will turn their faces from him. They will despise him and not estimate him to be of great value. He defiantly bore our greifs and carried our sorrows yet we estimated him worthy of being smitten by God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our sins and he was bruised for our iniquities. The discipline of our peace was laid on him. We all went astray and everyone turned to live his own life in his own way and The LORD laid on him the straying and the backsliding of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted yet he said nothing. He was like a silent lamb in from of the shearer – he was silent. He was taken from arrest and condemnation and who will declare his offspring? Because he was killed and he was murdered for the sins of the Lords people. He was buried as a wicked man is buried and he was buried with the rich, because he was an innocent man of peace and a man of truth. Yet the LORD was pleased to bruise him and to grieve him when he made his soul an offering for sin. Yet he will see his seed and he will live long and the Lords purpose will become prosperous by his hand. The LORD will see of the suffering of his soul and he will be propitiated (Satisfied). Those that know him and of his sufferings will be declared righteous because he will have borne their sins. I the LORD will give him an inheritance with the greats of Israel. And he will have some of the spoils of the strong enemies who come against him, because he poured out his life to death and he was counted with transgressors and he bare the sin of many and he made intersession for the transgressors. Is there ever a scripture so full of meaning and such a treasury of worship.