Monday, April 6, 2009

Daily - 4/6/09

Isaiah 49:1-12 (Tuesday's 1st reading)

1 Hear me, O coastlands, listen, O distant peoples. The LORD called me from birth, from my mother's womb he gave me my name.

2 He made of me a sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of his arm. He made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me.

3 You are my servant, he said to me, Israel, through whom I show my glory.

4 Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, Yet my reward is with the LORD, my recompense is with my God.

5 For now the LORD has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb, That Jacob may be brought back to him and Israel gathered to him; And I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD, and my God is now my strength!

6 It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

7 Thus says the LORD, the redeemer and the Holy One of Israel, To the one despised, whom the nations abhor, the slave of rulers: When kings see you, they shall stand up, and princes shall prostrate themselves Because of the LORD who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen you.

8 Thus says the LORD: In a time of favor I answer you, on the day of salvation I help you, To restore the land and allot the desolate heritages,

9 Saying to the prisoners: Come out! To those in darkness: Show yourselves! Along the ways they shall find pasture, on every bare height shall their pastures be.

10 They shall not hunger or thirst, nor shall the scorching wind or the sun strike them; For he who pities them leads them and guides them beside springs of water.

11 I will cut a road through all my mountains, and make my highways level.

12 See, some shall come from afar, others from the north and the west, and some from the land of Syene.


I'm leaving the gospels today because I want to touch on the readings we see from Isaiah this week. Isaiah chapters 49, 50, 51, and 53 are known as the Song of the Suffering Servant. These four passages, written 700+ years before Jesus was born, describe the role of Jesus (the servant) in the history of salvation. These four chapters are truly the great connector between the Old Testament and the New. They are worth the read.

The song opens with the servant speaking. The servant is Jesus, and immediately we see his purpose. He describes Himself as a sharp edged sword, which is the very same imagery used to describe the Word of God in Hebrews 4:12 and Ephesians 6:17. Jesus is the Word Incarnate, the sharp sword of God, and as v3 says, He is the servant through whom God shows his glory.