Isaiah- Week 10- Day 1

The People of the Mission

(1)  Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.

(6)  And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. 

(Isaiah 49:1, 6)

Explanation:

This week’s passage is Isaiah 49:1-7, and it is an incredible passage. It may be helpful to read all seven verses before jumping into the ones that we are highlighting today.

To understand this passage, you must understand four different parties that are referenced in the passage.   

1. Servant.  (v.1,3)

This is the speaker right at the beginning.  Notice all the personal pronouns in verse 1.

(1)  Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. 

More will be revealed about him as we read, and it will become clear that this is the Messiah.

2. Gentiles (v.1,6)

The Servant calls out to the “isles” and to the “people, from afar”.  He calls on them to listen, but to what?  He wants them to know about what “the Lord” has called Him to do.  He includes them in on the contents of a conversation between Him and the Lord, letting Him know that God has always had a plan to include the Gentiles in His plan of salvation.  In verse 6, the Lord tells the servant, “I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” 

3. The Lord (v.1)

The Lord is God, the Father, and is referenced throughout the passage.  He is the owner of the mission that He is calling the servant to do. 

4. Israel/Jacob (v.3, 5)

There is another group included in this passage.  The narrator of the passage is called both “servant” and “Israel” in verse three.  Yet, this naming of the servant as Israel is a reference to this Servant as an ideal Israel.  Why do we say this?  Because this servant is called to “bring Jacob again to him, though Israel be not gathered…” in verse 5.  In verse 6 the servant is called “to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel.”  Israel is distinct from the Gentiles, and the servant has a mission to both the Jew and the Gentile.

Now that you know who the players are in this passage you get a context.  The servant calls on the gentiles to listen to an incredible conversation between the Lord and His servant.  Included in the context of this conversation are details about the mission of God to restore Israel and save the gentiles from every nation, tribe and tongue.

Application:

God planned out His mission by which you and I can be saved before we were ever born.  The prophet Isaiah was writing this passage some 700 years before the coming of Christ.  As you hear this passage you will see the detail to which God foretold how His mission would come to pass in the person of Jesus Christ.  This is not the earliest foretelling of the details of God’s mission, but it certainly is a foretelling.  It is His mission.  He owns it.

God keeps His promises.  God does not forsake Israel or replace Israel with the nations.  His mission includes keeping all of His promises to Israel and to the nations.  If Israel can trust God, so can we.

God includes everyone in His mission.  He owns it.  His Son purchased it.  His mission is to Jew and Gentile.  Every nation, tribe and tongue are included in who needs salvation.  It’s as large as the whole world, and as applicable as every individual who ever lived.

Response:

Are you part of the mission field, or are you a missionary?

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