Isaiah 49

Isaiah 49 has our prophet writing about God’s children Israel.  “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified”.  God has had a plan for His people since the beginning.  He prepared them to be His people and walk with them, but like all of us humans, they managed to mess up the plan and focus on themselves and stray.  God doesn’t give up on them. God will restore and bring back His people: “he who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him; and that Israel might be gathered to him”.

That was part of Jesus mission – to be a way to bring God’s chosen people back.  But it was expanded far beyond that for Him.  “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth”.  If you’ve ever wondered what God’s true mission is – that pretty well defines it.  He is about saving all nations to the ends of the earth.  Jesus was sent no simply to bring salvation, but to be salvation for all mankind.

Jesus is all powerful and His ministry set people free from bondage.  Here scripture tells us the Savior will be “saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’ to those who are in darkness, ‘Appear.’”   Guzik reminds us of four kinds of bondage that Jesus will set people free from:

  1. Jesus set the demon possessed free from the bondage of chains and demonic torture (Mark 5:1-15).
  2. Jesus set the sick and diseased free from the bondage of their infirmities (Luke 13:16).
  3. Jesus set the righteous dead captive in Hades free from their place (Ephesians 4:8).
  4. Jesus sets those in bondage to sin and the law free (John 8:33-36, Galatians 3:22-23).

Jesus didn’t just bring a covenant to us – He IS the covenant with us.  He didn’t just talk about setting people free – He SETS US FREE.  That’s the power of the Messiah that Isaiah writes about here.

We may at times think that God’s forgotten us – too busy to really notice us and our problems.  After all, it’s a big world and He’s got a lot on His plate.  But Isaiah reminds us that God isn’t limited in His ability to take action.  He won’t allow us to slip between the cracks and be unnoticed.  “Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me”.  God is there.  He is aware and on it.  He won’t let us face the challenges alone.  “I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children.I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh, and they….shall know that I am the Lord your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob”.

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