Tuesday, August 5, 2014

It is a great day for Singing!

Read Isaiah 42.

The people of Israel, called "my servant" in verse 19, were to have shown the world what a nation under God looks like.  Their obedience to the LORD should have pointed others to Him.  They are His people by creation and covenant (vv.5-7).  That will not change.  However, two things will happen in response.  First, God will deal with their disobedience.  Second, He will send "my servant" (v.1), a person this time, to lead them and the entire world.

We could be at a loss as to this person's identity.  Some have tried to claim him as an historical leader who fulfilled this role.  However, Matthew 12:15-21 quotes these verses, stating that this is no one else but Jesus.  Notice that the details do not fit His earthly ministry 2000 years ago.  So, some try to spiritualize the passage by saying that Jesus is ruling the world from heaven.  But look closely at the details.

What will characterize this international servant-leader?  (vv.1-4)
1. He will be chosen by God.
This will not be a leader by human empowerment, but one sent from the Father on an earthly mission.  "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)

2. He will be a delight to the Father.
At the baptism of Jesus, the Father spoke for all to hear.  "And a voice came from heaven, 'You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.'" (Mark 1:11)

3. The Spirit of God upon Him.
On one occasion in the synagogue, Jesus read aloud Isaiah 61:1-2: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me."  Then, He said, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."

4. He will judge all nations.
This certainly has not taken place yet.  One day, the LORD will exercise His power of ownership over His creation.  See verses 13-17.  Some count God's patience as silence (v.14).  There is coming a rude awakening, especially for those who have put their trust elsewhere (v.17).
5. He will be quiet and gentle.
Isaiah wrote in 40:11, "He will feed his flock like a shepherd.  Jesus said in John 10:11, "I am the good shepherd."

6. He will be faithful.
In the depiction of the returning Christ in Revelation 19:11, He is called "Faithful and True."

7. He will establish His rule on earth.
The Bible contains more prophecies concerning the second coming of Christ than His first coming.  Revelation 20:1-6 describes the fulfillment of Jesus earthly reign for 1,000 years prior to making a new heaven and a new earth in Revelation 21.

Jesus is coming!  With this hope of the future secured, the instruction in verse 10 is to "Sing to the LORD a new song."  Today is a great day to sing as we await His return.

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