2159.) Isaiah 49

I49 mother's womb

Isaiah 49   (ESV)

The Servant of the Lord

Listen to me, O coastlands,
and give attention, you peoples from afar.
The Lord called me from the womb,
from the body of my mother he named my name.

I49 name Jesus
He made my mouth like a sharp sword;
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow;
in his quiver he hid me away.
And he said to me, “You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
But I said, “I have labored in vain;
I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my right is with the Lord,
and my recompense with my God.”

And now the Lord says,
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—

One purpose of the Servant is to reconcile the people of Israel with God.

Psalm 98:3   (NIV)

He has remembered his love
    and his faithfulness to Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation of our God.

for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord,
and my God has become my strength—
he says:
“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.”

Another of the Servant’s purposes is to bring the gospel to all nations.

Psalm 98:3   (NIV)

He has remembered his love
    and his faithfulness to Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation of our God.

Thus says the Lord,
the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation,
the servant of rulers:
“Kings shall see and arise;
princes, and they shall prostrate themselves;
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

The Restoration of Israel

I49 2-corinthians-6-vs-2

Thus says the Lord:
“In a time of favor I have answered you;
in a day of salvation I have helped you;
I will keep you and give you
as a covenant to the people,
to establish the land,
to apportion the desolate heritages,
saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’
to those who are in darkness, ‘Appear.’
They shall feed along the ways;
on all bare heights shall be their pasture;
10 they shall not hunger or thirst,
neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them,
for he who has pity on them will lead them,
and by springs of water will guide them.

Isaiah’s listeners would hear echoes of the exodus story here, and would remember accounts of the wandering in the wilderness.

Exodus 15:13   (NIV)

In your unfailing love you will lead
    the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them
    to your holy dwelling.

11 And I will make all my mountains a road,
and my highways shall be raised up.
12 Behold, these shall come from afar,
and behold, these from the north and from the west,
and these from the land of Syene.”

13 Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the Lord has comforted his people
and will have compassion on his afflicted.

14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me.”

15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.

I50 mother and child

from Experiencing God Day-by-Day,
by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby

GOD WILL NOT FORGET

God never becomes preoccupied or neglectful toward one of His children. God said it would be more likely for a nursing mother to forget the infant at her breast than for Him to forget one of His children! The nursing mother has a keen sensitivity to her baby. Even if the infant is in another room the mother’s senses are in tune with her child. The mother knows when it is time to feed and care for the child. The mother never becomes so preoccupied with other things that she neglects the needs of her child.

It is fitting that God chose this imagery to describe how He looks after His people, for He is more sensitive to the needs of His children than even the most loving mother. He anticipates every cry for help. Even before we can call out  in need, God is responding with his answer (Isaiah 65:42). This is one of the most comforting promises God has given to us:  that He will never forget us.

Don’t let the difficult circumstances you are facing convince you that God has forgotten you. Don’t ever assume that God is more concerned with the needs of other, more significant, more spiritual people than He is with yours. Scripture teaches that God looks upon you with the same love, interest, and concern as a nursing mother would look upon her infant. It should reassure you to know that your Father loves you like that!

16 Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.
17 Your builders make haste;
your destroyers and those who laid you waste go out from you.
18 Lift up your eyes around and see;
they all gather, they come to you.
As I live, declares the Lord,
you shall put them all on as an ornament;
you shall bind them on as a bride does.

19 “Surely your waste and your desolate places
and your devastated land—
surely now you will be too narrow for your inhabitants,
and those who swallowed you up will be far away.

The “waste and desolate places” if Israel will experience a population explosion. After such hardship — so many children! They will pour into the land!

20 The children of your bereavement
will yet say in your ears:
‘The place is too narrow for me;
make room for me to dwell in.’
21 Then you will say in your heart:
‘Who has borne me these?
I was bereaved and barren,
exiled and put away,
but who has brought up these?
Behold, I was left alone;
from where have these come?’”

22 Thus says the Lord God:
“Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations,
and raise my signal to the peoples;
and they shall bring your sons in their arms,
and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.
23 Kings shall be your foster fathers,
and their queens your nursing mothers.
With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you,
and lick the dust of your feet.

I49 black-obelisk-

The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III (825 B.C.) is from Nimrud and was discovered in 1846. It stands 2 meters tall (6.5 feet) and commemorates Shalmanesar III’s conquests and depicts vassal kings paying tribute. King Jehu of Israel is shown in Semitic dress bowing to the ground before the Assyrian ruler. Isaiah says, the tables will be turned, and all the world will know how much the Lord loves you and how wonderfully God cares for you.

Then you will know that I am the Lord;
those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.”

24 Can the prey be taken from the mighty,
or the captives of a tyrant be rescued?
25 For thus says the Lord:
“Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken,
and the prey of the tyrant be rescued,
for I will contend with those who contend with you,
and I will save your children.
26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh,
and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine.
Then all flesh shall know
that I am the Lord your Savior,
and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

_________________________

Music:

Verse 15:

“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.

HERE  is James Kilbane (Irish Gospel Singer of the Year 2012) and a song from Isaiah 49.

_________________________

English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
Images courtesy of:
The Lord called me before I was born.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/isaiah49_1.jpg
And she will bring forth a son.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/5275316085_dedc3fc3f8_z.jpg
now is the day of salvation.    http://missionventureministries.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/2-corinthians-6-vs-2.jpg
mother and child.     http://birthandmotherhood.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Going-through-Nursing-Cramps-what-you-should-know1.jpg
Black Obelisk.    http://www.bible-history.com/destruction_of_israel/black-obelisk-close.jpg
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