Through the Old Testament prophets, God spoke words of both hope and correction to his people, the Israelites. He does the same for his people today, if we take the time to listen. During the season of Lent, join us as we walk through the final 27 chapters of the book of Isaiah.
Overview of Isaiah 49
The first part of this chapter is the second Servant Song in this section of Isaiah, describing the coming Messiah. The rest of the chapter focuses on the future restoration of Israel that will occur after the exile, reaffirming that they are God's chosen people and the important part they play in his plan.
Read Isaiah 49:1b, 5-9, 13
Before I was born the Lord called me;
from my mother's womb he has spoken my name.
And now the Lord says—
he who formed me in the womb to be his servant
to bring Jacob back to him
and gather Israel to himself,
for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord
and my God has been my strength—
"It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
to restore the tribes of Jacob
and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth."
This is what the Lord says—
the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel—
to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation,
to the servant of rulers:
"Kings will see you and stand up,
princes will see and bow down,
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you."
This is what the Lord says:
"In the time of my favor I will answer you,
and in the day of salvation I will help you;
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people,
to restore the land
and to reassign its desolate inheritances,
to say to the captives, 'Come out,'
and to those in darkness, 'Be free!'
"They will feed beside the roads
and find pasture on every barren hill."
Shout for joy, you heavens;
rejoice, you earth;
burst into song, you mountains!
For the Lord comforts his people
and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.
Two important results of the Messiah's mission and message are revealed: to draw Israel into a deeper relationship with God and to bring salvation to all people. Even though the Messiah will suffer as God's servant, he will be victorious.
We live in a world where we can see examples of both the transforming power of the gospel and the persecution Christians may encounter because of their faith in Jesus. Pray today for God to help your light shine in the world's darkness and for the protection of Christians in places where faith comes at a high price.
As Scripture is best understood in context, we suggest reading all of Isaiah 49.