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FRAMEWORKS: Isaiah 50: Israel's failure and a call to heed the Servant


PART ONE: v.1-3: The Lord chides Israel for their unbelief [implied]

PART TWO: v.4-9: The Third Servant Song

PART THREE: v.10,11: A Call to respond to the servant


[Preliminary notes: In this short chapter we find the third ‘servant song' in verses 4 to 9. However before that the Lord scolds Israel for their unbelief [v.1-3]. The ‘song' is quite short [v.4-9] and focuses on the servant's teachable spirit, obedience and endurance that will both cause and enable him to face rejection and punishment at the hands of those who oppose him. The prophecy is concluded with a warning to heed what the servant brings to this dark world [v.10] and not rely on your own provision of light.]



PART ONE: v.1-3: The Lord chides Israel for their unbelief [implied]


v.1 It was your sins that sent you away

v.1  This is what the Lord says:

‘Where is your mother's certificate of divorce
    with which I sent her away?
Or to which of my creditors
    did I sell you?
Because of your sins you were sold;
    because of your transgressions your mother was sent away.

v.2 Why didn't you respond when I reached out to save you?

v.2  When I came, why was there no one?
    When I called, why was there no one to answer?
Was my arm too short to deliver you?
    Do I lack the strength to rescue you?
By a mere rebuke I dry up the sea,
    I turn rivers into a desert;
their fish rot for lack of water
    and die of thirst.

v.3 I am after all the all-powerful Creator God

v.3  I clothe the heavens with darkness
    and make sackcloth its covering.'



PART TWO: v.4-9: The Third Servant Song


v.4 The Lord has instructed the servant how to speak and encourage

v.4  The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue,
    to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
    wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.

v.4 The servant has an open teachable heart

v.5  The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears;
    I have not been rebellious,
    I have not turned away.

v.6 He accepted the punishment meted out to him

v.6  I offered my back to those who beat me,
    my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I did not hide my face
    from mocking and spitting.

v.7 He was able to endure as the Lord enabled him

v.7  Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
    I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint,
    and I know I will not be put to shame.

v.8,9 Although accused, the Lord will vindicate him

v.8  He who vindicates me is near.
    Who then will bring charges against me?
    Let us face each other!
Who is my accuser?
    Let him confront me!
v.9  It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me.
    Who will condemn me?
They will all wear out like a garment;
    the moths will eat them up.



PART THREE: v.10,11: A Call to respond to the servant


v.10 A call to listen to and obey the servant

v.10  Who among you fears the Lord
    and obeys the word of his servant?
Let the one who walks in the dark,
    who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord
    and rely on their God.

v.11 Failure to do this and reliance on your own light will bring judgment

v.11  But now, all you who light fires
    and provide yourselves with flaming torches,
go, walk in the light of your fires
    and of the torches you have set ablaze.
This is what you shall receive from my hand:
    you will lie down in torment.



Continue to Chapter 51