Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Studies in the Messiah in Isaiah - 4/4 (Mixed studies)|
Chapter: Isaiah 55
Passage: Isaiah 55:3-5
A. Find Out:
1. What does the Lord say to do and why? v.3a
2. What does He say He will do and based on what? v.3b
3. What three things does He say He has made “him”? v.4
4. What will “he” do? v.5a
5. Why? v.5b
It is an everlasting covenant that the Lord is speaking about here and in a number of other places in Isaiah, a new covenant that will be different from the one made at Sinai. This covenant (or legal agreement initiated by the Lord) will be based upon a man, a man who will come to fulfil God's promises to David, and these were fulfilled in Jesus (see Acts 13:34 ). So what does this say about this man?
First, he is God sent (I have made him); again that emphasis that he is part of God's sovereign purpose.
Second, he is to be a witness, one who tells what he has seen. Again and again in John's Gospel Jesus refers to having come from heaven and knowing what he knows because of where he's come from.
Third, he is to be a leader or a Prince, one who others will follow. Jesus call was to “follow me” and all his disciples do just that.
Fourth, he is to be a commander, a reference to an army leader, one who leads out the armies of God, and in Revelation 19:11-16 we see Jesus returning in just that form.
Fifth, we see nations turning to him that had not known God previously, and throughout history the Gospel has been going into “other nations” and having its impact there, for God has lifted up Jesus in the eyes of many and they have seen, heard and responded to the glorious news of Jesus.
Chapter: Isaiah 61
Passage: Isaiah 61:1-3
A. Find Out:
1. What was the state of the Servant and why? v.1a
2. What 4 things was he to do? v.1b-d
3. What further speaking was he to do? v.2a
4. With what effect? v.2b,3a
5. What would they have instead of what? v.3b,c
6. What will they eventually be called and why? v.3d
Perhaps this is one of the best known of the Isaiah prophecies because Jesus quoted it at the start of his ministry and said he was fulfilling it. This prophecy stands in stark contrast with the ones we have just been studying because it doesn't speak about the dark side of what he had to achieve, by going to the Cross. This prophecy simply speaks about what the Servant will do in respect of people.
First then, let's consider to whom he goes: to the poor, the broken hearted, captives and prisoners, those who mourn and grieve, and those who despair. In other words Jesus came to the needy in the world, those who were oppressed by others.
Second, let's consider what he did for them. Well, initially he came to preach good news and he proclaimed freedom and the arrival of the year of blessing from the Lord. Initially therefore, his was a speaking ministry, and we see in the Gospels him doing much of this. That is also our first calling: to proclaim. But then his activity was to actually bring release from anguish for the broken hearted, to bring about freedom for those oppressed and in darkness. This Jesus did again and again by his power, and so also are called to do this.
Chapter: Isaiah 61
Passage: Isaiah 61:3-7
A. Find Out:
1. What will the survivors in Jerusalem be called? v.3d
2. What will they go on to do? v.4
3. Who will do what for them? v.5
4. What will His people be called? v.6a
5. Where will their resources come from? v.6b
6. What will be their final state? v.7
When we read this part of the prophecy, we must remember that it flows on from that part which Jesus quoted and said he was fulfilling. In other words there must be a spiritual interpretation here as well as a material one. The material application must indicate that God was promising Jerusalem that there would come a time of total restoration. They would then restore their cities round about, and other nations would serve them, rather in the same way that they did in the days of David and Solomon.
For the spiritual application it must be suggested that Jesus came to the poor (spiritually) and so blessed them by opening the way up for a new relationship with God, that they would have their lives so transformed that it would be like them being completely rebuilt. Their past lives that were broken down would be rebuilt by Jesus, their subservience to others would be reversed, they would be seen to be servants of God and they would know blessing upon blessing from the Lord. That in fact IS the inheritance of the Christian, the child of God, and perhaps we need to ask the Lord to help us regain this perspective if we have lost it or even never had it.
RECAP - "Finally" - Isaiah 55 & 61
In this last group of 3 studies we have seen :
In the most glorious and well known prophecy we come to the end of these prophecies in Isaiah concerning the coming messiah. As Jesus started his ministry he stood up in the synagogue and read the words from Isaiah chapter 61 and applied them to himself. There can be no doubt about this: this is the coming Son of God spoken of by the prophets, centuries before.
This Son will come to broken people and restore them. He will release them from the gloom of failure and oppression and take them out into the light of God's love, so that the blessing of God may pour out on them. This is all about blessing people with the goodness of God so that they may live as strong oaks in a fallen world!
1. Jesus came to be a witness. He calls us to be the same.
2. Jesus came to be a leader. He calls us to follow him.
3. Jesus saves from every nation. He calls us to go to them.
4. Jesus went to the poor and broken hearted. He also sends us to them.
5. Jesus preached good news to them. He calls us to do the same
6. Jesus came to release captives. He calls us to continue the work.
7. Jesus came to rebuild broken lives. He calls us to do the same.
Thank and praise the Lord for the wonder of his ministry that he started on earth. Ask Him for the grace to enable you to continue to do it as he instructed.
To summarise these prophecies is particularly difficult. To do so we will simply take again the things we have found in each “Recap”.
We have seen the Messiah described as:
By way of conclusion, let us observe again, each of the main things we have been told about the Messiah, and the consequences that flow from those things:
1. A Ruler
This coming one most clearly will be a ruler of nations, sent from God to bring justice. He will come from the family tree of David and there will be something special about his birth. As Jesus came on the earth he came proclaiming the kingdom or rule of God, and then demonstrating it by the exercise of God's power over sickness, over sin and over Satan.
As we allow Jesus to rule over us, amazingly he allows us to exercise the same power to bring in the same rule.
2. A Redeemer
The Messiah also clearly comes to deal with our sin. To all who rely upon his death on the Cross at Calvary he brings forgiveness, cleansing, freedom and the right to be called sons of God. He has paid the penalty for our sin, in an act that was in the mind of God, and brought by the sin of man. In the very act that took his life, mankind was given an opportunity to be given life instead of death. What an incredible thing! This message is for men and women from every part of the world and he calls us to join him in the task of taking it to them.
3. A Restorer
This coming king who brings redemption, also brings restoration. He doesn't just bring forgiveness of sin and a cleansing in the eyes of heaven; he goes on to restore and rebuild these broken down lives. He takes us out from under the power of sin and releases us to live in the power of his own Spirit to become like him. He doesn't leave us like we were but he starts a process of transformation that continues until the day we go to be with him in glory. He calls us to join him in the task of bringing that process into being. We are but servants who follow in the footsteps of the servant king, called to reign with him and serve one another with his leading. What a calling from what a Messiah!