Summary: Isaiah's Redeemer (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: Isaiah chapter 49 verses 7- chapter 50 verse 3.
• When Lloyd C. Douglas, author of The Robe and other novels,
• Was a university student, he lived in a boarding house.
• Downstairs on the first floor was an elderly, retired music teacher,
• Who was infirm and unable to leave the apartment.
• Douglas said that every morning they had a ritual they would go through together.
• He would come down the steps, open the old man’s door,
• And ask, “Well, what’s the good news?”
• The old man would pick up his tuning fork; tap it on the side of his wheelchair and say,
“That’s middle C! It was middle C yesterday; it will be middle C tomorrow; it will be middle C a thousand years from now.
The tenor upstairs sings flat, the piano across the hall is out of tune,
but, my friend, THAT is middle C!”
• The old man had discovered one thing upon which he could depend:
• One constant reality in his life, one “still point in a turning world.”
For the Jewish people of Isaiah’s day;
• They too could experience one “still point in a turning world,”
• They had a God who was unchanging in his character,
• A God who was consistent in the way he treated them.
• A God who revealed his character to his people himself through descriptive names.
• Names that were word pictures.
• These could be easily understood & could bring encouragement & comfort to his people.
In this chapter (49) God uses a descriptive name:
• He calls himself Israel’s redeemer!
• In fact the word ‘redeemer’ occurs 11 times in Isaiah.
e.g. Chapter 49 verse 7:
“This is what the LORD says--the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel”
e.g. Chapter 49 verse 26b:
“Then all mankind will know that I, the LORD, am your Saviour, your Redeemer,
the Mighty One of Jacob”.
Quote: The Shaw Pocket Bible Handbook:
• Originally, it meant the payment of a price to secure the release of a prisoner of war.
• The word also came to be used for the release of a slave,
• And sometimes of a person under sentence of death (Exodus chapter 21 verses 28-30).
• Redemption always means the payment of a price to secure release.
The first 7 verses of Isaiah chapter 49:
• Have to do with the Servant of the Lord.
• This is a reference, a poetic prophecy concerning Jesus Christ.
• We know this because Simeon in Luke chapter 3 verse 25;
• Tells us these words were being fulfilled in Jesus.
• Now rather than rush through it;
• We are going to look at it in more detail in a few weeks time.
• For now, we will just note a couple of things,
• In a few weeks we will look at it in ore detail.
In these verses The servant is given several meaningful names;
(1). He is a weapon:
“He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver”.
Verse 2: He is God’s weapon to conquer the enemy:
• Notice both the sword and the arrow are hidden;
• In other words the servant will appear harmless.
• But do not be fooled by his apparent ordinaries;
• At any moment his armed and ready to fight.
• His sword is sharp and his arrow polished (ready for use).
• And he will fight to bring salvation to the nations.
(2). Verse 3 calls him God’s Israel.
“He said to me, You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendour”.
• Cabinet in which trophies are displayed.
• E.g. Reception at Perin’s school.
• This servant will accomplish what the nation called Israel failed to accomplish.
• That is to bring salvation to the nations.
Verse 9 (The Message):
“He says, "But that's not a big enough job for my servant--
just to recover the tribes of Jacob,
merely to round up the strays of Israel.
I'm setting you up as a light for the nations
so that my salvation becomes global!"”
(3). Verse 6: He is a light for the Gentiles.
“I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.
At the time of writing, in the culture of his day this was revolutionary stuff!
• Gentiles were considered only good enough to quote ‘light the bonfires of hell’.
• Which is not a good statement for inter-racial relationships!
• Yet Isaiah tells us God plan has never been exclusive;
• But it has always been from the very beginning a plan to bring the world to himself.