Help Is At Hand
Father, I long to see real unity of heart and mind in Your church. Heal divisions to strengthen our witness.
Read Isaiah 49:1-7
 Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the LORD called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.  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.  He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.”  But I said, “I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all. Yet what is due me is in the LORD’s hand, and my reward is with my God.”  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-  he says: “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.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow will God reward his Servant Israel for its labor?
Isaiah’s prophecy introduces the Savior as the Servant. The first glimpse is in chapter 42; now we get a second look at what this servant is like and what he will do. Confusingly, he is called “Israel” (3), the name of God’s people, yet he will also restore Israel to God (5). This servant is one who fulfills all that God’s people were supposed to be but failed to live up to. He is the perfect and true Israel. The key feature of the servant in this passage is that his message is for the whole world (6). God’s plan has always been that his salvation will reach to the ends of the earth. So although God’s people are restored to him through the servant, the words of comfort are not for them only. The sharp and effective words of the servant have a global reach. Simeon recognized this prophecy fulfilled in Jesus (Luke 2:25-32), and Jesus commissioned his followers to go into all the world and make disciples (Matt. 28:19,20). No one is outside the scope of this salvation–it is good news for the whole world!
Consider the themes of recent days: idolatry, pride, hypocrisy, ignoring God. Pause to feel your need to be rescued from these evils.
Lord, show me how I can enable greater unity among Your believers. I want to contribute and share anything I can.
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