Chosen For a Purpose
Holy One, You alone are worthy of my complete and unending praise. May Your name be glorified for evermore.
Read Isaiah 49:1-7
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.
“Christ gives us a cause to live for…” (William Barclay, 1907-1978). In a world searching for meaning, purpose is a great gift.
The servant of the Lord has been featured several times in Isaiah. This servant was empowered by God’s Spirit for a mission of justice to the nations, carried out faithfully with compassion and resilience (42:1-4), and initially seemed to be identified as the nation of Israel (44:1-5). We now see the identity of the servant as both Israel (3) and the one who will restore Israel (5,6). Sometimes the servant himself speaks (1-4); sometimes God speaks about the servant (5-7). It is probably best understood when God’s intention for the whole nation to bring his light to the Gentiles was obviously not going to be fulfilled (4). Then, the focus narrowed to an individual servant who could complete the mission (5). We will learn more about the character of this servant in coming chapters (50,52,53).
Despite the ambiguity, several things are clear. The servant of the Lord was called and chosen by God before his birth (1,5). His initial role was to restore the tribes of Jacob back to their special relationship with Yahweh. His ultimate purpose was to be a light for nations (6) and rulers (7); and his goal was for God’s splendor (3) and salvation (6) to be made known. He would be equipped and protected (2), given strength beyond his own (4,5) and sustained by God’s faithfulness (7).
What higher calling and empowerment could a servant ask for? Our place in life might seem insignificant compared with this amazing charter, but we, too, are called for a purpose. I am regularly encouraged by the verse I was given at my baptism in my mid-teens: “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6).
Are you clear about your purpose as a servant of Jesus Christ? Write down what you would like him to bring “to completion” in your life.
Lord, I am amazed that in the complexities of life, You know who I am. I am even more amazed that You will complete Your work in my life. I pledge to co-operate with You today.