August 11

Read Isaiah 52 -- 57

In Today's Reading:

The suffering and triumph of the Servant Messiah; a call to faith, repentance, and submission.

Verses for Today:

For thus saith the Lord God. . . . Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently, He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. . . . For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. . . . All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all (52:4,13; 53:2-3,6).

Jesus came as the Servant (of God) and as the Suffering Savior, but He will soon return highly exalted and extolled (Isaiah 52:13) as the King of kings. Because the Jews were looking for a warrior-king, like David, to deliver them from the oppression of Rome, the majority of them would not accept their Messiah as the Suffering Savior. Our Lord, in humility and meekness, did not assert His rights and set up His rightful Kingdom by force. The dry ground (53:2) illustrates the spiritual condition of the religious world that existed at the time of Jesus. From the world's point of view, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.

Jesus the Servant came from a common carpenter's family and grew up in the unimportant town of Nazareth in Galilee (9:1; Matthew 4:15). After declaring Himself the Messiah, He was violently forced out of the synagogue in His hometown (Luke 4:16-30). On another occasion, many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him (John 6:66). Only a few of the religious leaders in Israel acknowledged Him as the Messiah (7:48). As surprising as it may seem, the majority of people refused to accept Jesus for Who He really is -- the Great God of Creation as revealed by the Apostle John, who wrote: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him (John 1:1-3). The Savior (Messiah) will soon return to rule the world. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints. Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy Name? for Thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before Thee; for Thy judgments are made manifest (Revelation 15:3-4).

The Servant King humbled Himself by becoming a Man and accepted the sins of all mankind as His own when He died on the cross in our place. Thereby, He provided salvation for all who confess their guilt, repent of their sins, and yield their lives to Him. Even then, all of us from time to time fall short of what God desires us to be. Jesus continues to make intercession for us with the Heavenly Father on the basis of His sacrificial death and blood atonement for our sins (Isaiah 53:12; Hebrews 7:25).

His death on the cross ended the enmity between sinful man and the Righteous Creator God. This means that all repentant believers, Jew and Gentile alike, receive eternal life through the death of the sinless Son of God when they receive Him as their Savior and Lord. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).

Christ Revealed:

As the One Who was rejected by His own people (Isaiah 53:3; compare Luke 23:18; John 1:11); remained silent when He was falsely accused (Isaiah 53:7; Mark 15:3-5); was buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60); and was crucified with sinners (Isaiah 53:12; Mark 15:27-28).

Word Studies:

52:1 uncircumcised = heathen; 52:10 made bare his holy arm = revealed His power; 52:12 rereward = rear guard; 52:14 visage = appearance; 57:4 sport = ridicule; 57:17 frowardly = rebelliously.

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Sen. Tim Hutchinson (AR) · Pray for the missionary ministries · Country: Romania (22 million) in southeastern Europe · Major languages: Rumanian and Hungarian · Freedom of worship · 70% Eastern Orthodox ; 7% Protestant; 6% Roman Catholic; 1% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to give you discernment in all decisions (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Optional Reading: 1 Peter 1

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 5:9