Highlights In Today's Reading:
Hezekiah bragged on his wealth (38:10-20) and God prophesied dire consequences. John the Baptist's mission is foretold (40:1; Matthew 3:3). Then Isaiah proclaims God's greatness and man's insignificance (Isaiah 40:6-31). In Chapter 41 God ridicules lifeless idols and in 42 He introduces: My Servant (Christ) (42:1).
Our Lord Jesus fulfilled this Scripture when He withdrew Himself from hostile religious leaders who were attempting to destroy Him. Behold My Servant, whom I uphold; Mine Elect, in whom My soul delighteth; I have put My Spirit upon Him; He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry . . . nor cause His voice to be heard in the street (Isaiah 42:1-2; Matthew 12:14-19).
The words My Servant in these verses speak of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah — the King of kings. Jesus could have rightfully said of Himself but didn't: "Behold the great Creator King of kings." Instead it was said of Him: Who, being in the form of God . . . took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:6-7).
What greater privilege could we have than to be just servants in complete obedience to the Creator God — to consider no task too lowly and no sacrifice too great if we bring honor to our Lord!
Whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:44-45).
Hezekiah lost his golden opportunity to impress the ambassadors of Babylon with his true source of greatness and strength which were gifts from God. He could have taken them to the Temple and told them how he spread Sennacherib's letter before the invisible but very real presence of God. Then he could have told him how he had prayed that the strategy of his enemy might be brought to nought, and how in one night a plague destroyed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers.
He could have told them that when he became ill and almost died, but turned to God in prayer, he was promised another 15 years of life. The ambassadors of Babylon would have been far more impressed with the power and protection of the unseen hand of his God than they could possibly have been by the mere display of treasures.
Do we fail to tell others what God has accomplished in answer to our prayers? Or are opportunities wasted to satisfy our egos as we attempt to impress people with our greatness?
May the Lord help us to join Paul in saying: With all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:20-21).
Thought for Today:
It is not what we possess that matters, but whose possession we are that counts.
As the Creator (Isaiah 40:28; compare John 1:1-3); as the Shepherd (Isaiah 40:11; compare John 10:11); as the Redeemer (Isaiah 41:14; compare Galatians 3:13; I Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 5:9).
38:10 residue =b> remainder; 40:2 comfortably =b> kindly and tenderly; 40:12 meted out =b> measured; span =b> spread of the fingers; 42:4 isles =b> islands; 42:13 jealousy =b> His fury.
Pray for Arabic, English, & Spanish International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Brian Stortz • Staff: Rita Guerra • Country: Benin (6 million) in western Africa • Major languages: French and tribal languages • Some hostility toward Christians • 59% animism and voodoo; 17% Muslim; 16% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Thank God for His mercy (Num. 12:11-14).
Optional Reading: James 3
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:12