Isaiah 50 - Outline of Isaiah (Book Notes menu page)
III. Salvation (poetry), ch. 40-66
A. Peace assured through knowing the LORD God... (The God of Peace), ch. 40-48
B. Salvation procured by the Suffering Servant... (The Prince of Peace), ch. 49-57
1. The Holy One, Israel's Redeemer, is also the Salvation of the gentiles, 49:1-26
2. The Redeemer is rejected by sinful men, 50:1-11
"The cause why Israel is Lo-Ammi ['Not My People'] is declared in this chapter.
As a faithless wife, she abandoned her heavenly Husband, the Messiah. He, in love to her, came down from heaven to woo her back (v.2), and she, aided by the Gentiles, mocked and crucified Him (v.6). God vindicated Him in resurrection (v.8); and those who now obey His voice no longer walk in darkness (v.10)." [GWms]
1. Thus saith the LORD,
Where [is] the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away?
or which of my creditors [is it] to whom I have sold you?
Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves,
and for your transgressions is your mother put away.
2 Wherefore, when I came, [was there] no man?
when I called, [was there] none to answer?
{cp. Jer 35:15}
Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver?
behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness:
their fish stinketh, because [there is] no water, and dieth for thirst.
3 I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.
where [is] the bill of your mother's divorcement...?-
The nation of Israel is depicted, here, as the unfaithful wife of the LORD, and the mother of its people (cp. Hos 2:2-5).
     The LORD asks the people of Israel to produce the evidence that He has forsaken them (Isa 49:14). Although they have been temporarily set aside, it was not because He was hard-hearted toward them (cp. Deu 24:1-4; Mark 10:5-9). No, the cause of Israel's separation from Him, was her pursuit of other lovers (the ungodly nations and their idols). Yet, because He had never divorced Israel, He was right to pursue restoration of the marriage (eg., Hos 2:23).
to which of my creditors have I sold you? (eg., 2Kin 4:1; Mat 18:25)
The LORD has never been in debt to any one. He had not consigned Israel to cruel masters.
They were suffering the afflictions of slavery, because they had sold themselves to sin (eg., 2Kin 17:17). Yet, He was determined to buy them back (Isa 52:3).
wherefore when I came was there no man...? - (Prophetic certainty is conveyed by the past tense.)
When He came to them, Israel did not welcome their Messiah (Joh 1:11; 3:19; Acts 2:22-24). They neither recognized Him nor His power to redeem them from their sin, though He demonstrated His identity and power with miraculous signs. Consequently, the Salvation, which Israel rejected, was offered to the Gentiles. cp. Isa 49:1,6; Acts 13:46; 28:28
is my hand shortened that it cannot redeem...? -
No. As the all powerful God (v.2b) and the only Savior, He is able to save.
But they had made themselves distant from Him. cp. Isa 59:1,2
4. The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned,
that I should know how to speak
a word in season to [him that is] weary:
{cp. Mat 11:27-29}
he wakeneth morning by morning,
he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.
5 The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear,
and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.
6 I gave my back to the smiters,
and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair:
I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
{Mat 26:67,68; 27:26-30}
7 For the Lord GOD will help me;
therefore shall I not be confounded
{ie., ashamed, humiliated}:
therefore have I set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be ashamed
{ie., disconcerted, disappointed}.
8 [He is] near that justifieth me; who will contend with me?
let us stand together
{or, 'We (God and I) are united as one.'}:
who [is] mine adversary? let him come near to me.
9 Behold, the Lord GOD will help me;
who [is] he [that] shall condemn me?
lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.
The Lord GOD {Adonai Jehovah}...- Four times, in v.4-9, the Messiah uses this name,
telling us that Jehovah, the God of Israel, was more than a Name to Him. He was His Lord, His absolute Master. His heart was tuned to hear, to speak, and to obey God's Word. Unlike rebellious Israel who sold themselves to sin (v.1), He gave {bestowed} Himself, in obedience to the will of His Lord, for the sake of those who abused Him.
...hath given me the tongue of the learned {ie., one taught, discipled},
that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary. (v.4)-
Lit., 'To know to aid the weary by a word.' [YLT]
Through attention to God's voice, Jesus Christ knew how and what to speak to men.
     cp. Joh 7:16; 8:28-29,46-47; 12:49,50; 14:10,23-24; 17:8
...he wakeneth {ie., arouses, stirs up} mine ear to hear {HB=shama'} as the learned {ie., one taught, discipled}...-
The Messiah had an appetite for God's Word, upon which He fed 'morning by morning.' The Gospels do not tell us much about Jesus' first 30 years. He was a lowly carpenter, who was not privileged to attend the rabbinical schools. But this passage reveals that the LORD continually drew Him into His Presence, and nourished His Servant's heart with His Word. Thus, even at twelve years of age, His understanding surpassed that of the scholars. Luk 2:46,47; Joh 7:15,16; cp. Acts 4:13
     (Even today, the Lord satisfies the hungry who meet Him in His Word. See Rev 3:20.)
...hath opened mine ear... (v.5)-
His ear was open, not only to listen to God's Word, but also to do His Will.
This is the ear of a dedicated servant (Ex 21:5,6; cp. Psa 40:6-8), who for love of his master and for love of a slave girl, surrenders himself forever to his master's will. This is exactly what Jesus did to secure His bride. Observe the way Psalm 40:6 is quoted in Hebrews 10:5 (the word 'body' is substituted for 'ear'). In full surrender to the will of His Lord, His body was pierced (not just His ear) in death on the cross, so that He could take us to be with Him forever. Joh 14:3; 17:24; 1The 4:17
     In v.6, the Savior, accepting these prophetic words as His lot, willingly approaches His crucifixion.
...will help me... (v.7-9)-
Knowing the LORD, and being in the center of His will, the Suffering Servant has blessed assurance:
  • therefore, I shall not be confounded {ie., put to shame, disappointed)...-
    The Servant is confident that His Lord will ensure the fulfillment of the purpose for which He was sent, despite strong opposition (Isa 49:8).
  • therefore, I have set my face like a flint...-
    The Servant is confidently determined to fulfill the LORD's will, without compromise or wavering from the target, despite extreme personal cost. (cp. Luk 9:29-31,51)
  • He is near that justifieth me {ie., vindicates, declares my righteousness}...- cp. Rom 1:3,4
  • who will contend {accuse me}... who... shall condemn {declare my guilt}? cp. Joh 8:46
    The enemies of the Savior will disintegrate and come to nothing, like moth eaten clothing. cp. Psa 39:11; 102:24-27 (which is quoted in Heb 1:8-12)
10. Who [is] among you that feareth the LORD,
that obeyeth the voice of his servant,
that walketh [in] darkness, and hath no light?
let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.
Like the Suffering Servant, believers will also experience dark and difficult times.
Like Him, and because of Him, they too have assurance that the LORD is with them, and will bring them through their trials to the place of blessing (Psa 23:4; 27:13,14; 40:1-4; 1Pet 1:7-9). Meanwhile, even while enduring dark times, they know the light of His Presence (Psa 139:11,12; Joh 8:12; 12:46).
11 Behold, all ye that kindle a fire,
that compass [yourselves] about with sparks:
walk in the light of your fire,
and in the sparks [that] ye have kindled.
This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.
Everyone, who rejects the Light which God has provided (in His Word, and in His Son, Isa 49:6; Joh 1:4,5) to warm themselves with the fading flames of human philosophy, religion, and 'spirituality' (Isa 8:19,20), will be consumed by the fire of God’s wrath, which their 'sparks' have kindled (eg., Deu 32:21,22; Jer 17:4-6).
     When they 'lie down' in death, they will experience the 'sorrow' {ie., grief, terror} of eternal loss. Psa 32:10; Joh 8:24; Rev 20:15

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