13–19 December 2015.

Isaiah 49 (click to read).

With Christmas quickly rushing towards us, with Christ on his way, today we have another great prophecy which points us to the coming Divine Servant, our wonderful Messiah.

We’re used to seeing these messages spoken to Israel. But here the prophet’s words aren’t directed at the children of Abraham. This great promise of hope is announced to all the distant nations, it is shouted out to all the corners of the earth. (v. 1).

We know that the Israelites wanted a messiah, someone to save them from their worldly enemies. But God’s plans were greater than they could imagine. In verse 6 we hear that just saving the Israelites is too tiny and insignificant a thing for the true Servant of God to do. Instead he will be the light and hope and salvation of all peoples. He will be the Saviour of every single person across this whole world, of every person who ever lived, is alive now, or will ever live!

Even though this great Servant will come out of Israel, sadly in v. 7 we hear that the nation itself will reject him and look at this Divine Servant with disgust. But the other kings and rulers of the whole earth will stand up in respect before him. The princes and leaders of the world will all bow down at his feet.

In vv. 8–12 we see that when the great Lord comes, all life will be changed. Nature will bloom with food and flow with water for all. No one will go hungry, everyone will have enough – because God will be here with us, our Good Shepherd will be here to lead us beside springs of water. And when Immanuel is here, when God is finally with us, what will there be left to do but for the whole earth to burst into song (v.13)!

In this past year, we have gone through hard times, and maybe we thought God had forgotten us. But as vv. 15–21 remind us: Can a mother ever forget her children? Like a mother separated from her children, the fierce love of God will tear down all barriers, and overcome all obstacles until we are all finally safe and sound back in his arms.

Pastor Stephen Lakkis