Sunday, September 25, 2011

A root out of dry ground... - September 25th, 2011

 13 Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently;
He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.
14 Just as many were astonished at you,
So His visage was marred more than any man,
And His form more than the sons of men;
15 So shall He sprinkle many nations.
Kings shall shut their mouths at Him;
For what had not been told them they shall see,
And what they had not heard they shall consider.

 1 Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
Isaiah 52:13 - 53:2

History and Context:
Isaiah is the prophet most quoted by Jesus and by the New Testament authors. There are many Messianic prophecies throughout Isaiah, but the real purpose of the book was to admonish the kings of Judah to rely on the protection of God. Isaiah's ministry focused on the reign of two different kings, Ahaz and Hezekiah. Ahaz did not listen to Isaiah and relied on the protection of Assyria rather than God's protection. Hezekiah also didn't listen at first but as things went bad he turned to God for protection and God rescued the kingdom of Judah. Isaiah continually refers to God as "The Holy One of Israel". This phrase is repeated 26 times in the book of Isaiah and only 6 times in the rest of the Old Testament. Isaiah is also known for having the most messianic prophecies ot of any of the prophets.
The Text:
This passage begins one of the most famous chapters about Jesus. Isaiah is prophesying about Jesus thousands of years before He came. He refers to Him as God's servant. Isaiah starts out by declaring that this Servant will be exalted, but then asks "Who will believe us?" He says that Jesus will not come in the way that would be expected of God coming to earth.  He won't come in beauty or in power, but will come in a tender form, a form of a servant. Many won't recognize Him because of this. He will surprise all who meet Him.
The Challenge:
Remember our example in Jesus. He came as a servant. If He, the Lord and creator of all heavens and earth, can come as a servant, how much more can we? Let us follow the example of our Lord and serve those around us. Don't get caught up in power and authority but in humility and service. As many of you will still go to church today, take this attitude to your church. Continue this attitude as you return home, or wherever else you may go. An attitude of humility and service.
The Prayer:
Lord, thank you for you example of humility and service. I want to follow it, give me the strength and wisdom to do so. Thank you Lord! In Jesus' name, Amen!

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