So, where were we? In Isaiah, of course. My last WFW post concerned chapter 46, and my bookmark is currently at chapter 49 -- yep, my reading's been neglected. As we're about to read, though, in the first thirteen verses of chapter 49, the Lord has taken care of everything, in the person of Jesus:
Listen to Me, O islands,I do think that all of the Bible is properly to be regarded as being about Jesus, although a lot of it is pretty indirectly about Him. But it always seems to me like a big treat when Jesus shows up, directly and personally, in an Old Testament book like Isaiah. There He is, a living enigma, somehow fully human and fully God at the same time, worthy of every honor and yet accepting every abuse, insult, and patronizing dismissal as if they were acceptable, which they aren't except that He somehow accepts them. There He is, knowing the end from the beginning, all times perpetually present to Him except that He somehow also entered into our creaturely relationship to time when He took on our flesh. There He is, loving me in spite of what I've made of myself, and making me able to do whatever I have to in order to follow Him. There He is, and He says, "I AM," and I say, "He is." Soon enough, I will see Him face to face. Soon enough, I will know even as I am known.
And pay attention, you peoples from afar.
The Lord called Me from the womb;
From the body of My mother He named Me.
And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword;
In the shadow of His hand He has concealed Me,
And He has also made Me a select arrow;
He has hidden Me in His quiver.
And He said to Me, "You are my servant, Israel,
In Whom I will show My glory."
But I said, "I have toiled in vain,
I have spent My strength for nothing and vanity;
Yet surely the justice due to Me is with the Lord,
And My reward with My God."
And now says the Lord, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant,
To bring Jacob back to Him, in order that Israel might be gathered to Him
(For I am honored in the sight of the Lord,
And My God is My strength).
He says, "It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also make You a light of the nations
So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth."
Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and its Holy One,
To the despised One,
To the One abhorred by the nation,
To the Servant of rulers,
"Kings shall see and arise,
Princes shall also bow down;
Because of the Lord who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You."
Thus says the Lord, "In a favorable time I have answered You,
And in a day of salvation I have helped You;
And I will keep You and give You for a covenant of the people,
To restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages;
Saying to those who are bound, 'Go forth,'
To those who are in darkness, 'Show yourselves.'
Along the roads they will feed,
And their pasture will be on all bare heights.
They will not hunger or thirst,
Neither will the scorching heat or sun strike them down;
For He who has compassion on them will lead them,
And will guide them to springs of water.
And I will make all My mountains a road,
And My highways will be raised up.
Behold, these shall come from afar;
And lo, these will come from the north and from the west,
And these from the land of Sinim."
Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains!
For the Lord has comforted His people,
And will have compassion on His afflicted.
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