The suffering servant can be trusted

Pastor Steve Ellison

We looked last time at Isaiah 50:1-3, which focused mainly on the failure of God’s people to be faithful to the Him. Furthermore, their refusal to repent of sin and return to a place of safety and blessing in obedience to the Lord keeps them out of fellowship with God.

Pastor Steve Ellison

We are all beset by the sin of pride, which keeps many of us from answering God’s call to turn to Him for redemption. All the while He stands ready with the price of redemption in His hand. Tragic indeed!

Isaiah 50:4-11 is the third of the four “Servant Songs” found in Isaiah, The Lord God has given Me the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple. The Lord God has opened My ear; And I was not disobedient Nor did I turn back. I gave My back to those who strike Me, And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting. For the Lord God helps Me, Therefore, I am not disgraced; Therefore, I have set My face like flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed. (Isaiah 50:4-7, NASU) 

In this crucial Messianic passage, the Messiah is speaking as the Suffering Servant. He declares His allegiance and obedience to the Father. That obedience included presenting His innocent self for punishment on behalf of guilty sinners like me. He makes clear that this punishment brought no disgrace or shame on Him.

Verses 8-11 ask some rhetorical questions with which we must contend, He who vindicates Me is near; Who will contend with Me? Let us stand up to each other; Who has a case against Me? Let him draw near to Me. Behold, the Lord God helps Me; Who is he who condemns Me? Behold, they will all wear out like a garment; The moth will eat them. Who is among you that fears the Lord, That obeys the voice of His servant, That walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. Behold, all you who kindle a fire, Who encircle yourselves with firebrands, Walk in the light of your fire And among the brands you have set ablaze. This you will have from My hand: You will lie down in torment. (NASU) 

“Who will contend with Me?” demands the answer that there is no one who can possibly contend with the Messiah because He is sent by the Father, and He comes obeying the Father. He will be upheld by the Father. “Who is he who condemns Me?” demands the answer that no one can survive the awful mistake of condemning the Messiah. “Who is among you that fears the Lord, That obeys the voice of His servant, That walks in darkness and has no light?” leads to a word of encouragement for those who know the Father and His Servant. 

In spite of having no light and walking in darkness, the one who knows the Father and obeys His Servant will be protected and blessed insofar as he trusts in the name of God and relies on Him.

A warning is also given. Those who trust their own wisdom and their own man-made light will suffer the consequences. “Lying down in torment” will be the result of a life lived walking in one’s own wisdom. I urge you to turn completely from your own wisdom and trust wholly in the Suffering Servant.