“YOU ARE MY SERVANT…IN WHOM I WILL BE GLORIFIED” (Isa 49:3)
📕Isa 49:1-6; Ps 71:1-2, 3-4a, 5-6ab, 15ab and 17 (R.v.15ab); John 13:21-33, 36-38
There is something about the Servant Songs in the Book of the prophet Isaiah that we need to know. We have often reported in this forum that the contents of the second division of the Book of Isaiah (Isa 40 – 55) were written when the Israelites were suffering in exile. So the bulk of the prophetic messages in these chapters serve to encourage the people, telling them that God has not abandoned them.
In that picture, there is a consistent reference in about four pericopes (Isa 42:1-9; 49:1-7; 50:1-11; 52:13 – 53:12) to a certain servant, whose identity is not clearly known but whose mission is that of redemption. This servant is also known as a suffering servant because he was always meeting with difficulties and sometimes a possible failure stared at him.
However, in the midst of all those difficulties, he put his trust in God. And so, in the second servant song, God made a promise to glorify himself in this servant, who was now identified as Israel.
In essence, this servant serves as a sign to the Israelites who were suffering in exile. He is also a sign to us that those who put their trust in the Lord would always triumph.
Do you not see? Someone, who was becoming sure of his failure in a small assignment he was given, had his job widened from just redeeming Israel to becoming a light to all nations to save all peoples (Isa 49:6).
However, our Christian faith considers that figure of the servant to be Jesus who would die to save us all. His death would be like a failure (cf. Luke 24:20-21). But Jesus himself informs us that it would end in glory (John 13:31-32).
May the victory and glories of Christ over the challenges and difficulties in his mission be for us a liberation from failures and other challenges which stay us in the face in our day to day living. Amen.
Have a victorious and glorious day ahead. Peace be with you.