In my last post, we learned about The Restoration of Isra’el ~ Part 2 in Yesha’yahu 49:15-26. In this post, we learn about Isra’el’s Sin and the Servant’s Obedience in Yesha’yahu 50:1-11.
1 Adonai says: “Where is your mother’s divorce document which I gave her when I divorced her? Or: to which of My creditors did I sell you? You were sold because of your sins; because of your crimes was your mother divorced.
Adonai had neither divorced nor given up on His people. It was they who had left Him to chase after other gods. He would still reach out to them and send Messiah to them. Tziyon continues to be described as the mother of Adonai’s people. Adonai is the father of His people. He put away Tziyon but did not divorce her (see Deuteronomy 24:1-4). Adonai sold His children, but not to settle a debt (so there are no creditors). Why did He do it? Because of their sins.
When one took out a loan or mortgage in the ancient Near East, the security took the form of a pledge of a personal item. Where there was no security to forfeit, debtors or their family members could be sold into slavery.
2 Why was no one here when I came? Why, when I called, did nobody answer? Is My arm too short to redeem? Have I too little power to save? With My rebuke I dry up the sea; I turn rivers into desert, their fish rot for lack of water and they die of thirst;
Adonai expressed wonder that His children did not expect redemption. He did not divorce Tziyon, and He did not sell His people to a creditor so that He could get them back. Further, Adonai is certainly powerful enough to save them. The act of drying up the waters reflects an ancient Near Eastern understanding that the waters stood for the forces of chaos. Adonai controlled them and could decimate them at will. His control of the waters and the reference to His redeeming hand recall the Exodus.
3 I dress the heavens in black to mourn and make their covering sackcloth.”
Sackcloth was a very rough material, irritating to the skin, worn as part of mourning rites. The heavens mourned because of Adonai’s acts of judgment.
4 Adonai Elohim (the Lord God) has given Me the ability to speak as a man well taught, so that I, with My words, know how to sustain the weary. Each morning he awakens My ear to hear like those who are taught.
The first-person speaker (Me) is the Servant (Yeshua). The speaker is a student of Adonai, trained to encourage those who are weary. Each morning Adonai awakens Him with new insight.
How did Yeshua have so much wisdom? How did He know just what to say? Morning by morning, He listened to His Father. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Yeshua got up, left, went away to a lonely spot and stayed there praying” ~ Mark 1:35 (CJB). In other words, while others were sleeping, Yeshua was seeking His Father. If He needed to do that, how much more do you and I have to do it?
5 Adonai Elohim has opened My ear, and I neither rebelled nor turned away.6 I offered My back to those who struck Me, My cheeks to those who plucked out My beard; I did not hide My face from insult and spitting. 7 For Adonai Elohim will help. This is why no insult can wound Me. This is why I have set My face like flint, knowing I will not be put to shame.
All I can think about in reading these 3 verses is the suffering and humiliation that Yeshua endured during His trial at the hands of the Romans and P’rushim.
Anticipating a fuller development in Yesha’yahu 52:13-53:12 (I can’t wait until we get there in our study), the Servant is one who suffers, though Adonai will keep Him from shame.
Why did Yeshua endure the shame, the spitting, the plucking of His hair, the beating of His back, the whipping, the brutality, the pain, and agony? The writer of Hebrews tells us it was for the joy set before Him that He endured the Cross, despising the shame (see Hebrews 12:2).
8 My vindicator is close by; let whoever dares to accuse Me appear with Me in court! Let whoever has a case against Me step forward! 9 Look, if Adonai Elohim helps Me, who will dare to condemn Me? Here, they are all falling apart like old, moth-eaten clothes.
“Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him,”Job declared (13:15 KJV). Yeshua would live out that which Job professed, knowing that, ultimately, Adonai Elohim, His Father, would help Him.
10 “Who among you fears Adonai? Who obeys what His servant says? Even when He walks in the dark, without any light, He will trust in Adonai’s reputation and rely on his God.
Yeshua would trust the Father even when the sky turned dark, and it seemed He had been forsaken (see Matthew 27:46). The Light of the world would trust His Father even in the darkness of the tomb.
11 But all of you who are lighting fires and arming yourselves with firebrands: go, walk in the flame of your own fire, among the firebrands you lit! From my hands, this [fate] awaits you: you will lie down in torment. ~ Isaiah 50:1-11 (CJB)
Opposite of the one who fears Adonai and leans on Him is the self-reliant person who tries to create light by his hand. He kindles his fire to produce light. Such people will experience torment from Adonai.
The lesson for us is to see how much better it is to walk in seeming darkness in obedience to the Father than to walk in the short-lived light of our understanding. Remember even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me ~ Psalm 23:4 (ESV).
In my next post, we learn about Everlasting Salvation for Tziyon in Yesha’yahu 51:1-16.