Isaiah 48: A People Who Do Not Deserve Their Salvation

(22 verses, 3:36 to read)
What I am about to READ
  • The Lord has set up a new Servant in order to save His old obstinate one…
  • 1-11:  Israel is a nation no longer worthy to be called the Servant of God
    • 1-2:  These people are now only Israelites by name alone
    • 3-8:  God proclaims in the past what He will do in the future
    • 9-11:  The nation of Israel still receives grace from God
  • 12-16:  Salvation will come from two different servants
    • 12-15:  Cyrus
    • 16:  Suffering Servant
  • 17-22:  The time is near for God’s judgment
  • 1-11:  A servant by name alone
    • 1-2:  Israel has lost its claim as the holy servant of God.  They were called to be perfect, to be holy, to be faithful to YHWH and this they did not do.
      • They lean on God only through outward actions, but their heart is far from Him.  They bear the name of Israel, but it is now meaningless.
    • 3-8:  The Lord can speak the future into existence
      • God will produce judgment and salvation.  He tells the Israelites this in advance so that they have no ground to disbelief (although they most certainly will).
      • The chief sin of Israel is her idolatry.  They have no become just like the deaf and voiceless idols that they worship.  Their necks are stiff and stubborn.  They have mute and lifeless heads of brass, just like their gods.
    • 9-11:  Mercy comes for no one’s sake but God’s alone
      • The Lord will accomplish what He has promised to do.  The covenant that He made with His people He will not break; even if they attempt to shatter it to pieces.
      • “For my own sake, for my own sake,” says the Lord.  And we still confess this each and every Sunday when we corporately confess our sins to God our Father, “For the sake of the holy, innocent, better sufferings and death of Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to be gracious and merciful to me, a poor, sinful being.”  (Divine Service Setting 3–LSB pg. 184)
  • 12-16:  The new servants
    • 12-15:  Reference to Cyrus
      • We have heard of Cyrus in chapters 44 and 45.  He is the temporal authority that God has set up to conquer the Babylonians and free Israel.
        • “I, even I, have spoken and called Him.”  Cyrus will be the work of the Lord and no one else!
    • 16:  The Second Servant
      • We have heard of the Second/Suffering Servant in chapter 42 and will in chapter 49 and elsewhere.
        • The Suffering Servant is the True Servant of the Lord and is now the salvation of Israel
  • 17-22:  Salvation
    • 17-19:  YHWH is His peoples’, “Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel ”
      • The Lord laments that His people have not kept His commandments and walked in His way
    • 20-22:  The Lord has saved His people in the past (think Exodus and the Red Sea); therefore, He will most certainly do it again.
  • Most holy and gracious God, You established you Suffering Servant to be the servant that Israel could never be and You sent Your Son Jesus to be that very Servant and to accomplished all that you had promised.  Open the eyes of Your unbelieving people and open the ears of deaf and dumb sinners so that we all might hear the Good News of Salvation in Christ Jesus and receive the gifts of eternal life and the forgiveness of sins, through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.
 Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: or if reading on facebook, check out the blog:
Rev. Elisha Lietzau, pastor of Faith in Christ Lutheran Church, ABQ, NM.

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