In today’s Scripture God challenges people to consider why they are in the state that they are in.
Isaiah Chapter 50
Lessons from the text
A Gift of Speech
In this chapter Isaiah says that the Lord gave him a “tongue of the learned” and an “ear to hear as the learned” (v. 4). Isaiah may have been educated, but he may not have been. The point is that God gave him the specific gift that he needed to fulfill his calling in life; to preach the word of God.
Not everyone can or should preach the Gospel. Only those who have been called and gifted by God should do so. Not everyone can expound the Bible. Only those who have been given the gift of understanding and teaching can effectively teach. Those who is not called to do these things and tries to teach or preach will be ineffective in their labor. They may sound sophisticated or impress a congregation, but if they are not gifted and called they will have no fruit for their labor. Souls will not be fed, and God’s word will not be made to be understood.
One aspect of preaching and teaching that is not often discussed is the necessity of listening well. You have to be able to see and hear the needs of a congregation to know when to speak a word and when to be silent. Sometimes the church needs hell preached hot and heavy, sometimes they need encouragement, and sometimes they don’t need preaching to at all because the message God wants them to hear has already come out in a song or testimony.
Whether you are a preacher, teacher, or just a reader of the Bible, having wisdom in God’s ways is far more than just being able to quote Scriptures and use fancy language: it is being able to speak exactly what needs to be said, nothing more and nothing less. That gift takes time, patiences, and humility. Thankfully, God’s tells us that every believer can have this wisdom. He says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (Jm. 1:5).
Verse by Verse Commentary
1 God challenges Israel to consider why they are not close to Him. God has not rejected them. As the previous chapter states, God will never forget them but is instead constantly watching over them. If one is removed from fellowship with God, it is by one's own choice and not by God's desire. Even though one may feel like God has divorced one, He is still right nearby waiting to save one from one's distress. Taken another way, it is never God who changes but instead man who changes and abandons God. God will never abandon one, but He will allow one to walk away from Him and reap what one has sown.
2 God comes seeking mankind. He continues to stand by in the meeting place to wait for those who once had fellowship with Him. He comes to meet with man, but no man will come to meet with Him.
Jesus says that He stands at the door knocking (Rev. 3:20). He desires to come in and fellowship with one. Nonetheless, one must chose to open the door to let Him in. Fellowship with God takes both parties seeking one another. God is doing His part, but regrettably man is often not doing his.
Failing to seek God, one may begin to believe that God is unable to come to meet one where one is. On the contrary, the truth is that one is unable to go meet God because of where one is. Instead of blaming God for one's condition, if one accepts responsibility for one's actions and confesses them to God, then He is faithful and just to forgive one of one's sin (I Jn. 1:9). Then, fellowship with God will resume.
Alternately, one should not feel hopeless believing that there is no help. If one trusts in God, His hand is not too short to pick one up no matter how far away one is from Him.
3 The imagery of blackness and sackcloth demonstrate that God is grieved by the lack of fellowship.
4 God has given Isaiah a gift of speech so that he will able to help those in need. While words are like an untamable beast that can cause great harm (Jm. 3:6-8), words properly placed can heal and strengthen. God awakens Isaiah for one purpose: to have open ears to know when to speak strength to the weak.
5-6 Isaiah is faithful to fulfill the purpose of God in his life. Even when it costs him rejection, ridicule, and physical injury, Isaiah refuses to cease from proclaiming the message God has given him. All believers have the responsibility to stand their ground in performing God’s commandments in life.
7-9 The believer has the strength to continue to follow God’s will in the face of oppression and even death because God is with His people. Although He may not deliver one from persecution, God will justify and edify those who are faithful to Him. The wicked will be destroyed, and the persecutors will wax old and weak. The believer, however, is able to stand together with the everlasting, all-powerful God.10 This verse has two implications. First, it is a promise that every servant of God walks in light. Isaiah is encouraging people to come out of their darkness and accept God because those who faithfully cling to Him will be freed from the darkness. Second, a person may have accepted God and decided to follow Him but still be darkness. Isaiah is encouraging those who have not yet accepted the fullness of God to step out of their darkness and cling to God.
10 This verse has two implications. First, it is a promise that every servant of God walks in light. Isaiah is encouraging people to come out of their darkness and accept God because those who faithfully cling to Him will be freed from the darkness. Second, a person may have accepted God and decided to follow Him but still be darkness. Isaiah is encouraging those who have not yet accepted the fullness of God to step out of their darkness and cling to God.
11 Opposed to relaying on God, these people are creating their own light. A spark is inconsistent, non-guaranteed light. God challenges such people to try to make their sparks into a fire, to build a consistent, sustainable source of light for their lives. But they will be unable to do so, for their lives will only be filled with sorrow. The lost, while they may appear to be filled with riches, joy, or understanding are still lonely and miserable in their souls because they have relied on their own light instead of being filled by the diving light of God.
Thank you for your faithfulness in studying God’s word.
Please comment below to share what you learned from today's lesson.