by John F. Klem
Our journey through the Advent season brings us to the second of the Servant Songs in the book of Isaiah, 49:1–13. The song divides nicely into two parts (49:1–6, 7–13). The first part is the Servant’s testimony (49:1), an autobiography of His call by the Lord. The second part is the Lord’s confirmation of the Servant’s call and commission (49:7, 8). We read this portion of God’s Word with the understanding that the commissioned work of redemption could not be accomplished by a human prophet, king, or nation (49:6). We come to this text with a resolve to know and understand the beautiful intricacies of the gospel progressively unfolded from the older into the newer testaments. We come to see the progressive revelation of the person of Christ.
Under the Holy Spirit’s direction, Isaiah captures a Servant testimony that affirms the work of God the Father (49:1–6). The redemptive plan coming out of eternity past is certain and authentic. The Servant will do the work only He can do. His work is intimately tied to the plan and purposes of the triune God.
This second Servant Song reveals the Servant to be the agent of salvation. Literally, according to 49:6, the Servant is my salvation. As one commentator notes, the Servant is not just a messenger communicating the good news of salvation, He is the salvation needed by all. He is the covenant by which people are brought into a relationship with the Lord (49:8).
Success is a theme that cuts across all four of the Servant Songs in the book of Isaiah. Here in this song, the success is particularly enjoyed by the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people (49:5, 6, 8–13). However, and gratefully so, that redemptive success extends to the nations. The Servant is a light to the nations brought to the ends of the earth (42:6; 49:6).
As I ponder this song, words like certainty, salvation, national, and international benefit come to mind. Advent is not a time to feel good about fairy tales or legends of old. Advent is a time to contemplate with awe and wonder all the historical intricacies related to Christ, our Messiah. Selah!
John F. Klem is director of Regular Baptist Press.
Regular Baptist Press is committed to providing educational resources that point people of all ages to Christ not just at Christmas, but throughout the year. RBP offers a wide range of curriculum, VBS programs, Bible studies, books, and training seminars that are Biblically sound, cover the entirety of Scripture, and designed for spiritual growth.
- Read the entire series of Advent meditations.