Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Isaiah 50:7
Can you hear the voice of Christ? Isaiah did. He clearly heard Christ speaking and shared the experience with others. And thus some of Isaiah’s most mysterious prophesies were recorded.
Some Bible commentaries depict the full text of Isaiah 50:4-10 as Christ speaking through Isaiah about Christ’s future earthly ministry. The Suffering Servant is both a teacher (v.4) and a learner (vs. 4-5). His ear is open both to those He teaches and to His Father, the Sovereign Lord. He has suffered first-hand (v. 6) which allows Him to be compassionate towards others who are suffering (v.10). Christ keeps Himself “in perfect peace” (Isaiah 26:3) because He is wholly focused on God and His holy will. Faithfulness and complete trust are displayed in the Servant’s words, spoken through a human voice.
I marvel at how Isaiah and other Old Testament prophets could be so entirely focused on God—could come into God’s presence—in such a profound way as to “hear” these words that speak across centuries, when this human prophet would be long gone from this earth. And yet, Isaiah displays courage beyond imagination to speak the Truth with power and conviction. If I could be a tiny per cent as focused as Isaiah in my prayers, think what I could learn! This God I worship gave me my speech and my hearing and my brain. Think what He could accomplish in my tiny mind if I gave Him complete access to what is already His.
And what could we learn from this passage about suffering? That suffering is inevitable in this life is a theme we hear from Christ in numerous places in the Bible. In Matthew 24:9 Jesus warns His followers, “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.” None of us wishes to suffer just so we can be eligible for sainthood. But with the suffering comes the clear and empowering knowledge that God will have the victory. Period. We as believers will not be shamed or defeated with God on our side.
O Christ, instill in us Your spoken and written Word, which is You, alive in our world today. Cause us to listen with new ears as You teach us how to love You. Amen