Isaiah 49-51

Listen Up!

God has been speaking words of comfort and hope to His covenant people Israel. In the first four verses of Chapter 49 Israel is complaining that they have toiled in vain yet they know there is really nowhere else to turn. They tried that already and that didn’t work.

Beginning with this chapter and continuing to the end of the book the focus will be on the One He will send to redeem Israel and the world. God is not only going to speak words of comfort, He is going to send the Messiah to bring comfort and hope.

Israel is arguing with the Lord. In verse 14 they charge God with abandoning them and sending them away.  In Chapter 50 God says if I have done that then where is your certificate of divorce? There was no certificate because there was no divorce. Israel wandered away from God and sold herself into harlotry as the book of Hosea makes clear. It is also clear that the covenant God and Israel made was a covenant that was not to be broken.

However, Israel left God and yet blamed God for what has happened to her. This is a common problem today. People chart their own course and go their own way. They reject and rebel against God and all wise counsel, and when everything falls apart they look for someone or something to place the blame on.  This is especially true with those suffering from addictions. People sell themselves to the ways of the world and become trapped, enslaved, and discarded. The destruction of Israel and Judah illustrates this and we need to learn from their example.

The good news is that this does not have to be the end, the bottom, the gutter, or whatever other word we could use to describe the hopelessness of our situation. God sent His Son to save us and redeem us. He has paid the price for our redemption and offers us new life, a much better life, but we need to stop our rebellion and start listening and going the way He directs.

When people find themselves hurting from the results of their rebellion they often think they need to make a change. They may change jobs. They might move to a different city. They may change spouses. They may also seek some form of help to get them out of this particular jam but they are unwilling to stop their rebellion. In fact, they want someone to fund their rebellion and often use a guilt trip and  say if you love me you will do this for me.

The Agape love of God, spoken of in the New Testament, is a benevolent love. This benevolent love gives to the person who is the object of this love, what they need but not necessarily what they want. John 3:16 is the perfect illustration of God’s agape love. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. NASB

God loves the world so much that He gave us not what we want but what we need. We need a redeemer and a new life. He also gave us a choice and it will be a choice that each of us will make. Will we accept God’s love for us or continue in our rebellion? Will we try to trick God by saying we will accept His offer but continue with our rebellion? Saying one thing but doing another?

Israel needed a redeemer and so do we. From Chapter 49 on the focus will be on the height, width, and the depth of God’s love for the world. Ephesians 3:14-19

God is announcing Good News! In Chapter 51 He is saying Listen! Pay Attention! Wake up! Rouse yourself! Hear!

God is telling of His love. Isaiah 49:16

We need to listen!  

Pastor Dave