That You may say to the prisoners, ‘Go forth,’ To those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’ “They shall feed along the roads, And their pastures shall be on all desolate heights. Isaiah 49:9
The overall mood of comfort is abandoned for a moment, for accusation. Israel has stubbornly resisted God, and pursued idols. This treachery forced God to defend His name by sending Israel into a “furnace of affliction” (48:1-11). Yet all this is a backdrop for grace. God presents Himself anew, expresses His yearnings for Israel, and dramatically announces the good news of coming redemption (vv. 20-22).
Now the true servant of the Lord, the Messiah, steps forward. He tells of His mission to Israel and to all humankind (49:1-7). He repeats God’s promises to Himself and to Israel. Israel may feel God has forsaken her, but the Lord can no more abandon the Jews than a mother can forget the babe at her breast (vv. 14-21). God will restore and exalt His chosen people. He will punish their oppressors, for God is the Savior and Redeemer of His own (vv. 22-26).
Key verse. 49:9: God has compassion for all mankind.
Personal application. We may feel forsaken, but we can know that we are not.
Key concepts. Servant of the Lord, Messiah, Redemption, Gentiles, Restoration of Israel