by Curt Dodd

The Pastor and His Call
Curt Dodd
Isaiah 49:1-6

''Listen to me, you islands; hear this you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name. He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver. He said to me, 'You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.' But I said, 'I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing. Yet what is due me is in the Lord's hand, and my reward is with my God.' And now the Lord says -- he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord and my God has been my strength -- he says: 'It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.''

Here in this second servant's song commentators have debated for years who is this servant of the Lord? Some have felt like this passage is dealing with Israel, describing the nation of Israel being that one individual that God is talking about as a nation, but there is a problem as you look at verses 5 and 6. That's not exactly where He is going.

Some have thought it is a servant who co-exists with Israel and is distinct from it and has a ministry to perform to Israel, that makes more sense than other recommendations and you and I both know that the servant of the Lord is fulfilled in Jesus Christ and his church. As Isaiah, having a word from God, speaks not only to the ministry of Jesus to the world but also the ministry that Jesus does to the world through us. For what the Lord desires to do in the lives of people who He has created, He does through the church. What He does through the church, He does through the men of God who lead His ...

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