“See, My Servant will act wisely;
He will be raised and lifted up and greatly exalted.
Just as many were appalled at You—
His appearance was so disfigured
that He did not look like a man,
and His form did not resemble a human being—
so He will sprinkle many nations.
Kings will shut their mouths because of Him,
For they will see what had not been told them,
and they will understand what they had not heard.” (Isaiah 52:13-15)
These are the words from the prophet Isaiah. He wrote these words hundreds of years before the One who would come to fulfill this prophesy. That One was Jesus. Isaiah wrote about how Jesus would be lifted up and exalted. He wrote that he would be disfigured which Jesus was as He was beaten and flogged to the point of death before His crucifixion. But this was done so that all nations could be reconciled unto God.
These verses are prior to the “Suffering Servant” chapter. Though these verses are not as well known, they as well portray how Jesus suffered for us so that “they will see what had not been told them, and they will understand what they had not heard.” Jesus came as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins and has been raised up and greatly exalted in His rightful place as the Son of God. This week let us remember and be thankful that Jesus did that for us.
“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
These verses are a prophesy to the birth of Jesus. The prophet Isaiah wrote these words hundreds of years in advance. These words brought hope. These words brought a longing for the coming Messiah. We see these words as a fulfillment and as a promise.
We have the fulfillment in the birth of Jesus. We have the promise that when He returns again that His kingdom will forever rule. During this Christmas season, let us remember the hope we have in the one who is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. And let us remember that He is in control and we can count on Him from this time forth and forevermore.
“For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. ” Isaiah 30:19-20
As I was going through my devotions this week, I came across these verses and were encouraged. Here, the prophet Isaiah was speaking to the people of Judah. He had previously mentioned about what would take place and how the people would suffer (foreshadowing the future for the people) but here he reminds them of encouragement. Even in the midst of struggle and adversity, He is there. He hears their cries and is there for them.
The same is true for us today. When we go through adversity, He is there. If we look to Him we will find Him. If we cry out to Him, He will hear us. This week, just know that whatever adversity you may be going through, God is there. Call out to Him. Turn towards Him. Trust in Him and you’ll be comforted.
“And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16
I first read this verse when I was a teenager and it is one that has stuck with me ever since. God is telling Isaiah to tell the people of Israel some words of encouragement in the midst of discouraging times. The cool things are what God says he will do.
First, God says that He will lead and guide. Even when the path is one we cannot see or that we know, He will always be there to lead and guide us. He will bring light into our lives and help smooth out the rough spots. And He says that he will not forsake us. He won’t leave us. He’ll always be there.
When things are tough, when the path doesn’t seem clear, when you feel alone, just remember that God is right there to lead and guide, to shine light into the darkness and that He doesn’t leave or forsake us. That is an encouraging word to remember.