Isaiah 49:3

The general idea of this section of Isaiah's prophecies needs to be borne in mind. In it "Israel himself, in all his contradictory characteristics, becomes the engrossing subject of the prophet's meditations. His restoration, still future, but indubitable, is celebrated in ch. 50. by an ode somewhat similar to that on the fall of Babylon in the preceding part. But the nearer the great event arrives, and the more the prophet realizes the ideal Israel of the future, the more he is depressed by the low spiritual condition of the actual Israel. Strange to say, this combination of apparently inconsistent data - the splendour of the future and the misery of the present - supplies the material for a specimen of dramatic description surpassing anything in the rest of the Old Testament" (Cheyne). By the "servant of Jehovah" we may understand those sent forth by God as the prophets and teachers of each age, bearing Divine messages of warning and of duty. These are personified, as it were, in the one great Divine Teacher, the Messiah. It was one of the most important features of the ministry in every age that it should convict of sin; therefore the work of the mouth is likened to that of a "sharp sword" (comp. Hebrews 4:12, "The Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword,... and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart"). Pindar employs the metaphor of the arrow in application to powerful eloquence. And the metaphor of a sword and an arrow, both in the best state of preparation, aptly sets forth the penetrating and subduing efficacy of the gospel. This one feature of fitness for doing God's work in the world - the eloquent, persuasive, convincing tongue - may introduce to us the general subject of "fitness for God's service."

I. IT LIES IN ENDOWMENT. The true servant of God is a gifted man - one to whom special powers have been committed, which powers indicate his work, and make him responsible for the doing of it. The proper idea of a Christian ministry is the separation to the work of preaching and teaching of all those who are evidently divinely endowed for preaching and teaching work. The right of a man to do any particular kind of work in the world is simply the right which comes from the divinely given capacity for doing it. If God made us painters, we must paint; if he made us poets, we must shape beautiful thoughts in verse; if he made us preachers, we must preach. Canon Liddon eloquently describes the endowed teacher. "Picture to yourselves a teacher who is not merely under the official obligation to say something, but who is morally convinced that he has something to say. Imagine one who believes alike in the truth of his message, and in the reality of his mission to deliver it. Let this teacher be tender, yet searching; let him win the hearts of men by his kindly humanity, while he probes, ay, to the quick, their moral sores. Let him pursue and expose the latent evil of the human heart through all the mazes of its unrivalled deceitfulness, without sullying his own purity, and without forfeiting his strong belief in the present capacity of every human being for goodness Clearly, such a teacher must be a moral power;" a "sharp sword." One thing greatly needed in our day is quickness to recognize Divine endowments in men, and brotherly aid to all endowed men in the due exercise of their gifts.

II. IT LIES IN THE DIVINE CALL. For the fact of possessing power is not, standing alone, authority for its being put forth and exercised. There must be the inward Divine call, which may or may not be heard through the voice of outward circumstances. This is the lesson taught by the records of the prophets - Elijah, Isaiah, Jonah, etc. They were endowed, but they did not act until they were called. The distinction is expressed, poetically, in Psalm 39:3, "While I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue." Illustrate from apostles, who were endowed with the Holy Ghost, symbolized in tongues of fire; but who were also sent ones. It is one thing to be able to speak, it is quite another to be called to speak.

III. IT LIES IN RESPONSIVE GOOD WILL. A man may actually deliver God's message unwillingly and grumblingly, as Jonah did, but it is clear that this cannot be regarded as fit service. Only when we say, "Lord, just what thou wouldst have me do is exactly what I desire to do," can we be regarded as servants indeed. This does not say that our good will towards what is God's will for us involves no effort, no conflict with sell The way of earthly prosperity may be the way of our own will; and the way of lifelong disability may be the way of doing God's will and work. Many a man has given up every earthly prospect to preach Christ to his fellow-men. And he is no fit preacher who does not preach with good will - preach from the heart. He should preach because he must; he should preach because he wishes to.

IV. IT LIES IN CULTURE OF GIFT. This is the human element in the fitness, which is as truly essential as the Divine clement, the natural endowment. We cannot give the gift, but we can train it into efficiency. It has to be prepared for the work of a particular age, and for the demands of a particular sphere. The sword has to be furbished and sharpened. The "gift" has to use instruments; it must gain skill in the use of instruments. The culture properly takes two forms.

1. Self-culture, the whole responsibility of which lies on the would-be minister.

2. Culture by agencies, which can be secured by those who recognize in the would-be minister the Divine "gift." Let the endowed and cultured man wait on God, and of this we are sure - he will find both his place and his work. - R.T.

And said unto me, Thou art My servant.
How numerous are God's servants! All things in heaven and upon earth, all worlds, all elements, and all creatures are His servants, which obey His word, and declare His greatness and glory. But of all God's servants in this world man ranks highest, and through his service God is glorified in a sense that He could not be glorified through the service of any other creature. Israel was God's servant in a pre-eminent sense, whether the word be taken to mean the nation as God's chosen people or an individual as God's messenger to do His will. But the ideal of God's servant in this book was realised only in the Lord Jesus Christ. Man appears greatest when he serves, and there is no way to true greatness but through service. And God appears greatest when He condescends to serve. The Son of God looks more Divine on the Cross of His humiliation than on the throne of His glory, for on the Cross that which was deepest in His nature became visible. And it may be said that in every good man God becomes incarnate, and takes upon Himself the form of a servant, and by so doing bestows upon him the highest greatness. God says to every one of His faithful children, "Thou art My servant, in whom I will be glorified." The way to glorify God is by serving man.

I. WHAT IS MEAT BY GOD'S GLORY? With glory we associate the ideas of purity, beauty, and sublimity; and God's glory is the energetic expression of His holiness in all His works, in myriad different forms and ways.

II. THE SERVICE OF MAN AS THE MANIFESTATION OF GOD'S HIGHEST GLORY. Man has been created for the revelation of the highest glory of the Divine nature, and when he serves God faithfully, God breaks forth into glory in his character and work. This is the glory of His moral attributes, the glory of His love, mercy, compassion, and tenderness, which is infinitely greater than all the glory of the material universe. You can never learn the character of God from the facts of nature, any more than you can learn the character of the artist from his paintings, of the architect from the buildings he has planned, or of the builder from his work. In every gentle and kind word spoken to the affected, in every look of compassion, in every tear of sympathy, and in every deed of kindness, God breaks into glory that would make you tremble and adore if you were spiritual enough to see it. How the Divine glory shone in the life of the apostle Paul! In a dark age, when the superstition of the Papacy covered the land, God called Martin Luther, and said, "Thou art My servant, in whom I will be glorified." And in Rowlands, Whitefield, Wesley, and others, God's glory broke forth in a similar manner. In the only-begotten Son was revealed the glory of God as the Eternal Father (John 1:14). Before the same glory shines forth in us we must become something more than professed Christians, we must become Christ's.

(Z. Mather.)

Painters, poets, and musicians are God's servants, and in their masterly ]productions the Divine glory bursts forth. Raphael was God's servant, and m the Transfiguration God's glory broke forth. Handel was God's servant, and in his Messiah God's glory broke forth. Milton was God's servant, and in his Paradise Lost the Divine glory majestically broke forth. Statesmen, reformers, and philanthropists are also God's servants, and He says to each one of them, "Thou art My servant, in whom I will be glorified." But the shining of the Divine glory is not confined to the highly gifted, but breaks forth in those who faithfully serve God in obscure spheres of labour, unnoticed by the world.

(W. Hay Aliken, M. A.)

I. THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF A HIGH VOCATION. "He said unto Me, Thou art My servant," &c. Just as the words, "Out of Egypt have I called My son," never found their full significance until they were applied to God's greater Son, so the name "Israel" was never fulfilled finally in Jacob, who first bore it, nor even in the nation that has borne it after him, but has found its ultimate fulfilment in Him who is pre-eminently a "Prince with God," and our Prince, because He is our Saviour. We have, therefore, here a prediction of the consciousness of a high mission which possessed the Christ, and brought Him to this world of ours. Some of us will never forget the day when we were conscious for the first time of the inspiring fact that God had spoken to us, and through that experience of ours we may be able — as, indeed, the prophet through his experience was supremely able — to understand something of the ecstasy with which Christ, conscious of His glorious mission, came to this world of ours. It was that that Christ remembered throughout His life, and it was that which sustained Him throughout His personal ministry in the face of opposition and discouragement of every kind. He knew that He was doing His Father's will, and it was this consciousness that found expression in the prayer which He uttered on the eve of His great passion, "I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do." It was this assurance, too, that He sought to give to His disciples as the mainspring of all their heroism. "As the Father hath sent Me, even so send I you." "Israel, in whom I will be glorified." Scholars are divided here in opinion. Some say that this ought to be translated, "In whom I will burst forth into glory." This is a translation that charms me. Jesus was indeed "the effulgence" of the Father's glory — the shining forth of the light which had ever been the light, but which would have been largely invisible to man apart from the Incarnation. Then there is the other translation, "In whom I will beautify" — or "glorify" — "Myself." In harmony with this Jesus exclaimed near the close of His life, "Father... glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee." Did not the Son glorify the Father by the very outburst of light which distinguished His life among men?

II. THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF APPARENT FAILURE. "I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought and in vain." We trace this consciousness at times even in the Master in Gospel story. His disappointment in the face of human unbelief, His sorrow over human sinfulness and ingratitude, the apparent waste of the Divinest life that was ever lived among men in precept and example — these weighed heavily upon Him. In this respect, as in many others, He was touched with the feeling of our infirmity.

III. THE ASSURANCE OF FINAL VINDICATION. "Yet surely My judgment is with the Lord, and My recompense with My God." In other words, He knows the motives which have prompted Me, and what led Me on step by step. Whether life be a failure or not, whether My self-sacrifice appear fruitless or not, He knows what is the root of all. Yea, I know more than that — I know not only that He will vindicate Me and the motives which prompted Me; but I also know that My work must find its reward; that all that is apparent failure is only apparent; that My toil must bring forth fruit — "Surely... My work is with My God" (or, according to the R.V., "My recompense is with My God"). Here again there is the double meaning, and therefore a special wealth of significance. The word denotes more than the "work," and more than the "recompense." It denotes the work and its result; all that the work meant: the toil of saving men, and the reward of seeing them saved. Thus the Christ Himself, amidst all the ignominy and anguish of the Cross and Passion, fell back upon the assurance of the Father's final vindication. These, then, being pre-eminently the words of the world's Redeemer, are surely an example and an inspiration to us to follow His example.

(D. Davies.)

Isaiah, Jacob
Babylon, Syene, Zion
Beautify, Display, Glorified, Glorify, Glory, Myself, O, Servant, Splendor
1. Christ being sent to the Jews, complains of them
5. He is sent to the Gentiles with gracious promises
13. God's love is perpetual to his church
18. The ample restoration of the church
24. The powerful deliverance out of captivity

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Isaiah 49:3

     1045   God, glory of
     1193   glory, revelation of
     7949   mission, of Israel

Isaiah 49:1-6

     2230   Messiah, coming of
     7160   servants of the Lord

Isaiah 49:1-7

     2327   Christ, as servant

September 20. "They Shall not be Ashamed that Wait" (Isa. Xlix. 23).
"They shall not be ashamed that wait" (Isa. xlix. 23). Often He calls us aside from our work for a season and bids us be still and learn ere we go forth again to minister. Especially is this so when there has been some serious break, some sudden failure and some radical defect in our work. There is no time lost in such waiting hours. Fleeing from his enemies the ancient knight found that his horse needed to be reshod. Prudence seemed to urge him without delay, but higher wisdom taught him to halt
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The Mountain Road
And I will make all My mountains a way, and My highways shall be exalted.'--ISAIAH xlix. 11. This grand prophecy is far too wide to be exhausted by the return of the exiles. There gleamed through it the wider redemption and the true return of the real captives. The previous promises all find their fulfilment in the experiences of the soul on its journey back to God. Here we have two characteristics of that journey. I. The Path through the mountains. 'My mountains.' That is the claim that all
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Writing on God's Hands
'Behold! I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands; thy walls are continually before Me.'--ISAIAH xlix. 16. In the preceding context we have the infinitely tender and beautiful words: 'Zion hath said, The Lord hath forsaken me. Can a woman forget her sucking child? ... yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.' There is more than a mother's love in the Father's heart. But wonderful in their revelation of God, and mighty to strengthen, calm, and comfort, as these transcendent words are,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Feeding in the Ways
'They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.' ISAIAH xlix. 9. This is part of the prophet's glowing description of the return of the Captives, under the figure of a flock fed by a strong shepherd. We have often seen, I suppose, a flock of sheep driven along a road, some of them hastily trying to snatch a mouthful from the dusty grass by the wayside. Little can they get there; they have to wait until they reach some green pasture in which they can be folded. This
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

A Clearing-Up Storm in the Realm
(Revelation, Chapters vi.-viii.) "God Almighty! King of nations! earth Thy footstool, heaven Thy throne! Thine the greatness, power, and glory, Thine the kingdom, Lord, alone! Life and death are in Thy keeping, and Thy will ordaineth all: From the armies of Thy heavens to an unseen insect's fall. "Reigning, guiding, all-commanding, ruling myriad worlds of light; Now exalting, now abasing, none can stay Thy hand of might! Working all things by Thy power, by the counsel of Thy will. Thou art God!
by S. D. Gordon—Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation

Christ in the Covenant
First, we shall examine this property; secondly, we shall notice the purpose for which it was conveyed to us; and thirdly, we shall give one precept, which may well be affixed upon so great a blessing as this, and is indeed an inference from it. I. In the first place, then, here is a GREAT POSSESSION--Jesus Christ by the covenant is the property of every believer. By this we must understand Jesus Christ in many different senses; and we will begin, first of all, by declaring that Jesus Christ is ours,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 2: 1856

Twentieth Day for God's Spirit on the Heathen
WHAT TO PRAY.--For God's Spirit on the Heathen "Behold, these shall come from far; and these from the land of Sinim."--ISA. xlix. 12. "Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall haste to stretch out her hands to God."--PS. lxviii. 31. "I the Lord will hasten it in His time."--ISA. lx. 22. Pray for the heathen, who are yet without the word. Think of China, with her three hundred millions--a million a month dying without Christ. Think of Dark Africa, with its two hundred millions. Think
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession

Sixteenth Day for the Power of the Holy Spirit in Our Sabbath Schools
WHAT TO PRAY.--For the Power of the Holy Spirit in our Sabbath Schools "Thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children."--ISA. xlix. 25. Every part of the work of God's Church is His work. He must do it. Prayer is the confession that He will, the surrender of ourselves into His hands to let Him, work in us and through us. Pray for the hundreds
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession

The Quotation in Matt. Ii. 6.
Several interpreters, Paulus especially, have asserted that the interpretation of Micah which is here given, was that of the Sanhedrim only, and not of the Evangelist, who merely recorded what happened and was said. But this assertion is at once refuted when we consider the object which Matthew has in view in his entire representation of the early life of Jesus. His object in recording the early life of Jesus is not like that of Luke, viz., to communicate historical information to his readers.
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

"Sing, O Heavens; and be Joyful, O Earth; for the Lord Hath Comforted his People. " -- Isaiah 49:13.
"For the Lord shall comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places; and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody." -- Isaiah 51:3. "Sing, O Heavens; and be joyful, O Earth; for the Lord hath comforted his people." -- Isaiah 49:13. A living, loving, lasting word, My listening ear believing heard, While bending down in prayer; Like a sweet breeze that none can stay, It passed
Miss A. L. Waring—Hymns and Meditations

Of Civil Government.
OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT. This chapter consists of two principal heads,--I. General discourse on the necessity, dignity, and use of Civil Government, in opposition to the frantic proceedings of the Anabaptists, sec. 1-3. II. A special exposition of the three leading parts of which Civil Government consists, sec. 4-32. The first part treats of the function of Magistrates, whose authority and calling is proved, sec. 4-7. Next, the three Forms of civil government are added, sec. 8. Thirdly, Consideration
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

Twentieth Sunday after Trinity the Careful Walk of the Christian.
Text: Ephesians 5, 15-21. 15 Look therefore carefully how ye walk [See then that ye walk circumspectly], not as unwise, but as wise; 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunken with wine, wherein is riot, but be filled with the Spirit; 19 speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 giving thanks always for all things
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

Exposition of the Doctrines of Grace
? Perseverance of the Saints--"The Final Perseverance of Believers in Christ Jesus," by William O'Neill (message 5). The Rev. C. H. SPURGEON took the chair at 3 o'clock. The proceedings were commenced by singing the 21st Hymn-- Saved from the damning power of sin, The law's tremendous curse, We'll now the sacred song begin Where God began with us. We'll sing the vast unmeasured grace Which, from the days of old, Did all his chosen sons embrace, As sheep within the fold. The basis of eternal love
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 7: 1861

Under his Shadow.
A BRIEF SACRAMENTAL DISCOURSE DELIVERED AT MENTONE TO ABOUT A SCORE BRETHREN."He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."--Psalm xci. 1. UNDER HIS SHADOW. I MUST confess of my short discourse, as the man did of the axe which fell into the stream, that it is borrowed. The outline of it is taken from one who will never complain of me, for to the great loss of the Church she has left these lower choirs to sing above. Miss Havergal, last and loveliest
Charles Hadden Spurgeon—Till He Come

How to Make Use of Christ as the Truth, when Error Prevaileth, and the Spirit of Error Carrieth Many Away.
There is a time when the spirit of error is going abroad, and truth is questioned, and many are led away with delusions. For Satan can change himself into an angel of light, and make many great and fairlike pretensions to holiness, and under that pretext usher in untruths, and gain the consent of many unto them; so that in such a time of temptation many are stolen off their feet, and made to depart from the right ways of God, and to embrace error and delusions instead of truth. Now the question is,
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

The First Thing Suggested at the Very Outset Is...
The first thing suggested at the very outset is, as we have already said (sec. 17-19), that all our prayers to God ought only to be presented in the name of Christ, as there is no other name which can recommend them. In calling God our Father, we certainly plead the name of Christ. For with what confidence could any man call God his Father? Who would have the presumption to arrogate to himself the honour of a son of God were we not gratuitously adopted as his sons in Christ? He being the true Son,
John Calvin—Of Prayer--A Perpetual Exercise of Faith

Catalogue of his Works.
There is no absolutely complete edition of Eusebius' extant works. The only one which can lay claim even to relative completeness is that of Migne: Eusebii Pamphili, Cæsareæ Palestinæ Episcopi, Opera omnia quæ extant, curis variorum, nempe: Henrici Valesii, Francisci Vigeri, Bernardi Montfauconii, Card. Angelo Maii edita; collegit et denuo recognovit J. P. Migne. Par. 1857. 6 vols. (tom. XIX.-XXIV. of Migne's Patrologia Græca). This edition omits the works which are
Eusebius Pamphilius—Church History

The Fifth Commandment
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.' Exod 20: 12. Having done with the first table, I am next to speak of the duties of the second table. The commandments may be likened to Jacob's ladder: the first table respects God, and is the top of the ladder that reaches to heaven; the second respects superiors and inferiors, and is the foot of the ladder that rests on the earth. By the first table, we walk religiously towards God; by
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

"But Ye have Received the Spirit of Adoption, Whereby we Cry, Abba, Father. "
Rom. viii. 15.--"But ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God," 1 John iii. 1. It is a wonderful expression of love to advance his own creatures, not only infinitely below himself, but far below other creatures, to such a dignity. Lord, what is man that thou so magnified him! But it surpasseth wonder, that rebellious creatures, his enemies, should have, not only
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ;
OR, A PLAIN AND PROFITABLE DISCOURSE ON JOHN 6:37 SHOWING THE CAUSE, TRUTH, AND MANNER OF THE COMING OF A SINNER TO JESUS CHRIST; WITH HIS HAPPY RECEPTION AND BLESSED ENTERTAINMENT. WRITTEN BY JOHN BUNYAN, AUTHOR OF "THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS." "And they shall come which were ready to perish."--Isaiah 27:13. London, 1681. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. "Come and welcome to Jesus Christ," is a subject peculiarly fitted to the deep and searching experience of John Bunyan. He knew all the wiles of sin and
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Thy Name: My Name
'I have called thee by thy name.'--ISAIAH xliii. 1. 'Every one that is called by My name.'--ISAIAH xliii. 7. Great stress is laid on names in Scripture. These two parallel and antithetic clauses bring out striking complementary relations between God and the collective Israel. But they are as applicable to each individual member of the true Israel of God. I. What does God's calling a man by his name imply? 1. Intimate knowledge. Adam naming the creatures. Christ naming His disciples. 2. Loving friendship.
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Justifying or Sanctifying Grace
Sanctifying grace is defined by Deharbe as "an unmerited, supernatural gift, imparted to the soul by the Holy Ghost, by which we are made just, children of God, and heirs of Heaven." As it makes sinners just, sanctifying grace is also called justifying, though this appellation can not be applied to the sanctification of our first parents in Paradise or to that of the angels and the sinless soul of Christ. Justification, as we have shown, consists in the infusion of sanctifying grace, and hence it
Joseph Pohle—Grace, Actual and Habitual

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