Scripture: Isaiah 52:
13 See, my servant will act wisely;
he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him —
his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness—
15 so he will sprinkle many nations,
and kings will shut their mouths because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
and what they have not heard, they will understand.
Observation: Gods people speak of things that have yet to happen as if they have already happened, because if God declares it, there is no doubt about it, it’s as good as done.
Application: Our scripture today is one of the several prophecies of the coming Messiah prophesied by Isaiah. It speaks of both the suffering and the glory that Christ would experience. Within these brief verses we have both beautiful and appalling descriptions of what was to happen when The Messiah would come. There would be awful suffering by Christ, He would be abused and disfigured, but there would also be great glory. After the suffering was finished, the glory would come, and it would be so great that it would save the whole of mankind.
I find comfort in this today. If you’ve read the last few days of this journal, I’m sure you can tell that I’ve been having a difficult time lately. I don’t wish to go into details about why, but I’ll say that for the past few months my stress has been building, and over the course of the past week it seems to have crescendoed and I have been suffering emotionally, physically and spiritually.
It’s really amazing how God can speak to us so profoundly through the scriptures. I needed this one today. I needed to understand that although God allows suffering, (Life’s Not For Sissies) He doesn’t fail to bless and lift up and strengthen and send peace.
What really stands out to me the most today is the tense of the verbs used in v 14. Although this is probably one of the most difficult verses of prophecy concerning Christ, because it speaks of his terrible suffering, the usage of the words puts it all in the past, as if it had already happened.
Just as there were many who were appalled at him —
his appearance was so disfigured
Of course when Isaiah wrote this prophecy, Jesus had yet to be born, and the suffering was yet to come, but here he speaks of it as if it were past. Why? Is this just some poetic speech that makes the prophet sound more wise? No – this is a faith, this is a knowing that although these things must happen, they will also come to pass. I find peace in this, because I know that the suffering that is now manifesting in my life will also come to pass. And I can be grateful and count it all joy as the apostle Paul said because although the difficulties of this life may seem great, they will pale and vanish away in the glory of heaven.
Prayer: Dear God,
Be with me, and be with all those who suffer. Grant me your Spirit and help me to trust that although life is not always easy, I will get through it because You are with me, and your Spirit is within.