“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. Isaiah 42:6-7 NIV
Advent – Anticipation for the coming of Christ, the Messiah. The prophet Isaiah lived in the early part of the 8th century BC and died in late 7th century. He prophesied during the reign of 4 kings of Judah. Isaiah is the most quoted prophet by Jesus and Paul. Our first portrait of Jesus is framed by Isaiah as the one who is God with us who also serves us. Let’s check in on Isaiah.
Isaiah awoke from an afternoon nap. Well it was more like the nodding in and out of sleep from exhaustion. He couldn’t shake the compulsion to write again. “Why write?” he thinks to himself. He begins to muse, more like muttering to himself a reflection of his life knowing that you are listening to him.
For years and through the reign of several kings, few have heeded my words. What has been so clear to me, has been unheeded. God’s word has proven itself to be true again and again. He has given strength to the weary and His word remains. Yet I still have hope in the end of our troubles, that a messiah, a servant will come forth.
I do not know when, but I do know that He will be born from a virgin. That image of a sign that I shared with King Ahaz still gives me chills. I don’t know how God could do such a thing, but it will happen. I know it will.
Keep looking down the lineage of Jesse. From that man, that stump, a branch will arise that all nations will look to for salvation. He will have the strength to hold all governments upon His shoulders. Just to be in His presence is to experience peace. Although He is God, He will have the ability to listen to each one and give wonderful counsel. Many will find the answers to life’s difficult questions in Him, in His words, and in His love for them.
Although He will be a ruler, He will also be a servant. The greatest among us will be the servant of all. He will come to those who are broken and cast aside to give them light and hope. Those who are blind will see. Those who are forgotten in the prison of their own sin and addictions will be set free. He will proclaim to those full of shame, rejection and guilt that God’s favor is at hand. Each can enter into God’s rest.
So, I take up my scroll to write again. I know so well the voice that tells me to cry out. I reply in my humility, in my humanity, in my frailty, “what shall I cry out?” I write as He instructs me.
If I were to meet you centuries later, could you tell me what that servant was like? Did He become your Emanuel, God with us? Did all who hear of Him worship and adore Him? Did you accept His rule and reign over your life? Was He truly the messiah that I wrote that He would be?
There is so much brokenness, loneliness, fear, anger and despair. Hope will arise, though it tarry, wait for it. Valleys will be filled and mountains will be made low as the path for the coming Messiah is made straight for those who wish to find their rest in God.
If you will excuse me now, it is getting late and I feel the urge to write again. Let’s see, ah yes…”Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight…”
Have you met this Messiah that Isaiah prophesied would come? How did that meeting change your life? Did you let others know that you have found the Messiah, the Holy One of God? How can they hear, unless one is sent?
Blessings Love y’all