Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I am His servant

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, 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."

Monday, August 5, 2013

Old Testament Commission

When we think of our purpose on earth, many of us think of John Piper's motto:
“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him” 

But most of us think of the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:

Let's go instead to the Old Testament, and allow me to show you the Great Commission before Christ walked the earth. Come with me to Isaiah 43. It is always a bit tricky to exposit a chapter, because I can only hope that you will actually read the context, and not simply take what I cut and paste here. The meat of this passage is in the Word. What I write here is merely connections being made within context. Without the rest of the chapter, the power of these connections I make is lost. The importance here is God's Word, not mine. So please prioritize what He has written over what I have written. 

Once you have read the passage, I will present a few questions about this commission, and answer them with scripture. There are five questions this passage provides answers to. 
~Who is being called?
~What is their identity/status?
~What are they being called to do?
~What must they say?
~Why do they speak?

So lets get started. 

Who is being called? Isaiah 43:6-7 
"I will say to the north, Give up,
and to the south, Do not withhold;
bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the end of the earth,
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”

Also, the first verse is critical as well.
"But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine."

What is their identity/status? Or perhaps, a better wording: How does God (the Caller) see them? Isaiah 43:4
"Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you..."

What are they being called to do? Isaiah 43:10
"“You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me."

and verse 12b
"and you are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and I am"

What must they say? Isaiah 43:11-12
"I, I am the Lord,
and besides me there is no savior.
I declared and saved and proclaimed,
when there was no strange god among you;
and you are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and I am God."

Why must they say it? Isaiah 43:19
"Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert."

So what can we draw from these truths?