Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away. Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst. I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.
The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back…(Isaiah 50:1-4)
The first three verses of Isaiah 50 set the context for the third Servant Song, that of the Lord’s faithful disciple. It is a word from God to Israel, in the time of exile.
Young points out that by addressing the exiles as children; as though distinct from Israel, their mother, they might be able to objectively ponder the reasons for their own sad condition. Why are we here? Does this mean God lacks the power or compassion to deliver us?
Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away
The implied answer to the question, has God divorced Israel, or sold her to His creditors for an unpaid bill , is ‘No’. God has not given Israel a bill of divorcement, nor does He have creditors. God is Israel’s husband, and still loves her. But when God came to her, She didn’t receive Him,
Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer?
The New Testament echoes this in the prologue of the gospel of John,
He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.He came unto his own, and his own received him not.(John 1:10-11)
But in the Servant, Israel offers up the response to God that is fitting, for He is the ideal disciple, fully embodying the piety and service Israel was called to live out. He speaks out to Israel and to us, from Isaiah’s prophecy;
Each of the four verses verse begins the phrase, ‘the Lord God’, Adonai YHWH’, the Sovereign,personal infinite,self existant God, is the one who is the Servant’s focus, and empowerment.
The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.
The Servant is personally taught by God, he awakens each morning to hear what ‘the LORD GOD will speak to Him, for his ears are attuned to the Holy One.
The phrase ‘morning by morning’, speaks of His ongoing dependence upon God. All is not laid out at once, the Servant must rely on the ‘daily bread’ set before Him by the Father.
He is ever attentive for he has prepared his life for total obedience to that voice.
The Servant takes the Words he hears, and speaks them in season, at the God appointed time and place, to those who are weary and heavy laden. His is a ministry of the Word to those bent under the heavy load of sin and guilt.
The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back…
It is the LORD GOD, ‘Adonai YWHW’ who speaks to the Servant. He has his full attention, morning by morning. There is not a hint of hesitation in him, he is listening and ready to comply. He doesn’t draw back, there is no apostasy in his soul, he is not rebellious.
One thinks of similar scriptures, such as Psalm 40:6-8;
Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart…
We can’t help but remember the Messiah’s description of himself as a “Father pleaser” in the gospel of John,
Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.(John 4:34)
And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.(John 8:29)
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.(John 5:19-20)
Finally, a man who will truly put God first! Finally true piety, real devotion to God! On Israel’s behalf, this one will render the true worship, and complete service that is due the Father! At last, a human being a representative for all of us, who really does,“Love the Lord His God, with all of his heart, soul ,mind and strength!”