Fay 168.
Isaiah prophesies about the future fall of Jerusalem and her captivity in Babylon, which is a judgment upon Israel. But he also writes about the rescue that God will perform when he sends his savior. This savior is described in a variety of ways: from a suffering servant to a conquering king. At one point in describing him, we find that when he sets to restore exiled Israel that the job is too small. The savior is too big to be limited to just one people group. So we find that he will reach out to the whole earth. Isaiah throughout includes prophesies about the nations. He is not limited to Israel. We begin to see God’s bigger purpose in the exile. While it is indeed for Israel’s covenant breaking, it is also for the blessing of the nations. As God’s people are scattered, they are to seek the welfare of their cities of exile.

he says:
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to bring back the preserved of Israel;
I will make you as a light for the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6)

The apostle Paul explains this for us in Romans 11
So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles… (v.11)
Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. (v.25)

What is even more amazing to me is the picture that Isaiah paints of Israel. Israel, as a people, is the suffering servant at the hands of the nations. And yet, in this role she is also a foreshadowing of Christ. Christ is more poignantly described as the suffering servant who would face God’s wrath and be exiled from his presence for the salvation of the nations. True? This leaves me with such a sense of awe! I understand why Paul couldn’t help but break out into praise at the end of Romans 11,

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
“For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (v. 33-36)

McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: Dt 22, Ps 110-111, Is 47, Rev 19

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