Friday, January 3, 2014

Daily Old Testament: Isaiah 50-52:1-12

Isaiah 50 – The “marriage” of Yahweh to Israel, while taxed by her unfaithfulness, is not formally ended. Then comes the Third Song of the “servant of Yahweh”:  The Lord has given the prophet an open ear and a willing spirit. “I offered my back to those who struck me, my cheeks to those who tore at my beard”(50:5). The Lord helps him endure. Those who fear the Lord should listen to the voice of his servant.

Isaiah 51 – Those who “pursue integrity” (51:1) and who seek the Lord listen to the servant. They remember the “quarry from which [they] were cut” (51:1). Abraham and Sarah were alone when they were called. The Lord will turn the desolation of Zion into an Eden (51:3).  The nations should pay attention, “for from me comes the Law and my justice shall be the light of the peoples” (51:4). “The heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth wear out like a garment, and its inhabitants die like vermin, but my salvation shall last forever and my justice have no end” (51:6).

With Yahweh as our consoler, we cannot be afraid of mortal man. Jerusalem must arise after having experience God’s wrath. “See, I take out of your hand the cup of stupor, the chalice of my wrath; you shall drink it no longer” (51:22).

Isaiah 52 – Awake and “clothe yourself in strength. . .put on your richest clothes, Jerusalem, holy city (52:1). “How beautiful on the mountains, are the feet of one who brings good news, who heralds peace, brings happiness, proclaims salvation” (52:7).

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