THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Isaiah: Jahweh Is Salvation
Part LIX: God's Exhortation For His People To Live By Faith
A. Hebrews 11:1-12:2 calls us Christians in the dispensation of the Church to walk by faith, that without living this way, it is impossible to please the Lord (Hebrews 11:6).
B. This has always been the way of life God desires as we see in the case of ancient Israel in Isaiah 50:1-11:
II. God's Exhortation For His People To Live By Faith, Isaiah 50:1-11.
A. In Isaiah 50:1-3, the Lord announced that He would send Israel into captivity since she had faithlessly rejected Him as her God, for she had failed to walk by faith in Him (as follows):
1. Without condoning the practice among men, God announced that He was "temporarily 'divorcing' Zion because she had rejected Him without cause," Isaiah 50:1a Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1104.
2. He explained to Israel's individuals, figuratively the "children," His sending away of their "mother," figuratively the nation, into captivity because of her sins, the sins of the people themselves, Isaiah 50:1b.
3. God asked why there had been no man when He came to the nation, no one to answer when He had called, for had the people thought He was unable to redeem them or deliver them, Isaiah 50:2a.
4. Such unbelief was inexcusable in view of God's evident ability and will as Almighty God, Isaiah 50:2b-3:
a. At His rebuke God could dry up the sea, i. e., the Red Sea (Isaiah 50:2b), He could make the rivers a desert and their fish stink for lack of water and death by thirst, Isaiah 50:2c.
b. God clothed the heaven's with blackness and made sackcloth their covering, Isaiah 50:3. Though we do not know of a Scripture event where such a situation occurs, we do know that God here states His infinite power to control the massive heavens this way so that unbelief in Him inexcusable.
B. Sharply contrasting the unbelief of Israel, Messiah is presented in Isaiah 50:4-9 as functioning in obedience to God by way of a life of faith that God would vindicate and reward Him for such obedience (as follows):
1. Speaking of the coming earthly life and ministry of the Lord Jesus, Isaiah predicted Messiah would receive from God the tongue to teach that He might sustain with a word one who was weary, Isaiah 50:4a. Note how this was fulfilled in Christ's ministry according to John 8:28 and also Matthew 11:28-30.
2. Isaiah predicted that Messiah would be wakened every morning to be taught by God as those who are taught would learn (Isaiah 50:4b), what was fulfilled according to passages like Mark 1:35.
3. Messiah was predicted as obeying God's directives, that He would not rebel against them, Isaiah 50:5.
4. Indeed, Messiah would even obey God in giving His back to those who struck it, His cheeks to those who pulled out His beard, not hiding His face from disgrace and spitting, Isaiah 50:6. This prediction clearly anticipates Christ's obedience to God in facing His sufferings and death. (Mark 14:32-36; 15:15-20)
5. However, Messiah would trust God to vindicate and reward Him in the end, finding the Lord helping Him, so He would set his face like a flint, knowing He would eventually be honored, Isaiah 50:7. Note how this was fulfilled according to Luke 9:51.
6. Messiah would thus overcome His foes and the suffering they administered against Him as He relied on God to vindicate Him and defeat His foes, Isaiah 50:8-9.
C. Finally, in Isaiah 50:10-11, the prophet Isaiah called on the followers of the Messiah, believers in Christ, to walk by faith in following their Lord in the trials of their lives (as follows):
1. For those to revered the Lord and obeyed the voice of His Servant, the Messiah, the disciples of Jesus, those who walked in dark times without light during the Messiah's suffering, Isaiah was used of God to call them to trust in the name of the Lord and to rely on their God, Isaiah 50:10.
2. Conversely, those who walked by their own light versus believing in God would lie down in torment, a warning of facing eternal fire for failing to believe in the Messiah, Isaiah 50:11; Ibid., p. 1105.
Lesson: God warned that Israel would go into captivity in Babylon for failing to believe in Him. In contrast to Israel, Messiah would obey God and live by faith in God's vindication and reward of Him even if He suffered at the hands of wicked men in doing so. Similarly, the disciples of the Messiah were called of God to believe in Him and to live by faith in contrast to those who rejected the Messiah and who would thus end up in hell.
Application: May we trust in Christ to be saved and live by faith in Him for God's eventual vindication and reward.