November 21, 2020
Subject: Isaiah’s Answer for how to Save America, Part 3: Be Unashamed
Isaiah 50:7 “I have set My face like a flint, and I know I will not be ashamed.”
With America’s 46th presidential election giving us anything but unity, it is clear that it isn’t going to be any national political party that will unite us nor give us hope for our future. Yet it is here, in the book of Isaiah, where we find the greatest portrayals of a promised future redemption for not only Israel but for the world.
As we study through Isaiah in our weekly column, we see the clear prophetic description of Jesus Christ as the only hope for both national and personal salvation. This third installment centers on the character of Christ, with Isaiah’s continual use of historical facts to authenticate his prophecies.
Unlike our political parties, God’s combination of factual evidence with trustworthy character makes aligning your personal hopes and dreams with His plan for your life a very compelling choice. As we dig into Isaiah chapter 50, God’s plan for salvation through His Son Jesus Christ is on display for us to see.
“The Lord has given Me the tongue of a disciple, that I should know how to sustain the weary with a word” (Isaiah 50:4a). Chapter 50 of Isaiah is described by rabbis and theologians as “The Servant, Israel’s Hope”. This person is YHWH’s disciple, instructed by God in what to say to those who are weary. Who is it?
“About the middle of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple and taught. The Jews marveled, saying, ‘How does this Man know letters, having never studied?’ Jesus answered them and said, ‘My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me” (John 7:14-16). Here’s your answer. You will never find Jesus taking credit for what He teaches or preaches. In fact, the Old Testament makes it clear that YHWH will put His words in His Messiah’s mouth (Deuteronomy 18:18-19). Jesus confirms this in John 12:48-50.
Deuteronomy 18:18-19 (1450 BC): “I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.”
John 12:48-50 (80 AD): “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him – the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”
But Isaiah 50:4a also says that Messiah speaks to sustain those who are weary – those who feel hopeless and heavily laden with life’s sorrows and pain. Listen to Jesus Christ in Matthew 11:28-29: “Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” There is a purpose to everything Jesus says. Here He is again pointing to Isaiah 50.
Now, Isaiah gives us factual evidence for what Messiah will do to fulfill YHWH’s command: “He awakens Me morning by morning. He awakens My ear to hear as the learned. The Lord has opened My ear, and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away. I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard. I did not hide My face from shame and spitting” (Isaiah 50:4b-6).
Isaiah 50:6 says YHWH’s Messiah will suffer scourging, where a criminal is whipped nearly to death across their back prior to crucifixion. But scourging was invented by the Romans, long after this prophecy in 730BC! This is exactly what happened to Jesus (John 19:6 “Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him.”) This historical fact of what happened to Jesus, given to us as prophecy, confirms Jesus as our Messiah.
“For the Lord God will help Me. Therefore I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed” (Isaiah 50:7). It is here we learn why Jesus Christ was willing to suffer the humiliation and shame of public execution. Because, as He says, “My Father will help Me, and He will not be ashamed of Me.” In John 8:29, Jesus said “He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always dot he things that please Him.” This is the crux of Isaiah 50 – to obey His Father.
Isaiah then challenges each of us as we study this incredible prophecy of Jesus Christ: “Who among you fears the Lord? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon His God” (Isaiah 50:10). Have you placed your faith in Jesus?
Ed Croteau is a resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called “Faith: Substance and Evidence.” He can be reached with your questions through the Lee’s Summit Tribune at Editor@lstribune.net.