Since July I have been preaching on Sunday evenings in the book of Isaiah. Since August for our Wednesday morning Bible study, I have been teaching in the book of Psalms. As I have continued through this process, I’ve come to a very interesting intersection wherein the next couple of weeks I will be teaching on Wednesday morning in Psalm 22 and preaching on Sunday nights in Isaiah 53. These two chapters of Scripture both contain the basic description of the ministry of Jesus Christ on the cross and also refer to His resurrection as well. In Isaiah 53 we see very clearly God’s explanation of the cross of Jesus Christ and in Psalm 22 we see a crystal clear description of the man dying on the cross and what He was experiencing, given in precise accuracy. So, we see Isaiah 53 is God’s point of view on the cross, and Psalm 22 is Jesus’s point of view from the cross. Because Psalm 22 was written a thousand years before the time of Christ and Isaiah 53 written some 700 years before the time of Christ, we have some of the clearest evidence for the inspiration of God’s Word, as seen in predictive prophecy. Our Sunday evening service will be much more like a Bible study in that we will be collectively looking at New Testament passages that are a fulfillment of what we read in Isaiah 53 (which actually begins in Isaiah 52:13). I look forward with great anticipation to the next couple of weeks in teaching on these topics and invite any of you who are free to join us on Wednesday morning at 10, or Sunday evenings at 6, for an amazing journey to the cross and the resurrection from the perspective of the Old Testament writers. We have plenty of space available for social distancing at these two studies.
In Isaiah 52:13 we read these words, “Behold, my Servant shall deal prudently; he shall be exalted and extolled and be very high,” (NKJV). Beginning in the 40th chapter of Isaiah the prophet begins to delineate the nature and character of the Servant of the Lord. This verse, continuing through the last verse of chapter 53 (v.12) is really the pinnacle of that revelation. Though there are other places where the Lord Jesus Christ jumps out at us (ex.-Isa.43:8-13) nowhere else do we see the life and death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ laid out in such detail. When Isaiah says, “Behold”, he is calling our attention to something very important for us to consider. Nearly 70 times in the book of Isaiah he uses this word (in the KJV or NKJV) and each time it’s to highlight something significant is about to be shared. This “Behold” excels all others and draws our attention to the only begotten of the Father. God is calling the attention of the universe to His Son for our consideration. Just as God called Satan’s attention to Job, so God calls our attention to His servant, who He calls “My Servant”. Remember that throughout this passage it is God in heaven who is doing the talking. Jesus, by becoming a servant, has forever sanctified and dignified that humble word. The Hebrew word, “servant” speaks of a person at the disposal of another, to carry out that other person’s will or work. In this case, God is speaking about the work He has sent His Son to perform. Love was the great motivating factor in the life of Jesus because this is what led God to direct Jesus to take on humanity (John 1:14) and to save the human race (John 3:16).
The word “prudently” in the passage before us means to act wisely. It is possible to be wise, but not to be prudent. King Solomon the wisest man who ever lived, yet he was not very prudent in the application of wisdom as it related to his relationships with women. So, for the Servant to act prudently means that He is primarily acting with understanding or intelligence and His work is being done wisely. If we are to bring forth abundant fruit for Jesus (which He desires, John 15) and prosperity we should follow the example of the Servant and serve God “prudently”, just as Jesus did.
In the second part of this verse, we see three statements regarding the Servant – He shall be exalted, extolled, and be very high. We will not lose view throughout our studies that the exaltation of the Lord Jesus is to be the end goal for which we strive. In our study on Sunday night, we will correspond this passage with passages in the New Testament that demonstrate this exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ, one of the most significant of these passages is Philippians 2: 9 – 11. In the meantime, let us make sure we are shining the light of Jesus Christ into the relationships that God brings into our lives. We also must be very aware that when we build on the Lord Jesus Christ, we are building on a foundation that will lead us safely into eternity.
All for Christ’s glory,
Pastor Rich Sivo