ISAIAH - CHAPTER 50 -Jesus Christ - Prophet Priest and King Print E-mail


Tuesday Morning Bible Study

November 24, 2014, the Year of Our Lord


Jesus Revealed as Prophet Priest and King


Verses 1-3 of chapter 50 seem to be the conclusion of chapter 49.  The first three verses contrasts disobedient Israel and the Obedient Servant of Jehovah.  Beginning with verse 4 onwards, we have a prophecy, or prophetic declaration complete in itself.  The theme is the great atoning work of Christ, ---His obedience and sufferings.


Not only is the Messiah the burden of the prediction, but Messiah is Himself the speaker through the prophet.   He reveals Himself in His threefold official character, as Prophet, Priest and King.


50: 1-3: “Thus says the lord, where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement?  Whom I have put away? Or which of My creditors is it to whom I have sold you?  Behold for your iniquities have you sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.  Why, when I came, was there no man?  When I called was there none to answer?  Is My hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, at My rebuke I dry up the sea.  I make the rivers a wilderness; their fish stink, because there is no water, and die for thirst.  I clothe heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.”


The exiles are rebuked for regarding themselves rejected without adequate cause, when in actuality they had rejected God.  Jehovah challenges the people to prove their assertion that they have been forsaken by producing the writing in which God has divorced His people.


Although Jehovah found no man, He himself is determined on their deliverance.


 Next we come to the answer of the Servant to the call of Jehovah.


In verses 4-5, we Have Messiah’s Prophetic Office.


50:4-5: “The Lord God (Adonai Jehovah) has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary.  He wakens me morning by morning.  He wakens my ear to hear as the learned.  The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned backward.”


Jesus is presented to us in His covenant relationship to the Father as His servant, receiving from Jehovah the tongue of “instruction”, that He should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary.  The Lord God is beautifully represented “wakening Him morning by morning,” whispering into His ear these comforting messages; thus hearing, speaking and writing words which are forever a full storehouse of divine consolation for the Church in all ages.


Isaiah was a writing prophet.


God speaks to the prophets in many ways.  One way is dreams and visions of the night.  Here the divine Father is pictured as coming each day at dawn to confide into the ear of His dear Son trusted words of support and comfort for the weary.


In the days of Jesus’ flesh, this declaration was fulfilled.  Morning by morning the Spirit was poured upon Him without measure.  He rose, “A great while before it was day,” (Mk. 1:35) to hold fellowship with His Father, and receive fresh inspiration from the infinite fountain-head. 


Jesus came forth from these times of prayer, “as a bridegroom comes out of his chamber; and rejoicing as a strong man to run a race.” (Psa. 19:5).  


Through the presence of His precious Holy Spirit and the gift of prophecy as well as visitation, He speaks today as the Prophet and Instructor of His Church.  He continues to speak words of comfort and encouragement to the weary ones.  Those who are “broken reeds and smoking flax,” weary with sin, weary with sorrow.  “He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.”


Next, Messiah unfolds His Priestly Office.  He announces in touching and solemn words, the right and qualification He possesses to be the Minister of consolation and to utter the divine key-note for the weary, “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people.”


50:6: “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair.  I hid not my face from shame and pitting.”


There is no doubt this verse speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ, of his voluntary humiliation, obedience, and meritorious death.  The Lord God who wakens Him morning by morning confiding a profound secret is that of His own great sacrificial work.  Moreover it was necessary that work to be accompanied with shame and suffering.


He who is both priest and victim declares His own docile compliance; “I was not rebellious neither turned backward”. 


The Son of Man prayed from the cross, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass”, but in the next breathe, the Son of God prayed, “Thy will be done!”


“I gave my back to the smiters and My cheeks to those who plucked off the hair.”


A prophetic echo of the utterance came from Jesus’ lips, Luke 18:31-33: “He took the twelve apostles aside.  He said to them, ‘Listen! We are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written about the Son of Man through and by the prophets will be fulfilled.  For He shall be delivered to the Gentiles, and shall be mocked and spitefully entreated, and spit on; they shall whip Him, and put Him to death; and the third day he shall rise again.”


Jesus did not falter.  He was not “rebellious, nor turn did he turn backward”.  He will save the world, but Himself he will not save!  Onward He pursues His blood-stained path. 


He had the Word of the Lord from the Almighty “Awakener” who had whispered in His ear comfort for other; and would not desert nor forsake Him in His time of need.


50:7: “”For the Lord God will help me; therefore I shall not be confounded.  Therefore have I set my face like a flint and I know that I shall not be ashamed.”


Just so you know, all prophets must be able to “set their face like flint”.  This is determination regardless of what comes at them.  This is a holy hardness of perseverance.  One might call it stubbornness, but it is not.  It is taking the bull by the horns and not letting go.


This prophecy was also fulfilled in Jesus (Luke 9:51): “When the time came that He should be received up, He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem”


Amid all His untold suffering and indignities, confidence in His Father’s Kingdom purposes made Him resolute to bear all in order that He might fulfill His Father’s will and finish His work.  If God be for us, who can be against us?”


Thirdly, we get a glimpse of His Kingly office.  In verse 8, bearing royal rule on behalf of His Church and in defense of His people; identifying Himself with them, and in the mystery of His complex person, challenging the might of all their spiritual adversaries.


50:8: “He is near that justifies me.  Who will contend with me?  Let us stand together.  Who is my adversary? Let him come near to me.”


He is “Head over all”.  He issues in their name and His own the challenge, “Who will contend with Me?  Who is my adversary?  This same Kingly rule is exercised over His enemies, ---those who are defiant to the true Light, and kindle false fires of their own, which only lead them into outer darkness.  They perish in their unbelief.


They love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil.  The righteous sentence goes forth from the lips of the rejected King, whose mouth is a sharp sword.  This shall you have of my hand; you shall lie down in sorrow.


50:9: “Behold, the Lord God will help me, who is he that shall condemn me?  Lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up”.


The wicked will surrender themselves to the self-destroying power of wickedness.  The moth is the most insignificant and trifling instrument of destruction.  Yet slowly and imperceptibly the garment is rendered worthless.  Such is the power of wickedness; by little and little, moral beauty and loveliness is made ‘to consume away like a moth;’ It may be gradual, but it is a sure decay.


50:10: “Who is among you that fear the Lord; that obeys the voice of His servant; that walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.”


The godly in darkness are addressed.  They are exhorted to trust in the character of God.  The preceding prophecies give us a brief summary of Jesus’ work as the Redeemer of the Church and the sufferings of the Lord Jesus in His “three-hours and power of darkness.”


There was darkness over all the land (Mt. 27:45).   Verse 10 refers to similar experiences that befall the people of God.  There are times when Christians must take that walk of faith, walking like Jesus in similar darkness---seeing no light; and crying out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?


Yes! As with the Master, so with His disciples!  They, too, have their experiences of rejection, unkindness, reproach---spiritual gloom and despondency.   This verse pertains to the godly who fear the Lord and obey the voice of His servant.  Yet, he is asked to walk in an unwilling darkness.  It is the experience of King David n the Psalm of his exile, “As the deer pants after the water-brooks, so my soul pants after you, O God;”(Psa. 42:1) ---while in the same breath with a vow of faith, he adds, “My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say to me, Where is now your God?”


When we are in that hour of darkness, our enemies will always judge us asking, “Where is your God now?


When we are asked to take that walk, with complete trust in the name of the Lord we commit ourselves to Him that judges righteously.  “Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness.”  Darkness will yet be changed into light and sorrow into joy.


Light is sown for the righteous and gladness for the upright in heart.  When emerging from the darkness, the day, sooner or later, will come to every faithful God-fearer.  God is the Lord who has shown us light” (Ps. 118:27).  You will light my candle.  The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness” (Ps. 18:28).


Such is the address to the godly.  However verse 11 is addressed to the wicked.


50:11: “Behold all you that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks; walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that you have kindled.  This shall you have of my hand; you shall lie down in sorrow.”


The wicked have their time of darkness too, but they have no trust in God.  They take their own ineffectual means of dispersing the gloom.  They kindle a fire for themselves to light up their uncertain way. 


This verse is figurative of expressing the many counterfeits to which the soul of man resorts in order to obtain direction, guidance, happiness and peace apart from God---by the cross lights of human reason, worldly policy, expediency, self-righteousness, and the pleasures of sin.


These will become “burning arrows, fiery darts”.  These “fires of their own kindling” will at last resolve themselves into a bed of torment; “They shall lie down in sorrow”.


We can align this scripture to the riots in Ferguson, Missouri and other riots which have no trust in God, but trust in their own way.  


In the case of the believer, we never need be depressed by seasons of darkness.  Unlighted at times our way may be, but we can walk boldly on.  Sooner or later the path of the just will emerge into a perfect day.  Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord (Hos. 6:3)   Commit your way unto the Lord, trust in Him, and He shall bring it to pass, and He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday. (Psa. 37:6)”


“Though now, perchance, His gracious face

Veil for a time its former shining,

Yet trust Him where you cannot trace,

Clouds yet will have their silver lining;

The Sun which midday storms enfold,

Will set in amethyst and gold.”

(John Ross MacDuff)


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

Scripture from K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of John Ross MacDuff, “Comfort Ye, Comfort Ye.” – public domain.  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of Rev. MacDuff.

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