Two great deceptions we often fall for 1) God doesn’t speak to me, so I don’t need to listen and 2) There isn’t anything for me to do
I have said for years that God doesn’t make “knick-knacks”. You know those things that you picked up somewhere, someone gave you, they have no purpose other than to sit on your shelf, gather dust, and perhaps facilitate a memory. God doesn’t make “knick-knacks”, and he doesn’t buy “knick-knacks”> Yet you were created with intention and love. You were purchased with great price, the precious blood of Jesus.
So, Isaiah calls out to those near Israel and those far away Islands and distant nations, and he uses himself as an example to say “God made me, God made you, so we need to LISTEN to him.” To say “do not imagine for a minute that your position or posture means that you do not have a purpose, so pay attention.”
Isaiah 49:1–7 (NIV84)
1 Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the LORD called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name. 2 He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver. 3 He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.” 4 But I said, “I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing. Yet what is due me is in the LORD’s hand, and my reward is with my God.” 5 And now the LORD says— he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD and my God has been my strength— 6 he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.” 7 This is what the LORD says— the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel— to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation, to the servant of rulers: “Kings will see you and rise up, princes will see and bow down, because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”
v1 – Listen to me – this is the testimony of a witness and the call of a creator … “Listen … open your ear, open your heart, engage your mind, turn away from other chatter, and listen to me.”
Hear this … this is important
You Islands and you distant nations – this message is for two groups 1) those who are God’s people and have been scattered by invaders and 2) Those within those lands who do not acknowledge yet the Lord
Before I was born, the Lord called me … From my birth, he has made mention
Do you believe that God has always had plans for you and it is for those plans that you were created? Or, do you believe that when you acknowledged and believed THEN he decided “well I have to find something to do with them?” If you have yet to receive him, he still has a plan for you.
v2 For Isaiah he made your mouth, a sharpened sword
Perhaps you have a child with a quick tongue and it drives you crazy … that is from God it just has to be sharpened correctly and taught to be used.
He Hid me polished me, and concealed me
He has not forgotten you, he has hidden you and is preparing you. Sometimes we tend to cry out and say “Lord what are you doing? Why am I in this bag. Look, I’m straight and shiny, sharp, and yet stagnant. Load me up and fire me Lord.” But our Master Archer, says “not yet child, not yet, I have a purpose. Let’s polish a little more, let’s sharpen a little more.”
v3 But your day will come, but better yet, we should say HIS day will come. “you are my servant … in whom i will display my splendor” He is the vine, WE are the branches … we reach out FROM him, we reach out FOR him, we find our fullness in our connection to him.
v4 Here comes an honest statement that shows we don’t understand … i have worked for nothing … spent my strength for nothing … yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand. I am his to use as he desires. He is my portion and reward. He can pay me as and when he desires. Remember our Labor is not in vain in the Lord 1 Corinthians 15:58 “Stand firm let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of hte Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
You will never spend one day, one dollar, one devotion that is for nothing if it is to the Lord and from his direction. Oh it will wear us out at times, but he renews our strength and we will not faint.
v5 Remember the Lord FORMED us … we are ergodynamic. That is our form is designed for our purpose. “Lord, why am I different than they are, than that one?” “My child it is because you are made for a different purpose.” “So Lord, how come I don’t get any honor or credit.”
“Oh child, I see … you ARE honored in my eyes and will be honored in my presence.”
Luke 18:28, Peter says “we have left all we had to follow” vv29-30 “The truth … no one who has left … for the sake of the kingdom … will fail to receive many times as much …”
v5b He is our reward … and our strength … I am your strength
Psalm 73:26 God is my strength and my portion forever
v6 – Since he is my reward, my portion, my strength … It is not a LITTLE thing for me to use you that is a huge thing. But see it as it is written It is a small thiing to serve him … to follow him … to be hid … to be used … to be sharpened … to be polished … to be fired … it is ALL his doing, his purpose
I will make you a light … that was his purpose in different ways but still for all to display his splendor
v7 WHY? He Created, he knows, he redeems, he is the unique one of a kind Holy One. People will see and get up, will see and bow down.
He is faithful, He is Choosing, He has chosen me …
Near or Far
Known or Unknown
Ready or Being Readied
You are His
He has Chosen You