(scroll down for the family one)
Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
The prophet Isaiah begins this prophetic passage with two questions:
The prophet wants to know if any have believed in what God has said and The prophet wants to know if they have seen the activity of God? This is a fair question. The prophet is addressing Israel, God’s people to jog their memory that in the past they have not believed, hence why they are in captivity and Jerusalem is in shambles. We find in Isaiah this verse, 20 You have seen many things, but you pay no attention; your ears are open, but you do not listen.” Isaiah 42:20. Not a ringing endorsement of Israel’s heart toward God.
In the book of James the Lord reminds us not to be hearers only, but doers of His Word. If you believe God, His works, and His word you are to put it into practice. The arm of the Lord in this verse means the work of God among the nations including Israel and the surrounding gentile nations. God is addressing them as to what they believe about God’s words and God’s work among them.
In your reading of Isaiah 52:12-13 has it occurred to you that this passage is about the person of Jesus Christ? Even more it is about the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Here in these few verses the writer is letting us know that the beauty of Christ was his character, his message of freedom and his relationship to God the Father. In other words there was not a lot of flash when it came to Jesus' appearance. In Jesus' case there was an ocean of substance to Him. It is as if God purposely chose a vanilla covering for Jesus so we would have to look at His inner beauty, his goodness, and His message.
He was despised and rejected by His own people. And it was all part of God’s plan. Verse 53:3 says he was “a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.” Why did he have to suffer? Why was he rejected? The fact that Jesus was treated so poorly on earth shows the sin that exists in the human heart. It’s hard to believe that even after seeing Christ’s miracles, and walking alongside him, they still rejected him. Remember, he came unto His own and they did not recognize Him. Let’s not reject him or despise him now. Now is the time for us to turn to him. To truly comprehend and let it soak in the enormity of what Christ had done for us.
Perhaps write down or at least recount in your thoughts when you truly believed in Jesus Christ.
In your prayers today give praise and thanksgiving for Jesus Christ.
Make it a prayer today that your heart is open to the work and words of God.
Family discussion questions:
How could you as a family do a better job of believing what God says and does?
When have you felt rejection?
What do you believe it was like for Christ to be despised by His own people?
How does the old saying of “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” apply to Jesus Christ?
Tuesday, April 7th
Isaiah 53:1-2 (NIV), “Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
Isaiah 53:1-2 (NIrV) “Who has believed what we’ve been saying? Who has seen the Lord’s saving power? His servant grew up like a tender young plant.
He grew like a root coming up out of dry ground, He didn’t have any beauty or majesty that made us notice him. There wasn’t anything special about the way he looked that drew us to him.
The start of Isaiah is interesting…he is asking a question. He wants to see if the people have been listening. Has anyone ever asked you, “Are you listening to me?” How did that make you feel? Why is it sometimes hard to listen? Sometimes it is hard to listen to God, too…maybe there is too much noise around us; maybe we don’t understand what is being said. There are a lot of things that make it hard to listen to God, but the story of how God sent his Son to save us is a story worth listening to, although it’s hard. Jesus did something really amazing for us even when we didn’t deserve it and it’s hard for us to understand. How can we help each other be better listeners to God?
Let’s say a prayer and let Jesus know we are listening and are sorry that we don’t always have our ears “turned on” for Him. Ask him to help us be better listeners and help each person around us to listen too. Let’s thank Him for sending His Son to earth for us.
Make your own set of “Listening Ears” as a reminder to be listening to God. Or play a game of “Telephone” with your family members; the whispering game where one person starts and shares a message with the next person and so on until it gets to the last person and they have to say the message out loud…how were your listening skills?