Isaiah 50


‘This is what the LORD says: “Where is your mother’s certificate of divorce with which I sent her away? Or to which of my creditors did I sell you? Because of your sins you were sold; because of your transgressions your mother was sent away. When I came, why was there no one? When I called, why was there no one to answer? Was my arm too short to deliver you? Do I lack the strength to rescue you? By a mere rebuke I dry up the sea, I turn rivers into a desert; their fish rot for lack of water and die of thirst. I clothe the heavens with darkness and make sackcloth its covering.” Isaiah 50:1-3

Israel’s Sin And The Servant’s Obedience

This chapter speaks of the connection between the sin of Israel and the suffering of God’s servant.

De Hoff, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Here, we have God vindicating Himself by asking questions of those Israelites who supposed either that God had formally divorced their mother, Zion, according to the law, Deuteronomy 24:1, or had sold them to some creditor in payment of debt. Neither supposition is correct. God takes up the question of their estrangement and lets it be known that only sin separates men from God.’

God addresses Israel showing that it was not He, but she who had broken the covenant relationship, Malachi 2:16. God didn’t sell her into captivity but she sold herself into exile by her sins.

Husbands often divorced their wives, sometimes for very trivial matters. Fathers, being oppressed with debt, sometimes sold their children, Exodus 21:7 / 2 Kings 4:1 / Matthew 18:25.

But God had done neither of these things to Israel, their sins had separated them from God, Isaiah 59:1-2. Neither was the reason for Israel’s captivity due to a lack of strength on God’s part.

God sent His servants, but they were mocked, 2 Chronicles 36:16-17, He sent His own Son but he was rejected. So it isn’t a lack of power that keeps God from helping His people, but the fact that the people were unwilling to receive this help.

‘The Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed. The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious, I have not turned away. I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.’ Isaiah 50:4-6

This prophecy can only fit Jesus who came to speak to Israel, and the world, God’s Word, John 12:48-50. The Messiah submits completely to God, John 8:29 / John 5:19.

Jesus didn’t draw back from persecution, Matthew 26:67-68 / Matthew 27:27-31 / 1 Peter 2:21-24. Christ was the greatest servant of God who ever lived on earth. He suffered this persecution from people whom He sought to help.

God knows how to speak in a way that is helpful to those who sin. He knows how to listen to those who are repentant and seek to be obedient. The manifestation of the Son of God was God’s answer to the prayers of the obedient who sought deliverance.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Luke 18:31-32 records Jesus’ quotation of things mentioned in verse 6, declaring that all these things would be accomplished unto the Son of Man, and the gospels faithfully relate how practically all of the things mentioned here were actually done unto Jesus.’

‘Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me! It is the Sovereign LORD who helps me. Who will condemn me? They will all wear out like a garment; the moths will eat them up.’ Isaiah 50:7-9

Here we read that the shame and humiliation did not cause Him to be fainthearted because He trusted in God. Christ was determined to carry out the will of God regardless of what happened to Him, Luke 9:51. Such determination is needed in the hearts of Christians today.

In the midst of His sufferings, he was certain of victory and because God is working through Him, Romans 8:31, He has no reason to be ashamed of what He is doing. Romans 1:16. He was exalted above every accusation and He knew that God would acknowledge Him.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The idea here is that Messiah would survive all their attacks; his cause, his truth, and his reputation would live, while all the power, influence and reputation of his adversaries would vanish just like a garment that is worn out and thrown away.’

‘Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on their God. But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment.’ Isaiah 50:10-11

God now addresses those who fear Him and will hear the voice of His servant, this invitation is to all.

God addresses those who despise His word, of which His servant is better. The destruction they had prepared becomes their own, Galatians 6:7.

Those who stir up strife and persecution for God’s people will be punished, Matthew 25:41 / Matthew 25:46 / 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9 / 1 Peter 4:19.

Go To Isaiah 51