Isaiah 50 Commentary

The servant’s patient endurance (50:4-11)

In this, the third Servant Song, the words again may have an application to the experiences of Israel among the nations. In particular they reflect the experiences of the few faithful Jews who tried to teach, warn and comfort their ungodly fellow exiles in Babylon. The song becomes even more meaningful when applied to the experiences of the Messiah himself.

The servant is taught by God day by day, so that he can give teaching and encouragement to those who need it. Although people respond with opposition and physical violence, the servant does not give up. He learns the meaning of obedience by the things he suffers (4-6). He perseveres because he knows that he has acted blamelessly and that God is with him. And if God is on his side, no one can triumph over him. Those who make accusations against him will not prove him guilty, but will themselves be put to shame (7-9).

In a world of darkness faithful believers walk confidently and do not fall, because they trust in God. Others, who do not trust in God but who make their own ‘fire’ to give them light, will find in the end that the fire burns them. In other words, when people depend on human scheming instead of depending on God, they will find in the end that their scheming is the cause of their downfall (10-11).

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