Sermon #1601 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: Our Redeemer
Text: Isaiah 50:1-11
Subject: Christ Jehovah’s Servant
1. Thus saith 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 ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.
2. Wherefore, 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 stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst.
3. I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.
4. The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.
5. The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.
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 spitting.
7. For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.
8. He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me.
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.
10. Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.
11. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.
In Isaiah 49:26 we hear the Lord God our Savior declare, “I the Lord am thy Savior and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.” Having thus identified himself, our great God and Savior then describes himself to us in chapter 50.
All the Scriptures declare and reveal the person and work of our blessed Redeemer, The Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 10:43).
(Acts 10:43) To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
He is the “key of knowledge” denied by the Pharisees of his day and by most religious people in our day (Luke 11:52). When Paul wrote, that he “died, was buried, and rose again according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:1-4), he was referring to the Old Testament scriptures such as the passage before us in Isaiah 50. I want you to hold your Bible open on your lap as we read these 11 verses and listen to the voice of Our Redeemer As He Describes Himself.
The Cause of Woe
In verse 1 our Savior and our God tells us that the cause of all woe, the cause of our separation from God, and the cause of judgment and wrath is altogether in us. If we perish, it is totally our own fault.
(Isaiah 50:1) Thus saith 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 ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.
When a man divorced his wife, he was required to give her a piece of paper stating that he had officially divorced her. Our Lord says, “I gave you no such bill; I did not forsake you.” When a man was so overwhelmed with debt that he could not pay his bills, he might sell his children into slavery to satisfy his debts. The Lord our God says, “I owe no one. I have no creditors. I sold you to no one.”
Many try to silence the accusations of an accusing conscience by laying the blame for their sins and their sorrows at the feet of divine sovereignty. – “We are in the shape we are in because God is sovereign and this is his will.” When the Jews were in Babylon, they said, “The Lord has divorced us! He has sold us into bondage.” But they had, in fact, sold themselves into bondage. They had forsaken God. The same is true of us.
· Our troubles in this world are the results of our own disobedience and unbelief.
· Our sorrows are the children of our sins.
· Our undoing is the result of our unbelief (Isa. 59:1-2).
(Isaiah 59:1-2) Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: (2) But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
· We must never charge God with that which is the result of our own depravity, guilt, and unbelief. — God did not forsake Adam, Adam forsook God. — God did not leave Israel, Israel left God.
We recognize and rejoice in God’s glorious, absolute sovereignty. He made all things. He owns all things. He rules all things. And he disposes of all things as he will. But we dare not blame the ruin of our race or the ruin of any man on God’s sovereignty!
Matthew Henry was exactly right when he wrote, “All that are saved are saved by a prerogative of grace, but those that perish are cut off by an act of divine holiness and justice, not of absolute sovereignty.”
· If you are saved, it is God’s work alone. – If you are lost, it is your fault alone (Ezek. 33:11).
(Ezekiel 33:11) Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
· If we are blessed of God with his presence, power, and goodness, it is his work. – If we lack these things, it is our mischief (Matt. 13:58).
(Matthew 13:58) And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
· If we are used of God for the salvation of sinners, it is his grace that works in us. – If we are not so used of God, it is because of our unbelief (Matt. 17:19-20).
(Matthew 17:19-20) Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? (20) And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
· If we are blessed with the revelation and knowledge of God’s glory, it is the result of his blessing. – If we do not see the glory of God manifest to us and in us, it is because of our unbelief. (John 11:40).
(John 11:40) Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
The cause of man’s separation from God is to be found in his own heart, not in the heart of God or the throne of God. – “He delighteth in mercy!” (See Isaiah 48:17-19).
(Isaiah 48:17-19) Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. (18) O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea: (19) Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me.
The truth of the matter is, “for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions.” All the responsibility for man’s ruin, spiritual death, and slavery lies at his own door. The Lord God stretched out his hand, and no man regarded (Prov. 1:24-28). Sinners are not to be pitied, but rather to be blamed. Every man’s condemnation is his own fault, and his own fault alone.
Able to Save
In verses 2 and 3, our great Redeemer describes himself as God who is able to save. Rejoice, O my heart! Though I have sold myself into ruin and can do nothing to help myself out of the mess I have made, the Lord Jesus Christ is God able to save! — “He is able to save to the uttermost all who come to God by him!”
First, the Savior tells us plainly that salvation is his work and his work alone. — “When I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer?” Hear me, it matters not whether we are talking about the salvation of our souls or deliverance from any earthly woe, “Salvation is of the Lord!” It is a work he alone can perform.
(Isaiah 50:2-3) Wherefore, 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 stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst. I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.
“He came unto his own, but his own received him not.” — He called them to himself, but there was none that answered. He would have gathered Jerusalem’s children, but they would not. They knew not, because they would not know, the things that belonged to their happiness and salvation. When God calls men to happiness and peace, and they will not answer, they are justly left in misery to perish forever!
But let no one ever imagine that men and women are lost for want of power in our Redeemer. He is the omnipotent God! He says, “Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver?” What a foolish supposition! There is in him no lack of power to save (Heb. 7:25).
· He dried up the Red Sea to save Israel from the Egyptians.
· He caused water to run like a river from the Rock that followed them.
· He made the Jordan river a dry wilderness to perform his promise to his people.
· He clothed the heavens with blackness (Ex. 10:21).
(Exodus 10:21) And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.
· He made sackcloth to cover the sun (Rev. 6:12).
(Revelation 6:12) And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.
· He who is sovereign over all the elements of nature has power enough to redeem and save his people. It is he who clothes the heavens with blackness and makes sackcloth their covering! (Job 36:32; 37:16; Isa. 45:7 – “With God all things are possible!”)
(Job 36:32) With clouds he covereth the light; and commandeth it not to shine by the cloud that cometh betwixt.
(Job 37:16) Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge?
(Isaiah 45:7) I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Let us be filled with deep gratitude and heart melting awe before our Redeemer and our God. — He who drowned Pharaoh in the sea was himself drowned in our sins. He who covers the heavens with blackness, was himself plunged into darkness for us.
How we ought to trust him! — He who is Lord of sea and sky is also the Lord of darkness and gloom.
Preachers today may make man to be more than he is and God to be less than he is; but when our God describes himself, he declares his majesty, power, and total sovereignty. The Bible knows nothing of an impotent, pigmy god or a helpless savior named Jesus (Isa. 46:9-11; Rom. 8:29-31; 9:15-16).
(Isaiah 46:9-11) Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, (10) Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: (11) Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
(Romans 8:29-31) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (31) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
(Romans 9:15-16) For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. (16) So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.
Our Divine Prophet
(Isaiah 50:4) The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.
Well might we ask of this verse what the Eunuch asked of Isaiah 53 — “Of whom speaketh the prophet this? Of himself, or of some other man?”
· Without question, these words might be applied to Isaiah himself, or to any faithful gospel preacher, to any man who is called and gifted of God to preach the gospel.
God’s servants are men who deal with and speak to weary souls. It is the work and responsibility of every gospel preacher to comfort and refresh the weary soul (Isa. 40:1-2). They can do so only by the Spirit of God, who gives them “the tongue of the learned” to feed his people with “knowledge and understanding” (Jer. 3:15), giving to each his portion in due season.
Oh, how I pray for grace to be such a preacher! I pray that he will awaken my soul with my body, morning by morning, and waken my ear to hear as the learned, as one taught of God, that I may have a word in season for weary souls!
But these are more than the words of Isaiah. The context will not allow such an interpretation, though they may be applied to him and to every other faithful servant of God.
· It is Christ himself who is speaking here; and the one he is describing is himself. — “The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.”
Our Lord is here describing himself as our divine Prophet, showing us his Prophetic office as Jehovah’s Servant. You are familiar with the fact that our Lord Jesus exercises three mediatoral offices as the Servant of the Lord.
· He is the King typified by David. As King He reigns over all by decree, by design, and by the fact that he died that he might be Lord over all.
· He is that Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec (Heb. 7:17-25).
· And he is that Prophet spoken of by Moses (Deut. 18:18-19).
(Deuteronomy 18:18-19) I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. (19) And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
God the Father speaks from heaven and says, “This is my beloved Son; hear ye him” (Heb. 1:1-2). Our Savior said, “He that heareth me, heareth my Father.” — “The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” — “No man knoweth the Father save the Son and he to whom the Son will reveal him.” Christ our Prophet reveals and manifests the Father’s will, Word, and work.
(Hebrews 1:1-3) God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, (2) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; (3) Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
When he walked on this earth, the Jews said, “Never a man spake like this man, for he spoke unto them as one having authority.” He spoke to the people as a man who believed what he preached. He spoke as he did and what he did because the Spirit of God was upon him without measure, because he was anointed to preach glad tidings to the poor, “to speak a word in season to him that is weary.”
Blessed be his name, though he is exalted to heaven, this Man, who is God our Savior, still possesses “the tongue of the learned” and knows how “to speak a word in season to him that is weary!”
· To Weary, Heavy Laden Sinners!
· To Weary, Sin-sick Souls!
· To Weary, Heavy Hearted Saints!
· To His Weary, Afflicted People!
The word “weary” really means “thirsty.” And our great Prophet knows how to speak a word in season to thirsty souls, to weary souls thirsting for…
· His Presence!
For this purpose he is wakened every morning throughout the ages of time with the ear of the learned. Yes, our dear Redeemer is a Son who has learned obedience by the things he suffered. Therefore, he has the tongue of the learned.
· He has learned what it is to wrestle with Satan’s temptations and assaults.
· He has learned what it is to endure malicious slander.
· He has learned what it is to be bereaved of a loved one.
· He has learned what it is to be betrayed by a friend.
· He has learned what it is to be made sin!
· He has learned what it is to have a broken heart.
· He has learned what it is to be forsaken of God!
· He has learned what it is to die!
· And he has learned what it is to be raised from the dead! He is able to comfort and help his tempted people, because God has given him “the tongue of the learned…to speak a word in season to him that is weary.”
· He can speak a word in season to our weary souls, because he is touched with the feeling of our infirmities!
Jehovah’s Submissive Servant
In verses 5-9 our Savior describes himself as Jehovah’s submissive Servant.
(Isaiah 50:5-9) The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. (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 spitting. (7) For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. (8) He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. (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.
1. He is the voluntary Bondslave described in Exodus 21. – “The Lord God hath opened mine ear.” — “Lo, I come!”
2. He is the consecrated, obedient Servant. – “I was not rebellious.”
This consecration and obedience to fulfill all righteousness was symbolically demonstrated at his baptism (Matt. 3). At no point did the Son of God refuse his Father’s will – Not even in Gethsemane!
3. He is Jehovah’s persevering, faithful Servant. – “Neither turned away back.” He never once relinquished his commission, or turned back from the work he had undertaken.
What an example he is! Our Lord, as a Servant, was obedient even unto death for us!
· Consider him!
· Copy him!
· Rejoice in him!
· Give thanks to him, who for the joy set before him endured the cross for us, despising not the shame!
4. Our Lord Jesus here describes himself as Jehovah’s Servant willing to suffer all the shame due unto us for sin (v. 6).
(Isaiah 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 spitting.
· His suffering was a matter of submission to his Father.
· His submission was entire.
· He gave his back to the smitters.
· He gave his cheeks to them that plucked off the hair.
· He gave his face to shame and spitting.
Knowing that the Sufferer who spoke these words is himself God our Savior, our blessed Substitute I am truly amazed! – Here is…
· Amazing Condescension (2 Cor. 8:9; Phil. 2:5-11).
(2 Corinthians 8:9) For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
(Philippians 2:5-11) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (9) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: (10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (11) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
· Amazing, Infinite Virtue – The Merit of His Blood!
· Amazing Ability – Efficacy!
5. Then, in verses 7-9, our Redeemer describes himself as our justified Substitute (vv. 7-9).
(Isaiah 50:7-9) For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. (8) He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. (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.
All the suffering he endured on this earth he endured as our Substitute. Yet, it was all by the deliberate choice of his love.
· Our Lord Jesus Christ, as a man, lived by faith in God. — “The Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded!”
· The Son of God was resolute in his determination to suffer and die as our Substitute – “I set my face like a flint!” (John 11:16; Matt. 27:34; Heb. 12:1-2).
· Though he died under the penalty of sin, three days later, in the resurrection, he was publicly justified (v. 8 ) in the Spirit; and we were justified in him (1 Tim. 3:16; Rom. 4:25 – 5:1).
· Our great Substitute went to the cross with the full assurance of triumph (v. 9).
· Shall we not come away from the cross with that same full assurance of triumph (Rom. 8:31-39)?
In verses 10 and 11 the Lord Jesus describes two classes of people.
1. First, he speaks children of light walking in darkness (v. 10).
(Isaiah 50:10) Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.
Did not our Savior endure great, indescribable darkness for us? Who can imagine the darkness that seized his soul when he was made sin for us and forsaken of God? Yet, in his great darkness, he trusted in the name of the Lord and stayed upon his God, crying, “My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me?” He has given us the example and now calls for us to follow his example. Let us obey the voice of Jehovah’s Servant. Hear this word in season from the tongue of the learned. That which his Father did for him, he will do for us.
(Isaiah 50:8-9) He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. (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.
2. Second, in verse 11, he speaks of children of darkness walking in light; but it is the damning light of their own fire!
(Isaiah 50:11) Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.
There are those who will not come to Christ, but rather depend upon their own works and righteousness. They “kindle a fire” and “walk in the light of their own fire.” They shall lie down in death and eternal sorrow and have judgment at God’s hand.
(2 Thessalonians 2:11-15) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (13) But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (14) Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (15) Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
(Proverbs 1:23-33) Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. (24) Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; (25) But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: (26) I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; (27) When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. (28) Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: (29) For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: (30) They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. (31) Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. (32) For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. (33) But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
(Proverbs 29:1) He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
I have just one question for you, and I will send you home. Will you or will you not trust this great Savior? May God the Holy Spirit give you know rest until you find rest in him.
 Date: Danville — Sunday Morning—January 16, 2005
Rescue, CA — Sunday Morning — January 30, 2005
Tape # Y-57b
Reading: Isaiah 50:1-11