Lent Devotion: March 26th
1Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
2He will not cry or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
3a bruised reed he will not break,
and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
4He will not grow faint or be crushed
until he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his teaching.
5Thus says God, the Lord,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people upon it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
6I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness,
I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
I have given you as a covenant to the people,
a light to the nations,
7to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
8I am the Lord, that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to idols.
9See, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth,
I tell you of them.
What are you hoping for this Holy Week? As you read through the prophecies of Isaiah, you need a little hope by the time you get to chapter 40. The first 39 chapters are filled with prophecies against Israel and her neighbors, denunciations of idolatry and injustice, and portents of destruction. Mercifully, Isaiah begins the second half of his book with words of hope and restoration. It is in that context that we are introduced to the Servant, a character who will be the subject of a number of songs in these chapters. God promises to empower this Servant with his own Spirit to be the agent of restoration, bringing justice to God’s people and truth to the nations. Isaiah sees this restoration in terms of a new creation, a new work of the Creator God brought to life by the ministry of the Servant. In God’s faithfulness to his covenant people, he will bring new life, new creation, freedom, and sight where there was previously idolatry, injustice, darkness, and death.
As we enter into Holy Week, Isaiah invites us to lay our hearts bare before our Creator. Isaiah calls to those of us who feel like the light of our soul is about to be snuffed out from the incessant temptations, the seasons of spiritual hunger, and our vain efforts to put on a good face for God. The tender voice of the Servant comes to reeds bruised by injustice, petty squabbles, or failed relationships. That voice comes to us this Holy Week and says, “I took all that to the cross, so that you might spring forth as a new creation. I am forming a community marked by justice and truth, a covenant people to declare the new things I am doing.”
Prayer: Creator God, we pray that through your Servant, Jesus Christ, you would bring about new things in the midst of our bruises and dimness during this Holy Week. Send the Spirit of your Servant upon us, that we might join in your mission of bringing wholeness and truth to the ends of the earth. Amen.
Andrew and Amy Fields serve with the Biblical Seminary of Colombia (FUSBC) in Medellin, Colombia. Through their ministry of teaching and library development, they seek to equip the next generation of Christian leaders in Colombia and Latin America.