Listen to me, o Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am he; I am the first, and I am the last. My hand laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand forth together…. I, even I, have spoken and called him; I have brought him, and he will prosper in his way. Draw near to me, hear this: from the beginning I have not spoken in secret, from the time it came to be I have been there. And now the Lord God has sent me, and His Spirit. (Isaiah 48:12-16 not 14)
There is a mysterious figure lurking in the background in the book of Isaiah. Every now and then He comes to the fore, especially in the five famous ‘servant songs’ that are all about him. They are called ‘servant songs’ because this mysterious figure is called ‘the Servant’. There are other ‘servants of the Lord’ in Isaiah. There is Cyrus the Persian, Israel, and the prophet Isaiah himself. But this special Servant does things that no other servant can do. (In Day 38 we will see that He willingly gives Himself up to take the punishment that God’s people deserve so that they can go free.) In our passage we are told something quite extraordinary. Look again closely. God describes Himself as the great ‘I am’, the first and the last and the Creator of the earth. God speaks of Himself as having called His servant. God says that He has always been speaking – from the beginning He was a speaking God. We could even say that His was the Word from the beginning. All of this is stock standard language for God. But then comes the surprise! All along God has been speaking and like a sudden shock the last line takes our breath away: “And now the Lord God has sent me, and His Spirit”. Hold on, who is this? We thought it was God speaking… and it was. He said so. So how can God now say ‘the Lord God has sent me’? Meet Jesus in the Old Testament. This beautifully profound verse can only be understood in the light of the truth that Jesus teaches us: God is One Being in Three Persons. It turns out that all along Jesus was speaking. Throughout the New Testament Jesus describes Himself as the One whom the Lord has sent. He also says, ‘and His Spirit’. And there they are! The Three Persons of the Forever Blessed God! Why are we being told this? Why this glimpse of Jesus? Because God wants you to listen. God says, “Listen to me”. “Draw near to me.” All along this Triune God has been speaking. He sends His servant. He wants you to hear and as you listen, you will draw near. PRAY and ask the Servant of God to speak to you. Ask His Spirit to draw you near as you listen and obey.