Isaiah 49:1-13

( Isaiah 49:4b)

Yet what is due me is in the LORD’s hand, and my reward is with my God.

What do God’s servants believe even though they feel that their efforts are in vain?

God declares that His servants are called from birth and trained to be powerful weapons, like sharp knives and sharpened arrows. God protects the servant, the servant relies on God, and God is glorified through him. Although the servant felt that his efforts were useless in his service; he believed in God. Although the servant is despised, hated, and suffers a lot, God is the Redeemer and the Holy One of Israel. Because of His faithfulness and selection, the servant will complete the work commanded by God. Kings and leaders will submit to him, and he will become The mediator of the peoples, that God made a covenant with the peoples. The servant announced to the people in the darkness: “Come out! Appear!” Those who heard it all bravely returned to their hometowns. They will surely receive the supply and safe care of God’s great shepherd, and walk on the road prepared by God.

The prophet is weak and feels that hard work is useless, but he has confidence in God; sometimes his own feelings are contrary to God’s truth, so he plays the “reverse game”:

  1. Everyone elects one person to be the moderator, and to give instructions, everyone will do the opposite. If you say to sit down, you must stand up; if you raise your hands, you must put them down…. Those who make mistakes will lose and can no longer play.
  2. After some people are eliminated, they play the “hand-mouth game” instead: For example, when the host says “go to the right”, everyone should say “go to the right” together, but the action must be the opposite, go to the left. Whoever does or says the wrong thing loses.
  3. The last person left is the winner, let’s bless together. (If you find it too difficult, if you have enough time, you can change it to make three mistakes and then eliminate it)

Heaney: Thorn means Qin and China. Early scholars interpreted it as “China”, and Chinese Bibles mostly translated it as “Qin Guo”. The earliest record of the Jews in China is from the 7th to the 8th centuries A.D. From the Tang and Song Dynasties until the Qing Dynasty, Jews lived in segregated communities, mostly in Kaifeng, Henan.

Is there something about which I feel wasted, weak and discouraged? God encourages me with the truth. Under His protection and guidance, no matter how we are underestimated or mistreated by ourselves or others, we still rely on God to accomplish what we should do and glorify God.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being the Maker of the promises. May Your words always illuminate my heart, encourage and comfort us, not to be discouraged and weak, and to do what I should do every day, no matter how big or small, I can faithfully obey You and glorify Your name. In the name of the Lord Jesus, amen.