Listen :: #31daysintheword {Day10}

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“Listen to me, all you in distant lands! Pay attention, you who are far away! The LORD called me before my birth; from within the womb he called me by name. He made my words of judgment as sharp as a sword. He has hidden me in the shadow of his hand. I am like a sharp arrow in his quiver. He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, and you will bring me glory.” I replied, “But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet I leave it all in the LORD’s hand; I will trust God for my reward.” And now the LORD speaks–the one who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant, who commissioned me to bring Israel back to him. The LORD has honored me, and my God has given me strength. He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth” (Isa 49:1-6 NLT) .

//Today is a lucky one for me. The word ‘listen’ is only used once in the King James Version. (Although it’s Hebrew counterpart is used 1,161 times in a total of 1,072 verses.) So why now? The rest of the time, this word is most commonly translated as hear, harken, and obey. Why listen? Why here and why now?

I can’t honestly answer those questions. Sorry. But I can point out some fascinating tidbits about this particular passage.

First, this is Jesus speaking. Isaiah is a book ripe with Messianic prophesies, but this time, the Messiah himself speaks. Christ is telling us to listen to what He is about to say.

Second, He is speaking to the Gentiles. “Distant lands” and “far away” refers to people outside of the nation of Isreal. That is you and me (assuming you aren’t Jewish).

Third, this is where the Messiah declares His mission. It isn’t just to save Isreal, but rather to “bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”

The only time the word listen is used in the KJV is when Christ is declaring his mission to the Gentiles before he walked in the flesh upon this earth. Does that excite you at all, because it excites me? This is what I love about the Bible. It isn’t a story of creation or an exposition of God’s wrath. It isn’t even a narrative of the history of Isreal and the Christian church (although it contains all those things).

The Bible is a story of redemption through Jesus Christ. From beginning to end, everything points to Him. Even buried in the doomsday writings of the prophets, we find a message of hope from our Savior to the entire world.//

I will say to the prisoners, ‘Come out in freedom,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Come into the light.’ They will be my sheep, grazing in green pastures and on hills that were previously bare. They will neither hunger nor thirst. The searing sun will not reach them anymore. For the LORD in his mercy will lead them; he will lead them beside cool waters. And I will make my mountains into level paths for them. The highways will be raised above the valleys. See, my people will return from far away, from lands to the north and west, and from as far south as Egypt.” Sing for joy, O heavens! Rejoice, O earth! Burst into song, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted his people and will have compassion on them in their suffering” (Isa 49:9-13 NLT)


I am participating in Write 31 Days and 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes. My free writes are between the slashes (//). Find more of my free writing for this series here.