The Book of Isaiah contains eight major divisions. Thus far, we have examined the first six. These include: I. The LORD is the Holy One of Israel (1-12); II. Oracles against the Nations (13-23); III. The Little Apocalypse (24-27); and IV. Judgment and Salvation (28-35); and a Historical Interlude, featuring Isaiah and King Hezekiah (36-39); V. The Glorious Kingdom of God (40-48).
The seventh division is The Ministry of Restoration (49-55). This section focuses on the particular individual referred to as the Servant of Yahweh. The Prophet Isaiah heralds not only the person known as the Servant, but also His work.
The person and work of the Servant is highlighted in the following areas. First, there is the Call and Mission of the Servant (49:1-13). Second, the Comfort for Israel provided by the Servant (49:14-26). Third, Israel’s Deliverance through the Servant (50). Fourth, the Servant’s Encouragement to the Godly (51:1-52:12). Fifth, the Suffering Servant (52:13-53:12). Sixth, the Renewal of the Covenant by the Servant (54-55).
Isaiah highlights the unique relationship between Yahweh and His Servant in 49:1-13 and 50:4-9. Isaiah previously identified the Servant as Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14) and as a child born and given (Isaiah 9:1-7).
Isiah 49 begins with the Servant speaking of Himself in the first person regarding His call and mission. The Servant recalls that Yahweh commissioned Him for His work prior to His physical birth (49:1) and that He would be a mighty weapon for Yahweh (49:2). See Isaiah 50:4-9.
Isaiah then records the words of Yahweh to the Servant (49:3, 5-13). The Servant would display Yahweh’s glory (49:3). The Servant would also redeem Israel (49:5) and be a light to the nations (49:6). Following the rejection of the Servant, He will then be honored by all nations (49:7). Following His suffering, the Servant will usher in the Millennium (49:8-13).
The prophet then reveals the words of the Servant to Yahweh. While His labor seems to be for nothing, the Servant trusts in Yahweh (49:4). The Servant acknowledges that Yahweh has given Him perfect wisdom in order to comfort those in need (50:4). Therefore, the Servant will obediently do Yahweh’s will even when He suffers for it (50:5-7). Yahweh will totally vindicate the Servant (50:8-9).
Soli deo Gloria!