The servant announces his mission and reports the suffering that it brings. Nevertheless, because of God’s help, he is confident that he will endure.
This is the third of the traditional servant songs in Second IsaiahSecond Isaiah refers chapters 40-55 of the book of Isaiah. This work was likely written during Israel's exile in Babylon (597-538 B.C.E.). Second Isaiah includes poetic passages of hope as well as descriptions of the Suffering Servant. More. Like the second (49:1-6), this one too borrows from the language of the prophets. The servant’s task is to speak God’s word to sustain the weary. As a prophet and teacher he must first listen, so he will know what to say. The word is God’s, not the prophet’s.
In this song, we learn that the servant’s work meets with resistance. His poem here begins to sound like the laments of the prophet JeremiahProphet who condemned Judah's infidelity to God, warned of Babylonian conquest, and promised a new covenant More, who also paid a high price for his fidelity to God’s mission (Jeremiah 11:18-23; 12:1-6; 15:10-21; 17:14-18; 18:18-23; 20:7-12, 14-18).
Why would the servant’s message of liberation be rejected? He has come with good news, announcing God’s deliverance of the exiles. Perhaps some had become already established in Babylon, so the call to return merely promised disruption. Perhaps others were so deep in despair they could not believe the good news, so they turned against its speaker. Jerusalem, of course, still lay in ruins. To return meant an arduous journey through the desert. God’s announcement of a new beginning would mean hardship in the short run, and apparently some were not prepared to accept the challenge.
The servant’s lament, however, takes the same turn as many of the lament psalms, following the lament with a confession of trust in God’s continued care (see the sections of confidence in PsalmA psalm is a song of praise. In the Old Testament 150 psalms comprise the psalter, although some of the psalms are laments and thanksgivings. In the New Testament early Christians gathered to sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. More 22:3-5 and 9-10, interspersed with the laments of 22:1-2, 6-8, 12-18). The servant’s confidence is based not on his own strength, but on the assurance of God’s help. If God is with him, what can hinder his work? The same kind of confident assurance is repeated later by the ApostleDerived from a Greek word meaning "one who is sent," an apostle is a person who embraces and advocates another person's idea or beliefs. At the beginning of his ministry Jesus called twelve apostles to follow and serve him. Paul became an apostle of Jesus... More PaulA Christian missionary who once persecuted the church More in Romans 8:31-39, a passage that echoes many of the themes of this servant song.