Scripture: from verse 6
I will make you as a light for the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.
Observation: Isaiah says that God has chosen him to show God’s glory. He also says that he has worked in vain, and has accomplished nothing. He has delivered nearly 50 chapters of prophecy to Israel, and seen no discernible result other than that nobody likes him. He does say that God will reward him, but he’s clearly discouraged.
God, instead of responding by letting him take a break or not prophesy anymore, says that bringing back Israel is “too light a thing,” and Isaiah will now be a light for the nations.
I would guess that Isaiah was less than amused.
God does also promise that all peoples will worship Him, and that He will comfort His people and that all will be well. But from Isaiah’s standpoint, I don’t know how comforting that was. It must have looked (at least for a moment) like God was just giving him an even bigger task to fail at.
But Isaiah never failed at all. He had spoken God’s words, and the result was God’s problem, not Isaiah’s. The words God spoke through him still bless us today.
We’re not very good at knowing when we’ve failed and when we’ve succeeded. The standards we use to measure ourselves (and each other) are badly flawed, and we are limited by our own brains and our own perspectives. Sometimes we don’t even know what our goal should be.
But God knows. God sees more than we can. God knows where we’re going. God knows what we’re good at. So we have to trust Him more than we trust ourselves. Because He’s the One who knows.
Application: Trust His knowledge. Don’t give up.
Prayer: Lord, I praise you because you are the One Who Knows. I praise you because you do not get confused or blinded or forgetful. Thank you for charting my course for me. Help me to lean on you and not give up. Amen.