To comfort us
To be our strength and our song
To be our salvation
So the Holy One will be in our midst
“You were angry with me, but now you comfort me.” Doesn’t that sound like a child responding to his dad? Isn’t that the way it usually works, in a family? The child gets in trouble. The parents punish the child. The child gets his feelings hurt for awhile, and even feels like his dad or his mom no longer loves him. Then the parent comes to him and comforts him and tries to explain to him why he had to be punished. Well, God is our Father. He loves us very much. Sometimes, He will discipline us, but that doesn’t mean we are no longer in His family. He is still our Father. He still loves us, and He still wants to comfort us and hold us in His arms. It’s about family. It’s about relationships. It’s about deep loving relationships.
“He has become my salvation.” This implies a process, a progression. Salvation is about an ongoing process. It’s about an ongoing relationship. God becomes our salvation because He disciplines us, because He comforts us, because we learn to trust Him and not be afraid. We find strength in Him, and He makes us want to sing. He makes us want to tell others about Him because He has become salvation to us. He has given us meaning and direction and purpose in life. When we spend time with Him, it is like “drawing water from the springs of salvation.” God quenches our thirst. God has the vital nutrients that we need to become strong mature people.
“Call on His name.” If we call someone’s name, doesn’t that mean we want to talk to them? Doesn’t that mean we want to spend time with them? God is our Father. He is extremely delighted when we come to Him and spend time with Him. It sounds so simple. It sounds so easy. It doesn’t even have to be “quality time.” It can be anytime or any place. And we don’t have to learn something powerful and dramatic every time. But we will get something out of it, most every time, because there is just something nourishing about being in His presence.
To invite us to a banquet with God
To remove the veil that is over our nation
To take away the power that death has over us
To wipe the tears from our faces
To be the savior we waited for
“The Lord will prepare a lavish banquet.” Isn’t that something we invite special people to? Don’t we usually invite family and friends? God is inviting each and every one of us. He considers us His family. He longs to be friends with us, to be close to us, to enjoy life with us.
“He will remove the veil, the covering” so we can be face to face with Him. He will gently reach out and wipe away our tears. He doesn’t want anything to separate us from Him, not a veil, not death, not old age, not sin or shame. He wants us to see Him clearly and come to His banquet. We are all guests of honor. He wants to honor each one of us, not because of our great deeds, but because we are part of His family and He loves us very much.
We waited so long for our savior. We waited so long to find a way back into the arms of our Father. Jesus came to show us how. He is not what we expected; He is even better. He amazes us. He astounds us. He blows our mind each and every day. The more time we spend with Him, the more He amazes us and nourishes us. We begin to think it will never end, and so we walk with Him, in constant amazement and continuous rejoicing. We walk in the salvation of knowing Him. We walk in the salvation of being in His presence. We walk in the salvation of hearing His voice and learning from Him. We walk with Him, and we grow and mature and become stronger. We are glad to walk with Him. He is our Father. It’s nice to hold His hand. It’s nice to look into His eyes and feel loved. What else could salvation be about other than that, other than spending an eternity getting to know Him and walking with Him, being in love with Him, and spending quiet little moments with Him as well as big powerful moments? It’s about family. It’s about getting to know our Father.
To be gracious to us
To have compassion on us
To bless us
To be our best teacher
To bind up our fractures and heal our bruises
Doesn’t this sound like a father dealing with his children? They mess up and he allows them to walk in their own mess, for awhile. It says that He afflicted it on them, but really He just didn’t intervene and stop it. There were so many occurrences in the Old Testament when the people would stop walking with God. They would start worshipping other gods and make graven images of those gods. Then God would let them walk in that for awhile, until they got into deep trouble and couldn’t get out. The other gods couldn’t help them because they are not real. So God waited until they remembered Him. God waited until they called out to Him. And like the loving Father that He is, He rescued them, from slavery and bondage to invading nations. If you will read all the prophets, you will see this same story happening over and over. God waited to save them so they would know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was Him.
God wanted to show them, in a very dramatic way, that He is their real God, and He is their real Father, and He is their real Teacher. When we long for Him, we always receive a blessing. When we learn from Him, we will start seeing better. Life will get brighter, and we will see how to walk through life much better. If we stay close to Him, and then if we get a little off course, He will gently tell us which way to go. He will tell us the way to life, the way to salvation. He will bind up the fracture that keeps us from walking with Him, and He will heal all our bruises. It will no longer be a hardship to walk through this life, because He will help us.
This passage speaks for itself
Wow! Just think. Isaiah probably never knew any man, any king, any savior of the people, who could live up to that description. It must have amazed him even as he wrote the words. But he might have comprehended it since he was well acquainted with God, who often accomplished things that seem improbable and impossible. I think Isaiah would have recognized Jesus, if he had been alive at the time of Jesus. He sure got this description right!
Some of the descriptions given in this scripture sound terrible. He won’t have an appearance we will be attracted to; He will be a despised person; He will be very acquainted with sorrow and grief; and so on. What this really sounds like is a description of how every one of us sees ourselves. Jesus came as the exact representation of humanity. Included in his life was everything that we are going to encounter in our lives. But aren’t we called to follow Jesus? Aren’t we called to walk as he walked? Aren’t we called to be like him? Yes, and he came to show us how to walk like God, like a child of God, like a normal human being was meant to walk. Jesus came looking like us. Then, when we realize that he is the son of God, we want to walk like him. When we realize that we, too, are children of God, we want to walk like Jesus.
To prophesy against the shepherds
To search for lost sheep
To bind up the injured and strengthen the weak
To tell us we are God’s people
Isn’t it great that God himself came to save the lost, to save us? God, our Father, came to help us, to nourish us, to lead us, to bring us back into the family.
To be like a Son of Man
So we might serve Him
Jesus came like one of us, like a Son of Man. He is God, but He came to us and presented Himself as one of us. He was born of a woman just like us, and He grew up just like us. He came as the King, but His people did not recognize Him as King. No other king had ever come as He did. Where was the pomp and ceremony? Where was the show of force? Where was His great army? He came to dominate our thoughts and our hearts and our actions. But He came in a very gentle way. He came in a very loving way. He came as a servant. He came to help us. He came to bless us. He came to heal us and bring us back into the family. That’s the best king I’ve ever heard of. That’s the best king who ever lived!
His kingdom is not obvious to everyone, but it is real. It’s different from other kingdoms. We have freedom of choice in this kingdom. We can choose whether we want to be a member or not. All the power and the force and the thoughts of the King are living inside the members of His kingdom, instead of on the outside. The members of this kingdom look like every other human being, but their lives are lived out in an entirely different fashion.
To save us from our sins
To fulfill prophesy
To be God with us
“Immanuel” means “God is with us.” “Jesus” means “the Lord saves.” The name, Immanuel, is only found in the Bible 3 or 4 times. “Immanuel” comes from several root words, one of which means “mighty or strong.” So you could translate it to say, “God is with us in a very powerful way.” All examples of the word, “Immanuel,” are found in the book of Isaiah, chapters 7 and 8, except for the one above, which contains a quote from Isaiah. The people, at that time, used names that spoke to a certain situation. They chose a name that described what was happening in their life at that moment. Isaiah was predicting a time when “God would be with us in a mighty way.”
In the days of Isaiah, God sometimes revealed Himself in a powerful way by destroying a wicked nation, and He is called “Immanuel” because of what He accomplished. But the same power can be used as a blessing, also. Jesus came as a blessing from God. He had all the power in the universe, and could use it in any way He saw fit. So why did He use this awesome power to bless us, to save us? We didn’t really deserve salvation. We had become lost and were wandering around in the darkness. Jesus came preaching forgiveness of sins and absolute pardon for all offenses. Jesus was sent by His Father, by our Father, to save us, to rescue us, to help us see better, to heal us, to bring us back into the family of God. “God is with us in a mighty way” is the same thing as saying, “the Lord saves.” Jesus is the same as Immanuel. This time He came to find His lost sheep and bring us back into the family. Jesus came to offer us unconditional love and everlasting salvation. How can we refuse to be a part of the family of God?
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