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 ISAIAH 49:1-3

"Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me; And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified."

THE POLISHED SHAFT!

 

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

LESSON 1, VERSE 1:

Those whose eyes and ears have been touched by the Spirit of the Lord tell us they see and hear Someone special in Isaiah 49:1. "Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name."

This is one of Isaiah's well-known "Servant" Texts.

Each we believe refers to the Lord Jesus, the Messiah.

If so, Jesus Himself is talking ... by means of Bible prophecy of course.

He, as usual, invites the multitudes to know Him!

"Listen" translates "shama," used 1159 times in the Bible! It means "to hear with obedience following!" It is framed as an imperative here, people are really being strongly advised, even commanded, to come to the Lord.

Two geographical locations are specifically named. The "isles," merely spelled "iy" in Hebrew, name those little ocean-surrounded countries which presumably would be inhabited by Gentiles!

The people from "far" ("rachod" in Hebrew) are those living in remote distant lands too.

This is an Old Testament evangelistic call of sorts. A prophetic "whosoever will" predating John 3:16 or Romans 10:13.

The verb "hearken" parallels "listen" except it brings a slightly different shade of meaning. "Qashab" means literally "to prick up one's ears" or "to regard." This verb is also an imperative.

The noun "people" is "leom" and means people in this sense, a gathering of individuals. It is also used to designate nations and even "folks" elsewhere in Scripture.

It appears to me that this invitation is geared to those who are not Israelites. Israel, whose prime object was to give us Jesus, is here a shining light maybe!

Next our Lord tells us that He has been "called" fromthe womb. "Qara" can mean "to cry out loud" but her is more like "to summon" or "to bid." Jesus knew His purpose on earth early!

Jeremiah too was "called" early in life. "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." This is the Lord talking to Jeremiah later in his earthly life.

The noun "womb" is "beten" and means either a woman's belly or womb. The context must be consulted. However I will say this. In ancient days there was a spiritual correlation between one's physical appetite and one's sexual desires too. Maybe this word connection helped cement that idea.

The word "bowels" is "meeh" and actually means one's internal organs.

To "make mention" is "zakar," to remember or to record. Jesus was named before His Virgin Birth even. "But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:20-21

In the Old Testament one's "name" was synonymous with his character and reputation. What a Name He has!

This same Isaiah best relates it: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

It's exciting that Jesus is so clearly seen here seven hundred years before He is born! Of course, He is the eternal Son of God!

"Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name."

What a Saviour!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, VERSE 2, JESUS' MOUTH BEING "LIKE A SHARP SWORD:"

This is one of those lovely Texts where God the Son is testifying about God the Father!

That's the setting or context for verse 1 for sure. "Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name."

Now verse 2 continues with some precious cargo!

"And He hath made My mouth like a sharp sword." Isaiah 49:2a

I am so delighted that the verb for "create" is not used here! Jesus is NOT a created being. He is the eternal Son of God, the Second Person of the very Godhead! "Hath made" translates "sum," in Hebrew meaning "ordained" or "set" or "appointed!"

The noun "mouth" is spelled "peh." It's a basic vocabulary word to the Jew, even being a letter of their alphabet! Listen to the "peh" paragraph of Psalm 119, an alphabetical Psalm! It just might be reflecting Jesus and His glorious mouth, still talking about His Father! Here "to" His Father! "Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments. Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name. Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes. Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law." Here in Psalm 119:129-136 did you notice the use of the word "mouth" in mid-passage?

Worlds of information could be written about Jesus' mouth!

"Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever." Psalm 45:2

"The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned." Isaiah 50:4

"The officers answered, Never man spake like this Man." John 7:46

Or think of Jesus' seven sayings from the Cross!

When John sees our glorified Lord in Revelation ... "And He had in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength." Revelation 1:16

And the returning Lord is thus described: "And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." Revelation 19:15

Then Armageddon, "And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh." Revelation 19:21

Then this rather unusual view of His Mouth: "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine." Song of Solomon 1:2

But, best of all, will be to hear His mouth utter these words: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." Matthew 25:21

The Greek word for "sword" here is "cherub" and means a dagger or a knife or a tool for cutting. But is is translated as "sword" 97% of its time in Scripture, 401 times of 413 occurrences!

"Sharp" is "chad" in Hebrew and appears only 4 times in the whole Bible! Here are the "sharp" things, according to "chad."

The tongue of the wicked ... "My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword." Psalm 57:4

The strange woman, the prostitute ... "But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword." Proverbs 5:4

And Ezekiel's barbering tool! "And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber's razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair." Ezekiel 5:1

Here we have vicious men, immoral women and an obedient Prophet!

Thank God for the Word!

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." Hebrews 4:12-13

Jesus is so closely identified with His Mouth, His Words, that it is sometimes nearly impossible to distinguish them!

Lord, tell us again: "And He hath made My mouth like a sharp sword." Isaiah 49:2a

Amen!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, VERSE 2, JESUS BEING IN THE SHADOW OF HIS FATHER'S HAND:

The Lord Jesus is talking about His Father!

Testifying, really!

Here's part of what He said in Isaiah 49:2. "In the shadow of His hand hath He hid Me."

The Hand is considered an emblem of strength and power, attached to the arm and shoulder as it is.

It is also the instrument of giving!

An open Hand symbolizes generosity.

A closed Hand often indicates protection and security!

"Shadow" is spelled "tzsel" and means shade.

"Hand" is spelled "yad" and means hand 1359 times in Scripture.

"Hath hid," the verb here, is spelled "chaba," an unusual word indeed. Only found 33 times in all the Bible it contains the idea of secrecy!

The Father hiding the Son ... in the shadow of His Mighty Hand!

Did Jesus have this verse in mind when He taught us in John 10:27-30? "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one."

There's a twofold truth illuminated here. The saints of God are secure in Jesus' Hand! They are also in the Father's Hand! Consequently, it is logically necessary that Jesus' Hand is also in the Father's Hand too!

And that's exactly what our Lord said a thousand years before He was physically born in Bethlehem! "In the shadow of His hand hath He hid Me."

We are the beneficiaries of such an arrangement!

Keying on the verb "hid," Paul says of us Believers: "Your life is hid with Christ in God." Colossians 3:3

Again, what is true of our dear Lord, is also said to be true of us!

And look at this promise of God to redeemed Israel: "And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people." Isaiah 51:9

The bulk of what we have "in" Jesus is yet untold!

One could be so bold as to say: "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ." Romans 8:17

This gets so close and sweet and intimate that Paul even calls Jesus our very "life!"  Read Colossians 3:4. "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."

Amen!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, VERSE 2, JESUS AS A POLISHED SHAFT:

Jesus in Isaiah 49:1 begins to "testify" about His Father!

So far He has told us: "The LORD hath called Me from the womb; from the bowels of My mother hath He made mention of My Name. And He hath made My mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand hath He hid Me."

Then today we learn more. God has also made Jesus "a polished shaft."

But, what is that?

"Chetzs," the noun for "shaft" is also translated in the King James Bible as "arrow" 48 times and as "dart" one time. It is only used as a "shaft" one time as well. It's mother verb means "to pierce or cut or split into two pieces"

Jesus is God's Arrow?

Yes, so we are here told!

Of course He is God's Son, very God of very God fundamentally.

But when it comes to battle, to warfare, to defeating the devil ... no arrow is like Jesus!

Jesus, the Victor, is much like the "sword of Goliath" in this sense: there is none like Him! "And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take that, take it: for there is no other save that here. And David said, There is none like that; give it me." 1st Samuel 21:9

The Lord Jesus indeed gloriously defeated the Devil every time and everywhere He faced him! Especially on the Cross of Calvary!

The devil successfully pierced Jesus' Hands and Feet and Side ... but Jesus splintered Satan's very heart!

But notice that Jesus is not only God's "shaft," but His "polished" shaft! "Barar" means "tested, made bright, chosen, even manifested!" It is built upon a root word meaning "to make clear!"

Here's "barar" used twice in one verse, each time translated "pure." In 2nd Samuel 22:27 David says to God: "With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury."

Here "barar" is "choice." Moses writes: "All these were the children of Asher, heads of their father's house, choice and mighty men of valour, chief of the princes." 1st Chronicles 7:40

Here it's an adverb, "clearly." Read it from Job 33:3. "My lips shall utter knowledge clearly," says Elihu.

And Isaiah 52:11 adds: "Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD."

Jesus, God's polished arrow!

Think what must have been involved in preparing such a beautiful instrument!

The tree from which it was taken had to be chosen! God's Arrow was also associated with a Tree!

The arrow had to be straight! Jesus was too!

It had to be carved and shaped! And even Jesus, we are told in Scripture: "Though he were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him." Hebrews 5:8-9

The prepared arrow had to yield to the hand of the archer! Jesus too was in His father's Hands! At the Beginning of His Ministry ... "in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me" ... and again at the End ... "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit."

Then the successful arrow must hit the target! Jesus did! "It is finished," He cried from the Cross! Paul later adds: "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it." Colossians 2:14-15 sure sounds "on target" to me!

And a select arrow would know the taste of blood during its flight! In Jesus' case, His Own precious Blood! "And the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1st John 1:7

Praise the Lord!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, STILL VERSE 2, JESUS "HIDDEN" IN HIS FATHER'S QUIVER:

It's a word picture!

Jesus said of His Father in Heaven, "In His quiver hath He hidden Me." Isaiah 49:2

Our Lord has compared Himself to an arrow, "a polished shaft" to use the exact wording.

Jesus is a specially selected, perfectly shaped, powerfully effective arrow, a "weapon" in the Hand of God!

Here's the setting in which this statement occurs. Through the miracle of Bible Prophecy, Jesus is talking. "Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me; and said unto me, Thou art my servant ...." Isaiah 49:1-3

Remember, for today our focus is "In His quiver hath He hidden Me."

This is the second time in our short Passage God the Father is said to have "hidden" God the Son!

Jesus just said that the Father had hidden Him in the shadow of His Hand.

Now our Lord adds that, as the Father's polished arrow, He is hidden in the quiver of the Almighty!

Two different verbs for "hide" are used here, in just one verse!

"In the shadow of his hand hath he hid me" translates "chabar" for "hide." Its basic meaning is "to withdraw." This is hiding in a special sense, like when someone picks up a special object and tucks it into his shirt, hiding it in his bosom. How very personal this is!

More generic is the second occurrence of "hide."  Jesus says: "He hath made Me a polished shaft, in His quiver hath He hid Me." This verb "to hide" is spelled "sathar" and means "to conceal." But in this sense: "to cover!" In reality "sather" is less personal than "chabar."

Then, why did the Holy Spirit her use both verbs?

There must be a reason, every word of Holy Scripture being divinely inspired as is the case.

I believe this metaphor or word picture of Jesus as God's weapon, God's arrow or polished shaft, prefigures the Cross of Calvary!

While "chabar" is intimate and loving, that kind of "hiding," the verb "sathar" is "hiding" in the sense of "separation" also! Watch this underlined use of "sathar." Laban is speaking to Jacob. "And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed; and Mizpah; for he said, The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another." Genesis 31:48-49

Listen to Cain use "sathar" in a "separation" sense too. He's talking to God the Father. "Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me." Genesis 4:14

An archer, to properly display the power and accuracy and sharpness of the arrow he's made ... must be "separated" from it. The arrow must be shot! It must be spent! It must strike the enemy!

All Jesus' years on earth prior to Calvary, before "His Hour" of Death finally arrived, were spent being God's polished shaft but still in the Father's quiver! A quiver is just a case for holding one's arrows, or arrow singularly here!

Then the Day arrived, the Day of Crucifixion!

God slowly unsheathed His Arrow, the Lord Jesus!

The Almighty pulled the bow tautly and released Jesus on the target, on the enemy, on the Devil!

And, as they say, the rest is history!

According to Hebrews 2:14, Here's why Jesus came: "That through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil." Sounds like a direct "hit" to me!

According to 1 John 3:8, "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." God's Arrow struck the mark!

Jesus, God's Weapon!

Think about it!

The Devil, a defeated foe!

Amen!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, VERSE 3:

To us Trinitarians this verse reveals the Father, God the Father, talking to the Son, God the Son! The Holy Spirit having recorded the words, of course!

More about this later, tomorrow, Lord willing.

But look: "And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified." Isaiah 49:3

Jesus is called the "Servant" of the Lord numerous times in Isaiah! It's one of His many lovely Names or Titles for our Lord!

"Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." Isaiah 42:1 is presenting to us Jesus!

"Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men." This is Jesus again, here in Isaiah 52:13-14.

The noun "servant" is "ebed" and means a common slave literally, a bondman. Paul, in Greek of course, loved to use that word for himself! He was always a minister or servant or bond-slave of Jesus Christ!

But here Jesus is called "Israel." And assuredly God the Father does not have the nation Israel in mind, not here anyway. Do not misunderstand, Israel the Nation will some day be God's obedient submissive servant! But not here, not in this Text!

Here's how we can prove that Jesus is in view, not the Twelve Tribes. Look at the next two or three verses, after verse three I mean. "And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength." This is verse five. God the Father is still speaking. The "Me" is still Jesus too. The Lord again identifies Himself as the Servant. Then, in a third person framework, Israel the Nation is mentioned! In our Paragraph the "Servant" and the "Nation" are distinguished. The "Servant" is the Helping One. While the "Nation," Israel, is the helped one!  So when verse three labels the "Servant" as "Israel" these two terms identify One Person, the Lord Jesus Christ!

He is the True Israel!

Israel means "God is my Prince!"

Or, some say, "Prince of God!"

Then again, one Preacher said, "Princed by God!" That means "ruled by God!"

In all three definitions above, Jesus is the Only One Who completely fulfills each!

Jesus worshipped His Father fully!

Jesus IS God, the Prince of God, the Son of God!

And Jesus never once disobeyed God!

Amen!

Then the verb "be glorified," translating "paar," means "to beautify, to boast to vaunt, or even to adorn!"

Thrilling!

The verb action here is incomplete.

The Father will continue being glorified in the Son on and on and on ... even when time ceases to be!

Eternally beautified in the Son!

The Son exhibiting the Father as though wearing Him for all to see!

That verb "vaunt," really, represents in a sinless way the Father "showing off" in the Son! I mean that respectfully and reverently, just defining the word.

God is proud of His darling Son!

Indeed!

I'm nearly beside myself in praise as I type these words!

Yes, this is Jesus.

No doubt about that!

"And He (God the Father) said unto me (Jesus), Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified." Isaiah 49:3

Thank God for the illumination Bible Prophecy affords us yet today, even partially fulfilled Bible Prophecy!

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, CONCLUSION:

We have been studying Isaiah 49:1-3 for the past few days.

In this lovely Passage God the Father is actually heard speaking to His Son.

Prophetically Jesus tells us that the Father said unto Him: "Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified." Isaiah 49:3

Also here Jesus testifies of His Father: "The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me." Isaiah 29:1-3

What intimacy this Paragraph of Scripture reveals!

Then I began to think. There are other places where the Father speaks to the Son, or vice versa!  In Scripture I mean.

Listen to Them talk in Psalm 2. Jesus tells us: "The LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." This is serious communion!

Again in Psalm 40 we find it. But here Jesus is talking to His Father: "Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest."

Here's the Father waking His Son every morning, teaching Him to minister to the needy! "The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned." Isaiah 50:4

Even in the New Testament we have such communion between the Godhead! Here Jesus speaks first, then the Father answers. "Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again." John 12:28

Here's what is surely true. The Father and the Son lived in constant conscious communion One with the Other, unbroken for all eternity! So much so that Jesus could say: "The Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him." John 8:29 here is astounding! Always? Yes, said our Lord, always!

How blessed we are to be privy to such language!

Oh, one more quick example please.

Think what the Father must have said to the Son, the resurrected Son, as He ascended back to Glory after His successful earthly ministry! We know thanks to Psalm 110:1. "The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. " Amen!

That's what Jesus is doing too!

Then Psalm 110:4 continues: "The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." God's still talking! Jesus is the Priest!

We all know that the Trinity is One. The Godhead is unified. Yet Deity exhibits itself in three Persons too!

Three as One Who commune with  Each Other!

It's precious dialogue when one can "tune in" to such talk!

Listen intently!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

We should feel like we've been standing on Holy Ground! The Father and the Son ... in intimate communion! What a Text this is!

 

 

 

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