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ISAIAH 50:4-9


Oh, yes!

Again and again you will find Him there!

Come, let's study together this precious paragraph in which our Lord shares His very Testimony!

--- Dr. Mike Bagwell


 A Preacher in his Study







"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.  The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.  I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.  For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.  He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me.  Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up."  Isaiah 50:4-9


Isaiah 50 is a great chapter!  In it, through the prophetic Voice of Inspiration, all Three Members of The Godhead speak!  Verses 1-3 record God the Father!  then Verses 4 - 9 quote word for word God the Son as He gives us His Life Philosophy!  finally in verses 10-11 the Holy Spirit promises some things!


Now in this particular series of studies we shall concentrate on God the Son's "Testimony" in verses 4-9!  Let's get started ...





We just might learn as much about Jesus (as far as His inner thoughts and attitudes and purposes are concerned) in this short paragraph than we ever imagined!  This is especially astounding when we realize that we're in the middle of the Old Testament Scriptures! (Announcement: The Same God Who wrote the New Testament also wrote the Old Testament!)

First we are told by the Saviour that His Father, the "Lord God, "awakeneth" Jesus every single morning!  Jesus says ...

"He (the father) wakeneth (me) morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear ...."

The verb here is spelled in Hebrew "ur!"  That's all!  Just "ur."  It means (hiphil stem) to cause one to awake, or to incite to awake.  Jesus' Father (God Himself) woke His Darling Son every morning ... to hear words of instruction!  (To hear the very WORD OF GOD!) 

The first use of the verb in Scripture (in this precise form) is in Deuteronomy 32:11 where an eagle "stirreth up" her nest to arouse her young ones!  We find it again in Job 8:6 where Bildad sarcastically says to Job:  "If thou wert pure and upright; surely now He (God) would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous."  Wow!  And in Psalm 78:38 God did not "stir up" (awake) all His wrath!  And in Isaiah 42:13 God "stirs up" (awakens) jealousy or zeal or fury! 

What a thought!

The Father awakening the Son day by day to teach Him the things of Truth.  To teach Him the Word of God!

I find that fact especially lovely!

Friend, ask the Father to wake YOU in the morning!  Ask Him to teach you Truth from His precious Word before you to off to work or school or wherever.

What a way to begin a day!

Of that day it might truly be said:  "This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."  Psalm 118:24

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




This precise word ("learned" in English ... "limmud" in Hebrew) occurs only twice in all the Bible!  And both times are in Isaiah 50:4!

Here's the verse:  "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."  These are the very words of Jesus!  He is telling us that His Father taught Him every morning during His time on earth!

In one sense this Knowledge was "given" (verb in Hebrew = "nathan" ... to bestow a gift freely) to Jesus.

In another sense He had to acquire it by learning!  Proof is found in Luke 2:52 --- "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man."

The "root" picture behind our word "learned" is derived from the noun "lamed."  It means a "goad!"  (Like an ox goad, a sharp pointed stick used to "persuade" stubborn animals to go where their owner chooses!)

This became the Hebrew concept of teaching and learning and acquiring practical knowledge!  As an animal was "goaded" into obedience ... so would Christians be "persuasively" taught!  (As the "goad" has to be used repeatedly ... so do lessons have to be given repeatedly!  As goads represent "on the job" training ... so does Bible teaching require "shoe-leather" application!  As goads are unpleasant ... so God's instruction in our lives can be sharp and painful!  And as goads save the lives of oxen or other livestock ... so do the precepts of God spare us His children!)

Jesus learned, Paul says in Hebrews, by means of "suffering!"  By means of constant "goads" in His life!  "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; called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec."  Hebrews 5:8-10  (Wow!)

Jesus in school!

(Not in reference to His Deity.  As God He knew everything.  He was omniscient!  But as man Jesus learned and grew in wisdom and knowledge. Keep in mind however that Jesus was perfect Man!  He was sinless!)

How many today are in God's "school?"

Let me answer that.

If you are saved and right with the Lord ... growing in God's marvelous Grace, you ARE in school!

Want proof?

Again listen to Paul in Hebrews 12:8 --- "But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons."  That noun chastisement means "child-training" or instruction!

If you are saved ... a real "child" of God ... you are being trained and chastened and goaded and taught regularly!  (If you are not in school ... not being "child-trained" ... not being chastened ... you are NOT God's son!  That's plainly what Hebrews 12:8 is saying!)

Attention, class!

Come to order please!

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Jesus loved the word "Comforter."  He used it four times to describe the Holy Spirit of God!

The Greek noun for "Comforter" is "parakeltos" and means one called ("kaleo") alongside ("para") a person to help him and encourage him and strengthen him for the battles of tomorrow!

But in Isaiah 50:4 God the Father is said to wake Jesus each morning and teach Him "how to speak a word in season to him that is weary."

Here's the whole verse.  (Actually it is Jesus doing the talking!)  "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."  Wow!

It sounds to me like Jesus is a Comforter too!

That verb "know" (in Hebrew = "yada") means to know intimately or thoroughly.  Of course Jesus mastered His subject here.  If He is being prepared to encourage those who are weary ... He will be the BEST Exhorter the world has ever seen!

The verb "speak in season" is unusual.  It translates "uth," a word meaning initially "to hasten!"  It means to help someone hurriedly, immediately or without delay!  It is only used here in the whole Bible, making it even more unique. (It is an infinitive suggesting that the "action" is constant and progressive too!)  Jesus habitually spoke kind words to the weary!

So Jesus, long before Paul, knew how to speak "in season and out of season" the precious Word of God!  (See 2 Timothy 4:2!)

The noun "word" is "dabar" and means "that which is arranged orderly" (and when used of words it implies forethought)!  It emphasizes the "words" themselves ... NOT the act of communicating them.  (Knowing exactly what to say!)

And the condition of the needy soul here ... he is "weary!"  In Hebrew it is spelled "yaeph" and means faint or fatigued or exhausted!  It's from a root verb that means "to tire." 

The first Bible use of this word "weary" is in Judges 8:15 where it is said in Gideon's day:  "... That we should give bread unto thy men that are weary?"  BREAD to the WEARY!  Is That not precisely What Jesus is?  BREAD to the weary!  (What foreshadowing the Bible uses here!)

When King David, fleeing the Throne in front of murderous Absalom, grew "weary" or "faint," the Lord provided him bread and fruit and wine!  (2 Samuel 16:2)

And the word occurs 4 times in Isaiah 40 alone!  The chapter that begins:  "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God."  (Verses 28, 29, 30 and 31!)  Here's a sample:  "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."  Isaiah 40:31

And the Lord not only calms the weariness of people.  To the wicked He can bring weariness!  Listen to Jeremiah 51:64 where God commands His Prophet:  "And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah."  Amazing!

Jesus is an Expert at dispelling weariness and discouragement!

Dear friend, why don't you TODAY just get down on your knees ... and bring all your burdens to the dear Lord. 

HE can handle them!

He can remove them!

1 Peter 5:7 says we are to obey these words:  "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."

If you will try Him ... He will not disappoint you!

The old songs says:  Take your burdens to the Lord ... and leave them there!"

He is a Comforter!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Jesus has told us that when He was on earth, His Father woke Him every morning, teaching Him "how to speak a word in season to him that is weary!"  Isaiah 50:4

I thought today that we would (reverently) examine our Lord's Life and see how well He did at learning this lesson from the Father!

"How to Speak a Word in Season to Those who are Weary" It's a class!  It met daily for three and a half years!  Encouragement 101!  Encouragement 201! Encouragement 301! And, amazingly, Encouragement 401!

Jesus beings early as one day (at age 12) He encourages his distraught mother and Joseph too.  They thought Jesus was lost at the Temple.  But, no ... "And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?"  Luke 2:49

How appropriate!  What could uplift them any more than knowing that He ... still so  young ... was tight on track with His Father's Will!

And He no sooner began His preaching Ministry that He taught:  "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted."  Matthew 5:4  (That's encouraging too!)

And listen to Him by Matthew 11:28-30!  "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."  (He's doing well, isn't He?  In fact the Bible says:  "He hath done all things well."  Mark 7:37)

And how many times did He say, "Fear not!"  (I have found 8 times!)

Or ... "Peace be unto you!"  (Especially in John's Gospel!)

He's the Perfect Student!

Even in Revelation Jesus is still the Comforter to the weary and fearful!  John tells us in Revelation 1:17 --- "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last ...."

But maybe the first Epistle of John is Jesus' "Report Card" in this area of help and encouragement!

There we are told that Jesus was not just a Comforter here on earth!

He, now in Heaven with a resurrected and glorified and victorious Body, having obtained eternal redemption for us ... is even now still the Constant Encourager!

He prays for us constantly!  ("He ... ever liveth to make intercession!"  Hebrews 7:25)

He is "touched with the feeling of our infirmity!"  (Hebrews 4:15)

And He defends us from the malicious accusations of the devil!  He is our Lawyer in Glory!  (Where's that verse, Preacher Bagwell?)

In 1st John 32:1 begins  --- "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."  (1 John 2:1-2)

See the word I have capitalized?


It is in Greek "parakletos" and is identical to the word translated COMFORTER time and time again in the New Testament!

Jesus is Our Comforter in Heaven!  (The Holy Spirit is our Comforter on earth!)

Did Jesus learn well His Lessons on "speaking a word in season to the weary soul?"



So well ... that He has never quit doing so!

What a Saviour!

Anyone today discouraged?

Come to the Counselor.  He will help you.

After all, He has trained for eternity!

Let's listen to just a little bit of class today:  "Thou (Lord) wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."  Isaiah 26:3

Glory to God!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Our Lord says that His Father "opened His ear!"

What does that mean?

Isaiah 50:5 --- "The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back."

He is speaking of His future suffering on the Cross I believe.

Some Preachers of past years believe that the "opened" ears imply an action that was performed on a loving servant (slave) in the days of Moses. 

When, in Old Testament days, a slave had served his obligated time and was due to be released, he could refuse to be set free!  He could, out of love and respect for his Master, ask to be allowed to continue serving! 

If the Master approved, the following act was conducted: "Then thou shalt take an aul, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant for ever. And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise."  Deuteronomy 15:17 

Therefore a willing servant who loved his Lord would be "marked" for life with a hole in his ear made by its being pierced with a sharp "ice-pick" like aul!  His ear lobe had been "opened!"

Maybe Jesus is saying that He is gladly a willing and loving Son and Servant of His dear father in heaven!

All Christian service, while definitely commanded, is also to be rendered out of such a spirit of submission and honor and love!

Our ears too should be so "opened" to our Lord!

But as I noticed the places the Holy Spirit has used this word for "opened" (in Hebrew = "pathach") I saw an amazing truth unfold!

The verb means "to loosen" or "to plow" or "to open wide!"  In our King James Bibles it is translated "engraved" several times too.

Let me show you what I mean.

Because Jesus accepted the Father's Will and allowed His ears to be "opened" ... other things have been now "opened" too.

All these instances use the verb "pathach" in the very same form as is in Isaiah 50:5, our verse for today.  (That's the Qal Perfect 3rd Person Singular.)

Psalm 105:41 tells us of the Lord:  "He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river."  (When Israel was in the dry desert wilderness.) The Lord created a fissure in the Rock (allowing life giving water to flow freely to a thirsty people), Which is a type of Jesus being pierced on the Cross, giving by Grace the everlasting water of life too!

There's more than just a "hint" of the Gospel in this.

And because Jesus was pierced and "opened," shedding His precious saving Blood ... something else is opened to us Believers!

2 Chronicles 29:3 --- "He (good King Hezekiah) in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them."

Because Jesus' ears were opened ... and His side was opened (the cleft in the Rock) ... the House of the Lord is also opened!  We can come into our Father's Presence and worship and pray and commune!

But something else also has been opened.  Psalm 78 tells us: "Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, and had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven."  The doors of Heaven are open!  (Because of Jesus!)

This is getting better and better!

Yet I'd like to show you one more thing. 

Jeremiah 50:25 --- "The LORD hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this is the work of the Lord GOD of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans." 

God's weapons house is opened.  We have all we need to fight the fight of faith!

Also His wrath is opened.  ("The weapons of His indignation!")  Jesus was "opened" to give salvation to lost mankind.  But if man rebelliously rejects year after year, God's wrath will some day be "opened" upon his lost soul! (John 3:18 --- "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." And John 3:36 --- "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.")

And, add this, the Hebrew word for "opened" ("pathach") is derived from a root that means "door" ("pethach")!  See the similarity?

Jesus, Who willingly was "opened,"  is the (open) Door!

I point you to John 10:7 and 9.  "Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep."  Amen!  And "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."

All this from an "opened" ear!

And we are the beneficiaries!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Jesus, by means of Bible prophecy, said something in Isaiah 50:5 that helps me greatly.

He has been talking about His Father's Will for His Life ... and He remarks:


What a thought!

This short statement is loaded with meaning.

Each word in our sentence is clearly represented in the Hebrew text.

The pronoun "I" is spelled "anokiy" and is placed first in this little clause.  That grammatically places great emphasis on the Speaker!  Jesus, and Jesus alone ... is the One Who can make such a statement!  He is the uniquely non-rebellious One! (The rest of us have sinned.  We are all rebels!)

Even the particle "not" (in Hebrew = "lo") is distinct in meaning.  It indicates the absolute negation of the thought at hand!  Jesus is definitely NOT rebellious!

And the verb "was rebellious" translates "marah" which means "to be bitter, to be unpleasant, to resist or to provoke" ... hence, to rebel! 

The word is found 44 times in the Bible. 

The word is used to describe Israel again and again (a grumbling, stiff-necked people who constantly rejected God's Word) throughout the Old Testament.  Things got so bad that in Deuteronomy 9:24 God says of them:  "Ye have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you."

Yet what Israel was ... Jesus came and refused to be!

We Gentiles were sinners (rebels) too ... Jesus came and refused to be what we were as well!

He remained sinless, spotless, undefiled!

He rebelled not!

An interesting Bible study would be to survey the whole history of Israel and analyze the times she rebelled!  (Then preach the results in the average Bible believing Church!)

Friend, Jesus was so non-rebellious ... so "obedient" that He died on the Cross for you and me!

Here's how Paul puts it:  "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."  Philippians 2:5-8

This "non-rebellion" is important in living a godly spiritual life.  If you don't think so listen to what Samuel told Saul one dark day:  "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king."  That's in 1st Samuel 15:23

Now let's listen to Jesus one more time!  Psalm 40:8 --- "I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart."  These words are repeated in Hebrews 10:7-9.  That's submission!

And in Gethsemane He prayed:  "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done."  Luke 22:42

This Thanksgiving ... reverence and adore and worship Him Who "was not rebellious!"

Then ask the Lord to show you a way in which you can be more obedient!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Jesus is described in Isaiah 50:5 as the obedient Son of God ... Who "neither turned away back!" 

Here is the whole verse:  "The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back."

Jesus was no quitter!

I believe I'll go this far.  Jesus was NEVER discouraged!  Not one single minute of one day is His earthly life!

Here's why I say that.  Isaiah 42:4 tells us that ... "He (Jesus) shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law."

Aren't you glad He didn't quit ... when He learned of his manner of birth?  (Born in abject poverty!)

And He didn't quit when the devil accosted Him in the wilderness (40 days of temptation)!

He didn't quit when folks called Him names either!

He didn't even quit during that long illegal trial before wicked "puppet" judges!

And He didn't quit on the Cross!

Praises be unto Him!

The verb "turned away" is in Hebrew spelled "sug" and means to backslide or turn back or move away from something! 

It has a thought similar to the little Greek word "apostasy" (or the verb "apostasize").

Jesus never stepped away from the Faith!

He remained faithful!

Paul tells us of Jesus in 2 Timothy 2:13 --- "If we believe not, yet he (Jesus) abideth faithful."

The first two Bible occurrences of our verb are in association with removing a neighbor's landmarks!  (Deuteronomy 19:14 and 27:17)

The wicked have "turned back" ... but not the godly!  Psalm 53:3 --- "Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."  Wow!

The word "sug" also can mean the "dross" (waste material) that is removed from silver when it is refined!  Here's the Bible proof.  "Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross ("sug") : all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver."  Ezekiel 22:18

There's nothing in Jesus that is like dross!  He is genuine and pure and Holy!

Once during Jesus' earthly ministry some of His friends warned Him about Herod's deceit and wrath.  They felt it too dangerous for Jesus to linger in a certain territory. Jesus responded boldly.  Here's that account:  "The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee. And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.  Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem."  Luke 13:31-33

Let me say it again ... He never "turned back!"

In fact, and this scared the devil immensely ... Jesus did not run from His Hour (the Cross) ... He instead ran toward it!  Luke 12:50 records Jesus saying:  "But I have a baptism (the Cross) to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!"

What courage!

What determination!

What faithfulness!

What a Saviour!

(So dear Preacher friend. the next time some bossy gossiping woman gets mad at you, what are you going to do?  Or some backslidden deacon disagrees with you and call for you to resign?  Follow Jesus!  Do not turn back!  Fight!  Defeat the Devil!  Be a man!  Let God be true and every man a liar!  See Romans 3:4.)

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




In a real way the prophecies of Scripture are a miracle!

How can the Bible, 700 years before an event, predict and describe it with such accuracy?

Only God knows the end of an issue at its very beginning!

Today's verse illustrates my point.

By means of prophecy Jesus says in Isaiah 50:6 --- "I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting."

This is a precise depiction of the Lord's ordeal on the Cross of Calvary!

The verb "give" (in Hebrew = "nathan") means to yield or to deliver or to grant!  (It's a "perfect" verb, telling us that this event is now completed.  Jesus will NEVER give Himself to be beaten by the devil's crowd again!)  It also shows us that Jesus' sufferings were voluntary! 

The noun "back" (only used 7 times in the Bible) is once translated "body" in the King James Bible.  See Isaiah 51:23.  The Hebrew word is "gev."  Here's a brief Bible "history" of our little word:  In Nehemiah 9:26 Israel has thrown God's Law behind her back!  And in 1 Kings 4:19 and Ezekiel 23:35 Israel has put God Himself behind her back!  BUT because Jesus went to the Cross and suffered, shedding His precious Blood ... and allowing His back to be beaten too, God can save repentant sinners!  He can do what Isaiah 38:17 says and place our sins behind His back!  (That's the Gospel in this word for "back!")

A rod for the "back" seems to be a "proverb" in Israel.  For example see these verses. Proverbs 10:13 --- "In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding."  Proverbs 19:29 --- "Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools."  Proverbs 26:3 --- "A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back."  But Jesus was neither void of understanding nor a fool!  But He took the place of silly foolish sinners and died on their behalf!

The word for "smiters" carries the idea of those who beat, strike, wound, slay, kill or slaughter!  It is a strong word!  (Used 500 times in the Bible!)  What God would not let happen to Cain (one to "kill" him) ... He allowed to happen to His only Son!  What Grace! Genesis 4:15, to which I have just alluded, is the first time in Scripture this word "nakah" is used.  The last time it is used (Malachi 3:24) God is trying to avoid smiting the earth with a curse!  So ... the first, the last and the present (Isaiah 50:6) uses of our word are all painted heavily with Grace!  (Multi-colored, "manifold" Grace ... Peter says!  1st Peter 4:10)

Jesus also gave His "cheeks" to His enemies during His Passion!  The word can also mean jaw or jawbone.  (Yet Samson took the "jawbone" of an animal and slew a thousand Philistines!  And he did so in a place called "Lehi," the place of the cheek!) Jesus too went to the place of beaten cheeks ... and slew the enemy called the devil! 

And in lovely Bible typology, the Church describes the Bridegroom (Jesus) in the following manner ... "His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers!"  See Song of Solomon 5:13.

"Plucked off the hair" is a verb that means to peel!  Or to make bald!  (And one recurring word picture for this word in the Old Testament is that of a polished sword, ready to use any moment!  Ezekiel 21:14 and 15 and 16 and 33 speak of the "furbished" sword!  Those who rebelliously reject Jesus' suffering and death and Blood atonement, will some day face the terrible sword of God's wrath!)

Then ... at the Cross Jesus' face is One exposed to shame and spitting!  (However the next time His face is seen that will not be the case!  John on Patmos describes Christ's glorious face in these terms:  "His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire."  And ... "His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength." Revelation 1:14 and 16)  What a change!

The noun for shame means insult or disgrace or dishonour!  Psalm 4:2 talks about wicked men turning God's Glory into shame!  That's exactly what happened at the Cross!  The root of the word is: to taunt, to mock, to insult!

And "spitting" (in Hebrew = "roq") is a despicable act to the Jew.  Yet Jesus endured the indignity ... to save us from Hell!  (Jesus knew this was coming too!  He told His disciples of it in advance.  See Luke 18:30.)  Matthew 27:30 describes the fulfillment in these words:  "And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head."

Oh, how He loved you and me!

To endure this for old sinners is one thing!

To know for eternity that you were going to endure it (and then do so) is quite another!

No wonder Paul says we need to learn the breadth and length and height and depth of such love!  (Ephesians 3:17-19)

It just may be "measureless!" 

Again, here's Paul: "And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge!" Ephesians 4:19

Jeremiah called it:  "an everlasting love!"  Jeremiah 31:3 --- "The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee."

Glory to God!

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Today's world is saturated with "How to do it" books of all kinds.

Then add to those the "Self-help" books and you nearly have a contemporary bookstore!

But now we are being flooded with what I call "Success" books as well.

Yesterday I saw a book that discussed 28 attitudes guaranteed to bring success!

I thought of this world's foolish philosophies and how hopelessly inadequate they really are as I read today's verse.

Isaiah 50:7, talking about Jesus (in fact, putting these very words into the mouth of Jesus), says:  "For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed."

What a verse!

When we preach about our Lord, how do we ignore such verses as this one?

Of course, the "liberals" and Bible haters (maybe I should say the Jesus haters) will not admit that Isaiah 50 (or any other Old Testament chapter for that matter) has Jesus in view.

But this preacher says that none but Jesus can be the literal fulfillment of these words!

Jesus is absolutely sure as He faces life on earth (in general) and the Cross of Calvary (in particular) that He says:  "The Lord God will help me."

That Title of our great God, "the Lord God," translates "Adonai Jehovah!"  The God Who is Master and Boss and Ruler of my life (Adonai) and the God Who is eternal and self-existent and triune and burdened with the salvation of sinners (Jehovah) will aid My Mission!  So thinks and declares our Lord Jesus!

The verb "help" is "azar" in Hebrew and means "to surround, to protect or to aid!" The time action of this word is "incomplete."  That means it describes on-going constant help from God!  This conviction (of God's help) is so strong in Jesus' mind and heart that He repeats it word-for-word again in verse 9 of Isaiah 50!  For its first use in the Bible see Genesis 2:18 where Eve is created to be a help MEET to Adam! Wow!  Jesus just said that the Father is His Companion, His Help Meet! 

As a result of God's help, Jesus is assured that He will not be "confounded!"  This word is "kalam" and means "to be ashamed or to blush!"  (To be put to confusion!) Twice in the Old Testament however this word is rendered "hurt!"  See 1st Samuel 25:8 and 15 for those two occasions.  The "root" of the verb means "to be wounded!" Jesus may be saying something like this:  Although the Cross will be physically and spiritually excruciating, it will not truly HURT Me permanently because I am fulfilling my Father's Will!  It has no harm for Me spiritually!

Now ... here comes Jesus' "motivation" for success!  "Therefore I have set My Face like a flint."  This is amazing!  He is talking about His resolve and determination to go to the Cross where He will die for sinners!  He never ran from the Cross ... not even in Gethsemane, no matter what any preachers say!  He ran toward the Cross! He set His Face to go there and obey His Father's Plan to save the lost!  You can hear His determination in the verb "have set" (in Hebrew = "sum") which means "ordained, appointed, marked, disposed, turned and put!"  In a holy sinless manner, Jesus was stubbornly resolved to die on Calvary!  There was just no other way to redeem the lost!

The noun for face (as always) is here plural.  In the Old Testament this is a plural that is always used ... even when just one face is meant!  If you really wanted to press this fact, Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit (a plurality in One, the very Trinity) set their Face (Faces) to perform the sacrificial death at the old rugged Cross that day 2,000 years ago! 

The word for "flint" just means rock!  It's first Bible use is in Deuteronomy 8:15 where water came out of the flint!  (Water out of a rock! And Living Water came out of Jesus too!)  Its second Bible occurrence is in Deuteronomy 32:13 where oil came out of the rock!  (The Holy Spirit came because Jesus was crucified and glorified!) And Job 28:9 shows us God's Hand upon the rock!  And in Psalm 114:8 the rock has been turned into a fountain of waters!  (That's a survey of every time the word is used in Scripture!  They ALL depict Jesus and His Mission on earth in some way!)

Lastly Jesus "knows" something.  "Yada," this verb, can mean anything from casual acquaintance to intimate positive assurance.  I believe Jesus here is positive about it all!  He is the omniscient Son of God!

And "ashamed" translates "bush" which means initially "to pale!"  It's first Bible use is in Genesis 2:25 where Adam and Eve are not ashamed because of their nakedness. They had not yet sinned of course.  In its second Bible use (Exodus 32:1) it is translated "delayed!"  This is an implied meaning for our word, according to one concordance.  Well, on the authority of the Holy Spirit, Who wrote the Bible, it is a permissible meaning too!  Jesus could be saying here that He will not be delayed one second in His Mission to Calvary!  He wants to be the Sacrifice for sinners and wants to do so right on time!  Was He successful?  Yes!  (A thousand times, Yes!) Paul said: "In due time Christ died for the ungodly."  Romans 5:6

What a Saviour!

No wonder Luke 12:50 quotes Him on earth as saying:  "But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!"  His "baptism" was the Cross!  "Straitened" ("sunecho") means to be possessed by something!  To be taken by it ... to be held by it!  And "accomplished" ("teleo") means to reach the goal!  To be mature, to be fully furnished!  To have arrived!

Glory to God!

Talk about faithfulness!

In fact, according to Revelation 19:11 that's Jesus' Name:  Faithful"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war."

Calvary was for sure!

And we are the beneficiaries!

Don't you just love Him today?

Go to Church and worship Him this Sunday!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



LESSON 10 ... VERSE 8:

In Isaiah 50:8 we come across some of Jesus' most startling words ever!

He is speaking by means of Bible prophecy.

Listen to Him as He challenges the enemy, the devil!

"He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me." 

Here our Lord makes two statements, asks two questions, then issues a challenge!

The "context" of Isaiah 50:8 is the Cross of Calvary!  Let me prove it.  In Verse 6 Jesus states:  "I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting."  All occurred at one of Jesus' trials or at His Crucifixion!

Jesus says:  "He is near that justifieth Me."  He is speaking of His Father!  The verb "justify" means to declare clear or right (in a legal courtroom sense)!  Jesus can face the Cross if He knows His Father sees Him to be perfect and holy!  He draws strength from His Father's approval!  (Paul says once that Jesus was "Justified in the Spirit."  1st Timothy 3:16)

Then the question:  "Who will contend with Me?"  That verb "contend" means to strive or to chide.  It comes from a root verb that means to "to toss about!" (Remember Jesus telling Peter that satan wanted to sift him like wheat?  Luke 22:31)  This "contention" is first mentioned in Genesis 3:15 --- "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."  Wow!

Then Jesus asserts:  "Let Us stand together."  He is speaking to His Father I believe! The word "together" means as "one!"  The Cross is a  joint venture!  The Father, Son and Holy Spirit cooperate for the salvation of the lost!  This "imperfect" sense of timing means that they are still so standing too!

Then comes the question:  "Who is My adversary?"  The word "adversary" is "baal!" It means "archer" once in the King James Bible!  (That's its first use in Scripture!  "The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him."  Genesis 49:23)  The devil is shooting at Jesus!  It's the Old Testament word "baal!"  He's a false god or idol of the heathen!  But the Hebrew text clearly indicates that this adversary is a legal one!  It supplies the word "misphat" to modify "adversary!"  He is a prosecuting attorney attacking the sacrificial Saviour!  But this adversary, the devil, lost the case! 

Then comes the challenge!

It's astounding!

Jesus says:  "Let him come near to Me."  Wow!

Jesus looks at the the devil and says:  "Bring it on, foe!"

"We shall do battle!"

"I will defeat you righteously!"

God can now forgive sins and still be faithful and JUST!  All because of Calvary!

Again I say it!

Jesus did not run from the Cross!

He ran toward the Cross!

Devil, let's do battle!  So says our Lord!  

(Sounds like David challenging Goliath!  Or Elijah the false prophets of baal!  Get it? "baal!"  Or Habakkuk the problems of life!)

And Jesus came to earth and lived 33 years ... waiting for the battle.  Waiting for "His Hour" to come!

The "Hour" in which He "bought" with His Own precious Blood the souls of lost men and women!  We've been "redeemed!"

I've said this so much during these verses ... but here it is again:  WHAT A SAVIOUR! WHAT A SAVIOUR!  WHAT A SAVIOUR! 

                                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



LESSON 11 ... VERSE 9:

Scripture at times just gives us an overwhelming look into the very heart of Jesus!

Isaiah, the Old Testament prophet, is a "specialist" in this area!

In his 50th chapter this great preacher seems to describe our Lord's whole earthly life in a six verse paragraph (verses 4-9).

I would like to print those verses for you here.  Keep Christ Jesus in mind as you read them.  He is the One talking!

"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.  The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.  I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.  He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me.  Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up."  (Isaiah 50:4-9)

Today let's look at that last verse:  "Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up."  (Isaiah 50:9)

The opening word, "behold," simply means "Look!"  The Lord wants us to see something!

He wants to make it plain to us!

Jesus is confident that His Father (the Lord God) will "help" Him.  This is our little verb "azar" which means "to surround!"  (To protect or to aid!)

Jesus is so sure of this "Help" that He has already mentioned it back in verse seven!

And ... Jesus reasons ... "If the Fathers 'helps' Me, who can 'condemn' Me?"

(That sounds like something Paul later said in Romans 8:31 --- "If God be for us, who can be against us?"  He's thinking like our Lord!  Or maybe I should best say that the same Holy Spirit Who motivated Jesus also inspired the Scriptures Paul wrote!)

The verb "condemn" is in Hebrew "rasha!"  It is the verb form of the noun "ra" which means wickedness!  Active violent malicious wickedness!  Jesus is asking something like this:  "If God helps Me ... who can treat Me wickedly or condemn Me as wrong?" 

It looks to me like the greatest fear Jesus had about the Cross what that in some small way He would fail to please His Father!  He feared doing anything wrong on the Cross!  (And rest assured ... He lived as perfectly on Calvary as He did all the days of His life!  Absolutely sinless and spotless and undefiled!)

Those who rebel at the message of the Cross, unrepentant sinners, are robbing themselves of life ... eternal life ... abundant life!

Here's how our Lord puts it:  "They all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up."  Wow!

Jesus compares them to an old tattered piece of cloth!  To "wax old" (in Hebrew = "balah") means to wear out!

And the noun for "garment" (again in Hebrew = "beged") is their literal word for deceit or treachery!  (Yet it is primarily used in the Bible for clothing of some sort.)  I think the root of the word means "to cover" ... as "to cover" the body with clothing. But it also implies "covering" anything else ... like one's heart with some hypocritical guise in order to do harm! 

Jesus may be saying at this point that because of Calvary sin and deceit and meanness (and all other forms of iniquity) are meeting their defeat!  Sin is being conquered!  In fact, the ONLY Place where unrighteousness is purged is at the Cross of Jesus where His Blood was shed!  (Sin ... wearing out and becoming threadbare as does a bit of fabric!  Hallelujah!)

An old Puritan Man of God once preached on this subject"  "The Death of Death in the Death of Jesus!"

To that I would not add:  "The Death of Sin in the Death of Christ Jesus!"

Those who represent wickedness will be eaten by moths!

That word for "moth" is "ash" in Hebrew and is used sparingly in the Bible.  Seven times it is translated "moth" and five times as "grass!"  (Some resources use slightly different numbers here for some reason.  But the count remains low either way.)

The implication is that of transient things! Moths and grass are neither known for their longevity.

Jesus will outlast all His enemies!

If fact, He is "alive for evermore!"  (Revelation 1:18 --- "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.")

Just think what victory ... what faith ... Jesus has exuded today in this verse!

What dependence on His Father!

And what did the Father do for our Lord?

Well, we just might look at that later!

He did NOT disappoint His darling Son!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Jesus so trusted and adored and worshipped His Father that His fundamental desire was:  "That Thy Son may glorify Thee!"  (John 17:1)

Our Lord even defined eternal life itself as:  "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."  (John 17:3)

In fact, His very reason for coming to earth is expressed in John 17:4:  "I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do."

He relied on His Father for everything!

Listen to Him in John 5:19 --- "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise."

Or John 5:30 --- "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."

And "But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me."  John 5:36

Plus John 8:28 --- "Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things."

Even to His very words ... "I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father."  John 8:38

And to His very desires!  "And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him."  John 8:29

Read John 8:49 --- "But I honour my Father."

He even hinged His credibility on His Father!  John 10:37 --- "If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not."

Jesus yet today answers prayer based on the Father's very glory!   "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." John 14:13

His motive for enduring the Cross dealt with His Father even!  Read John 14:31. "But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence (to Calvary)."

Then in Isaiah 50:7-9 ... listen to Jesus as He depends on the Father!  "The Lord God (the Father) will  help Me!"  And "He (the Father) is near that justifieth Me!"  And "Let us (the Father and the Son) stand together!"  Then again He says:  "The Lord God will help Me."

Jesus drew strength constantly from His Father!

But here's my question today. What has the Father done for the Son ... in light of such great obedience?

On the Cross it appears that the Father forsook the Son!  ("And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"  Matthew 27:46)

BUT ... listen to me today.

God is trustworthy!

God is faithful!

The Father did everything He promised to (and for) His darling Son!

Truly it could be said in Jesus' situation also that the Father kept His Word!  "Not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof."  Joshua 23:14

Here are some things the Father has done!

All because of Jesus' obedient death on Calvary! 

Jesus never doubted one of them ... not for a moment!

"And being found in fashion as a man, he (Jesus) humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  Philippians 2:8-11

Also the Father is going to make all His Son's enemies to be His footstool!  See Psalm 110:1. "The LORD (the Father) said unto my Lord (the Son), Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool."

We likely have no idea the honor the Father has heaped upon His perfect Son, our precious Saviour and Lord!

In fact, for all of eternity the Godhead will be glorified due to Calvary!

Jesus' faith was not in vain!

The Father kept His Word!

And, Christian friend this Wednesday, your true faith is not in vain either!

God will keep His promises to you as well!


                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell


If you have thoroughly studied these twelve lessons ... you're a much better than average Bible student!  There's a lot of detail here.  Now, ask the Lord to let you share this truth with others!  What a lovely view of Jesus Isaiah 50 has presented!



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