Have you ever felt like you had utterly failed? After pouring your blood, sweat, and tears into something, you had zip to show for it? If so, you’re not alone! Tomorrow’s Old Testament reading, Isaiah 49:1-7, is the second of the Servant Songs in that book. “I said, ‘I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity.’” That’s from verse 4.
Oh well, it must be time to pack it in! I guess he (or she) is finished. Wait, not so fast! “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of…Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth” (v. 6). After failing, the servant’s mission is actually expanded. It’s expanded to include everyone, to be a light to the nations!
Author Bill Long says it well. “The most remarkable thing that emerges from this passage for me is the way that extended or increased ministry is given to the Servant of God at the point of frustration.” Right when it looks like all is lost, God provides a do-over like none other!
That seems like a pretty good picture of resurrection from the dead.
(The image comes from tapiture.com/image/expectations-violated-28)