by the Rev. Henry Huenemann
Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy on his afflicted (Isaiah 49:13).
1Listen, 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.
2And 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;
3And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.
4Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God.
5And 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.
6And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
7Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.
8Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
9That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.
10They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.
11And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.
12Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.
13Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.
Our only comfort in life and in death is that we with body and soul belong to our faithful Saviour, Jesus Christ. But in the hour of sorrow and affliction we sometimes are not fully conscious of this fact; everything seems dark, and God seems far off. It seems to us that God has forsaken us and has forgotten us. But, "can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hand." Thus the Lord comforts his people. And He will have mercy upon his afflicted. "He delivereth the poor in his affliction." He is willing and able to deliver us from the enemy that is too strong for us. We can say with the psalmist, "All my bones shall say, Lord, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?" "For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper." Therefore, "let the poor and needy praise thy name." When "the terrible one is brought to naught, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off . . . the meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel."
O Lord, we thank Thee that no one who puts his trust in Thee shall be put to shame; for Thou art a very present help in trouble. We thank Thee that Thou dost comfort us in all our affliction, and dost deliver us out of the hand of all our enemies. Thou wilt deliver us from every evil work, and preserve us unto Thy heavenly kingdom. To Thee, O Lord, be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Scripture in Devotional: Isa. 49:15, 16; 49:13; Job 36:15; Ps. 35:10; 72:12; 74:21; Isa. 29:19f.
Click here for background on Light and Comfort and the author.