Read: Isaiah 49:1-6
And now the LORD says—
he who formed me in the womb to be his servant
to bring Jacob back to him
and gather Israel to himself,
for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord
and my God has been my strength—
“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
to restore the tribes of Jacob
and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
God’s Great Plan
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“I’ve got a plan!” These are always funny words for any fan of Scooby Doo. Whether you are watching the original Scooby Doo cartoons (the best in my opinion), some of the newer versions, one of the Scooby Doo movies, or the newest movie called Scoob!, it happens the same way almost every time. Fred usually comes up with some plan to solve the mystery. Then they split up. Then Daphne gets captured, Velma loses her glasses, and Shaggy and Scooby get lost looking for sandwiches. Finally, the team makes another detailed and tricky plan to catch the ghost. Something always goes wrong, but there’s a happy conclusion as the team ends up unmasking the ghost and finding out it was old Mr. Stevens the janitor.
This makes for fun and funny TV, but thank goodness God’s plans are nothing like an episode of Scooby Doo! God’s plans are perfect and precise. They always happen just as he promises, and they are always filled with love and grace.
Today we hear about one of God’s plans through the prophet Isaiah. These words are very special. They are a like a secret behind-the-scenes conversation that the Lord allows us to hear. The conversation is between God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. What are they talking about? Well, Jesus the Son, recognizes in verse 5 that his heavenly Father chose him specifically and specially to be born in our world as part of a great plan of grace. What was God’s plan? The Father tells us in verse 6. He was going to send his Son to the world to save people. But not just the tribe of Jacob (the Israelites)! The Father says, “I will make you a light for the Gentiles (non-Israelites), that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” God’s plan was that Jesus would come to this world to bring salvation to people all over the world and throughout all time.
Want to know something else incredible? Isaiah recorded these words about 700 years before Jesus was even born! God had this plan of salvation in mind long before Jesus even came! And not only did God promise this plan over and over, but he carried it out perfectly through Jesus for you and for me. Thank God for his perfect plans and promises, and thank God for Jesus who fulfilled that plan to bring us salvation!
Dear Lord, thank you for revealing your plan of salvation to us, and thank you for sending Jesus to accomplish that plan. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What is something you or your family planned to do that didn’t work the way you wanted?
- How did God carry out his plan to save people?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Explain why humans are so bad at accomplishing their plans and keeping their promises.
- How do you know you can always trust God’s promises?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- When would be a time in life when it might be difficult for us to trust God’s promises? Why?
- Discuss things we can do when we are struggling to trust God and his promises.
Hymn: CW 89:1-2,5 – To Jordan’s River Came Our Lord
To Jordan’s river came our Lord, The Christ, whom heav’nly hosts adored,
The God from God, the Light from Light, The Lord of glory, pow’r, and might.
The Savior came to be baptized—The Son of God in flesh disguised—
To stand beneath the Father’s will And all his promises fulfill.
The Father’s word, the Spirit’s flight Anointed Christ in glorious sight
As God’s own choice, from Adam’s fall To save the world and free us all.