Read: Isaiah 49:1-6
The LORD said: It is too small a thing that you should just be my servant to raise up only the tribes of Jacob and to restore the ones I have preserved in Israel, so I will appoint you to be a light for the nations, so that my salvation will be known to the end of the earth.
Isaiah 49:6 (EHV)
God Has Bigger Plans
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Today’s Bible verse almost sounds like the happy ending of a movie. The Servant of the Lord arrived to deliver God’s people who turned away from the Lord. They needed his rescue and help. So God specially chose this Servant to carry out the important work of saving God’s people. But there was a problem. It was hard work, sad work, even painful work. The Lord’s Servant would suffer so much. He would be lonely. He would face rejection and attacks from his enemies. He would even face death for all those who rejected him. His work would seem empty and unsuccessful.
But God had bigger plans. Through that hard, sad, painful work, the Lord’s Servant would rescue the people of ancient Israel. He would save them from their sins and from death, but God had even bigger plans! The Lord’s Servant wouldn’t just restore God’s Old Testament people, but he would reveal God’s glory to people all around the world, even to you where you live! “I will appoint you to be a light for the nations, so that my salvation will be known to the end of the earth.” The good news of God’s salvation wouldn’t just be for one group, but for all people.
Maybe you’re wondering, “Who is this Servant of the Lord who is going to do these incredible things?” Isaiah is hinting, “It’s Jesus!” Jesus’ calling was to be a servant. A servant-baby. A servant-Savior. Saving an entire planet of human beings is the dirtiest, hardest, most back-breaking, thorn-crowning, nail-driving work. Jesus would suffer. His work would seem empty and unsuccessful, but the Servant would triumph! Now we can live in joy and triumph. Like a small boy at a football game who jumps up and down shouting, “We’ve won, we’ve won!”—even though all he did was watch—we too can shout, “We’ve won!” over the victory that Jesus won for us.
But God has even bigger plans! Jesus is “a light for the nations.” The big plan is for Jesus to be God’s light to everyone still in the dark about him. He wants to save everyone! And Jesus carried out that plan perfectly. Now that’s a happy ending!
Lord God, through your Son, our Savior Jesus, shine the light of your salvation in our lives, in the lives of the people we love, and in the lives of people around the world. 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 your favorite happy ending in a book or movie?
- What’s the happy ending if Jesus is a “light for the nations”?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- In your own words, describe God’s “bigger plans” (Read verse 6 again.)
- Name at least one way God shines the light of his salvation into your life.
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Why was it “too small a thing” for God to just save the people of Israel?
- It’s important for us to understand that God sent Jesus to be “a light for the nations.” How does that impact how you look at people who are different from you in some way?