by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Isaiah's God is the Holy One of Israel. In God's presence we have to be morally clean. God has chosen his Servant, who will rule in righteousness in a kingdom of peace.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him (Isa. 53:2).
While we look at the suffering servant of God, the prophet raises a question: " ... to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
The "arm of the Lord" is the symbol of his strength. God did spectacular things with his "mighty arm." With his "great power and outstretched arm" he made the earth (Jer. 27:5). God's "arm" is the power to create and to redeem. "The Lord brought you out of Egypt with mighty power and an outstretched arm."
But where is the power of the arm of God in this humble servant of his, this suffering Messiah, by whom God sets up the everlasting kingdom in the present world? This servant has no beauty, no majesty, no power, no appeal.
All prophecies and visions of the book of Isaiah are presented against the impressive backdrop of world empires: Assyria, Babylonia, and Persia. The one outdid and outshone the next as a world-shaping force. But when the "arm of the Lord" was revealed (or should we say: hidden?), the heavenly kingdom was set up by a wretched figure nobody admired.
Faith is belief in the message. Faith is the discovery of the powerful arm of the Lord in the "Man of sorrows." It's the insight, against all appearances, that the only kingdom that will never lose its glory is set up and maintained by a lamb-like Figure whom we love and adore forever.
Love and justice form the strength of Christ's kingdom.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version