“Behold, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
A leader and commander for the peoples.”
– Isaiah 55:4 NASB
This is God speaking through the prophet Isaiah. The words applied first to David. They are descriptive of the purpose for which God made him king of Israel. God gave David visibility because he was “witness” to God’s faithfulness and power. God also made David both a “leader” and “commander” of Israel. David led Israel in battle, first against Goliath and then against all its surrounding enemies. We could talk extensively about how God used David for all three of these purposes.
Because Messiah was to be David’s descendant, He would be like David…only greater! We see this, of course, in Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was “witness” to God’s faithfulness and power in innumerable ways. Through both His words and deeds, Jesus was bearing constant witness to the truth of God’s existence and His role as the Creator and Sustainer of our lives. Jesus’ miracles demonstrated these realities and His teaching explained them. The four Gospels can rightly be regarded as the deposition taken of Jesus bearing witness to God.
Messiah was also a “commander for the peoples.” (I’m saving “leader” for last.) As commander, Jesus gave commandments. He taught with authority; He didn’t just give advice. David had given the sort of commands a king gives, but Jesus gave the sort of commands that only God has the authority to give. Messiah commands.
Early in His ministry, Jesus told people to treat others as they wanted to be treated. At the end of His ministry, He told them to “love one another even as I have loved you.” Jesus was able to do this because His life demonstrated the very love He taught. This is what makes Jesus “a leader…for the peoples.” He led. He did not ask human beings to lay their lives down until He had first laid His life down. Jesus did not “lead from behind” – whatever that means. He led from the front.
Messiah outshone David as the sun outshines the moon.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord Messiah, thank You for taking the purposes and achievements of David to previously unimaginable levels. In so doing, you provide for us an example to follow. Yet who are we to attempt such lofty things? Help us understand how to use Your example to live the life that is before us today…and tomorrow we will ask about tomorrow…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.