/ Burn Out - Isaiah's Servant Songs / Andrew Kerr

Burnt Out?

You're bruised, badly crushed! You're gutted, deeply hurt! You're through, nearly spent! You're burst, half-exhausted! Loud sighs, weary gasps! Quite dark, pretty bleak! You're convinced that one more stress will be the straw that breaks your camel-back! You tremble as your pray: 'Lord, please act quick, you know I'm heading for burn-out!'

But, just as the flame of your resistance starts to wane, two huge and friendly hands draw comfortingly close to cheer and cup your heart: storms almost killed your torch, but now two lips purse as they exhale to shield and soothe: you read and pray, get a call or take advice, and much to your surprise, a gentle, soft, kind whisper begins to fan the wick to life - the flax starts glowing red, and, all-of-a-sudden, smoke re-ignites as flame darts out, not in burn-out, but blaze-up.

The Man is Christ, of course! These Servant hands are His - as Carpenter or Crucified well-used to wood and nails! Messiah owns this mouth! His lips, the Spirit's breath, with fresh oil out-poured to revive and replenish saints! His tender, thoughtful, approach, and most sympathetic touch, are a window into the Soul, which, for us, was stricken and de-flamed. If this is Jesus' touch, does His Spirit breathe in us, or are we 'bulls in china shops'? An O.K. Coral 'Shoot-Out' will likely mean 'Snuff-Out'!

In Isaiah's first "Servant Song" the prophet sums up our Spirit-filled Savior's docility, discretion and delicacy:

A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoking flax he will not quench - Isaiah 52:3.

Wounds might be self-inflicted. Stress may be self-induced. Pressure can almost crush. Yes, others may traumatize us. Yet the way the Servant of Yahweh so delicately deals with the half-fractured and fragile, brings purpose and meaning to all battering rams and remarks.

In his little Tyndale commentary, Alec Motyer captures the mood and modus our mild-mannered Messiah perfectly:

The negative statements imply their positive equivalents: He can mend the broken reed, fan into flame the smoldering wick. The former has been internally damaged, the latter lacks the external nourishment of oil. The Servant is competent both to cure and to supply.

Gentle Reformation advances with such Messianic traits!

Andrew Kerr

Andrew Kerr

Pastor of Ridgefield Park NJ (NYC Metro Area) - Husband of Hazel, Dad to Rebekah, Paul & Andrew, Father-in-Law to Matt, Loves Skiing, Dog Walking. Passionate for Old Testament - in Deep Need of Grace

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