Bible Society of South Africa

Holy Week: Tuesday of Holy Week

First reading

Israel, a Light to the Nations

1Listen to me, distant nations,

you people who live far away!

Before I was born, the LORD chose me

and appointed me to be his servant.

2He made my words as sharp as a sword.

With his own hand he protected me.

He made me like an arrow,

sharp and ready for use.

3He said to me, “Israel, you are my servant;

because of you, people will praise me.”

4I said, “I have worked, but how hopeless it is!

I have used up my strength, but have accomplished nothing.”

Yet I can trust the LORD to defend my cause;

he will reward me for what I do.

5Before I was born, the LORD appointed me;

he made me his servant to bring back his people,

to bring back the scattered people of Israel.

The LORD gives me honour;

he is the source of my strength.

6The LORD said to me,

“I have a greater task for you, my servant.

Not only will you restore to greatness

the people of Israel who have survived,

but I will also make you a light to the nations —

so that all the world may be saved.”

7Israel's holy God and saviour says

to the one who is deeply despised,

who is hated by the nations

and is the servant of rulers:

“Kings will see you released

and will rise to show their respect;

princes also will see it,

and they will bow low to honour you.”

This will happen because the LORD has chosen his servant;

the holy God of Israel keeps his promises.

Isaiah 49:1-7GNBOpen in Bible reader
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