"I will also make You a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth."
In vs. 7 the Lord speaks to punished Israel of the honor foreign kings and princes would give, presumably to the Lord, but the thrust of the passage could also/instead be talking about Israel receiving honor among the nations because of God's mention of His own faithfulness to the nation He has chosen to bear His name. Verses 8-13 is God speaking about the coming blessings to the nations through His people on "a day of salvation" (8), where the people will prosper precisely because "He [God] who has compassion on them will lead them and will guide them to springs of water" (10). God's afflicted people are not merely comforted for their own benefit (13) but for the benefit of all people; being led by the Lord is that benefit. 14-16 is a beautiful picture of how suffering draws the Israelites (Zion, the city of God, Jerusalem) to foolishly blame God for forsaking them, to which God replies that a mother can't forget her child--but even if she does, God will not forget His people. 17-21 is God's assurance that He will restore His people, to the extent that they are confused by such a magnificent turn-around of events. God says in vs. 22-23 that the exiles will return when He shows His hand to the nations, and even the royalty of the nations will be caring for the sons and daughters of Israel as servants. The purpose of God's acting? So Israel "will know that I am the Lord; those who hopefully [i.e. with hope] wait for Me will not be put to shame." 24-26 shows God saying how difficult it is to be freed from the strong, but it's not too difficult for Him. God will stand up for the Israelites against those who come against them, and the bloody fray will make clear that the Lord is Israel's Savior.
50:1-3 starts with God saying, rather poetically, that he has not divorced his people, nor has He sold them because He owes something to another nation or people. God is faithful and self-sustaining, not like an unfaithful husband or person in need of something! Israel was exiled because of their sins [iniquities and transgressions], because they avoided the Lord and didn't listen to His call. God asks them, rhetorically, if they think God is strong enough to save them? Starting in vs. 4 through the end of the chapter, the "voice" changes to one of two (or greater, I guess) possibilities: Isaiah himself or the Servant [Messiah], the one prophesied about. The latter might be the position of the NASB translators, as they capitalize the speaker's pronouns, but since I'm not sure I've opted to avoid the capitalization in the text below, mainly to avoid stacking the deck before I'm sure. Either [any] way, the speaker is a disciple (4), humiliated and opposed (6, 8-9), who is able to stand by the help and vindication of the Lord God (4, 7-9). This speaker calls his opponents to choose whose side they're on, even as he warns them that those who choose the wrong side--against the Lord God--will find nothing but torment (10-11).
This is the call of the Lord God, to turn to Him and follow as a disciple. This is the suffering of a disciple, to be humiliated and opposed for your faithfulness. This is the reward of a disciple, to be helped and vindicated by God. There can be no greater acknowledgement for faithful, steadfast service. May we all be about the work of looking like the servant who may say what the servant of 50:4-5 says:
The Lord God has given me the tongue of disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary one
with a word. He awakens me morning by morning, He awakens my ear to listen as a disciple. The
Lord God has opened my ear; and I was not disobedient nor did I turn back.
Along the lines of this same kind of thing is the way we imbue the text with our own ideas. As I addressed above, the capitalization of a speaker's pronouns [i.e. Me, My, You, Your] in the Bible differentiates between the voice of God (Me) and the voice of a human being (me). It could be that the capitalization in today's text is correct, and the speaker is the Messiah to come, but as this project is my own, and is a journey, since I am unsure I choose not to defraud myself or others into signing off on opinion. This is where the input of others could benefit my study greatly, because you may have input that informs my study. However, if it becomes clear in the coming chapters, I would ask that you bear with me in the search and let the discovery be my own, led by the Spirit in faithfulness to the word. Of course, if I happen to miss it when I get there then, by all means, set me straight! Thanks for joining me, and God bless you in your own study!