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But it’s been hard. I offered My back to those who whipped me,
    my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I did not turn away from humiliation and spitting.

The prophet speaks, but his words are those of the Servant of God. The Servant is in tune with God, the Master Teacher. He teaches as he has been taught, and—for the first time it seems—He understands that suffering is an integral part of the work God has for him. The reality for God’s Servant and any who follow him is this: to be close with God means to be at odds with people.

Because the Lord, the Eternal, helps me I will not be disgraced;
    so, I set my face like a rock, confident that I will not be ashamed.
My hero who sets things right is near.
    Who would dare to challenge me?
Let’s stand and debate this head-to-head!
    Who would dare to accuse me? Let him come near.

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