God’s Just Servant
Isaiah 42 | Printed Text Isaiah 42: 1-9 | Devotional Reading Psalms 98
Our lesson for today is taken from the Book of Isaiah. Isaiah was a one of the greatest and most prolific prophets of his time. He prophesized for 53 years or more during the reign of at least five kings: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah and Manasseh. Isaiah was commissioned by God through a vision in which he saw the Lord sitting on the throne in the temple, high and lifted up. Above the throne were heavenly creatures singing “Holy, holy, holy! The Lord Almighty is holy! His glory fills the world.” In the vision, God’s train of his robe filled the entire temple and God in dramatic fashion called Isaiah to service.
The Prophet Isaiah is a contemporary of Micah and Hosea. Micah served the Southern Kingdom like Isaiah, while Hosea ministered to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Isaiah has been called The Willing Servant of God, because of his immediate response to God’s call. God said, “who will go for us?” and Isaiah responded, “Here am I, Lord send me.” Traditionally, it is believed that Isaiah met his death when Manasseh, King of Judah, had him sawed in two. Many of the prophecies of Isaiah’s are about the coming Messiah and Servant King (Jesus Christ). Isaiah prophesied about 700 years before the birth of Christ.
A Judge to the Nations (Isaiah 42: 1-4)
In our lesson for today, we find Isaiah in a prophetic state speaking the words that God has given him concerning the coming of God’s chosen one who we believe is Jesus Christ. These verses are sometimes called the servant song and the writer opens with behold, (look and see) my servant whom I uphold my elect (choice), in whom my soul is delighted. The writer goes on to state, the chosen one will not shout or raise his voice in public. He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.
The servant God would send (Jesus Christ) would not have to shout or cry out in the streets to be heard and effective. He would be a righteous administrator of justice to all nations. He will be meek and lowly and embody the gentleness of a lamb as he carries out his mission from God. Although he is humble in his service, he would effectively implement righteous judgement to all nations.
A Light for the Nations (vv. 5-7)
Isaiah continues this passage of scripture by identifying God who will send the chosen one to be a light to the nations. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is the same one who created the heavens and the earth and all that dwells therein. He created the sun, moon and stars and hung them into their place in the heavenly body. He is the God who raised up the chosen one to be a servant in righteousness, encompassing integrity, honesty, and purity. God would send the chosen one, hold his hand and keep him as he serves as a light and speaks righteousness to God’s people. God would send the chosen one to fulfill the covenant he made previously with the Jewish nation and serve as a light to Gentiles who would only believe and put their hope and trust in him.
A Hope for the Nations (vv. 8-9)
This lesson concludes with Isaiah prophetically stating, I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to anyone else, nor share my praise with carved idols.” There is power and authority in the name of the Lord. It is a name above all names. It is the same God (Lord) that spoke to Moses on Mount Sanai before the Exodus. It is the name of the covenant keeper of Israel. That name, Lord, helps one to immediately identify with characteristics of God. He always keeps his word. He is a way maker who can and will see his people through the difficulties of life. He created the heavens and the earth and has all power in his hands. He is the one and only true and living God.
Next week is Easter Sunday and we will be studying Resurrection Hope. Good bless and be safe.
Happy Palm Sunday!