Isaiah 42 – Behold My Servant

Dear Friends,

In Chapter 41, we were introduced to Cyrus, who in the future would act as God’s servant. Also in Chapter 41, Isaiah addressed God’s servant, Israel. In Chapter 42 of Isaiah we see another one of God’s servants, Yeshua Ha’Mashiach. This week we have a glorious messianic prophecy.

Father, give us understanding as we read thy word, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Isaiah 42
1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.

Except for cleansing the temple and giving verbal rebukes to the religious leaders, Jesus did little to judge the generation He as born into. Jesus said the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. (Lk 9:56) Jesus simply spoke the truth of the gospel and gave everyone the opportunity to repent.

4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.

Before Jesus came, things like cannibalism, infanticide, and human sacrifice were commonplace. Women had almost no rights. Half of the population of the Roman empire were slaves. Today, places where the gospel has not had any influence are still steeped in darkness. The residual effects of Christianity are slowly working their way into these parts of the world as well. For example, Saudi Arabia has recently shown that they may start giving rights to women.

5 Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
6 I the LORD have called thee [Yeshua] in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

One of the things about the gospel that Jewish people have a hard time accepting is that God would ‘change the rules’ so to speak. However, He clearly stated that He was going to make a new covenant with Israel. (Jer 31:31; Heb 8:8) After Jesus fulfilled the Law with his death and resurrection, He opened the door for the new covenant, which began on Pentecost in 32 AD. The gospel is to the Jew first, but also to the Gentile. (Rom 2:10) Jesus said to his disciples, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matt 10:5,6) However, history has proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that Jesus has been and still is a light of the Gentiles. All the freedom, goodness, and upward mobility that has grown out of Western culture is the result of the gospel. For example, it was Christians who ended slavery, Christians who led the Civil Rights movement; in fact, it was Christians who invented the concept of civil rights in general. It was Christians who invented public education. It was Christians who invented the philosophies for good government on which America was founded. This world would be a much different place if Jesus had never come.

7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

This verse is both literal and figurative. Jesus literally gave sight to the blind. The apostle Peter was literally busted out of prison by Jesus. (Acts 12) Yet, how many more were in a figurative prison of some sort, then set free by the blood of Jesus Christ?? How many were in darkness, but have gained the ability to see things from a different perspective through the power of the gospel and were set free from debilitating vices that kept them in slavery??

8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

The Bible begins with a commandment not to worship idols and ends with the world worshiping the image of the beast. Maybe you are thinking that you do not worship a graven image. Do you think that your good works can somehow merit your salvation? To think we can add to what Jesus did for us with the filthy rags of our righteousnesses is insulting to Him. (Gal 3:3) It’s like if somebody gave you a mansion by the sea, tax-free, and you, in turn, gave him a penny. Then you told everyone that you bought it yourself.

9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.

Only God can tell the future. There is not a single example of prophecy anywhere in the Koran, but the Bible contains example after example of how God wrote down history before it came to pass. Here are just a few examples of how God brought to pass what He said He would concerning the Messiah:

First Gospel                                                             Genesis 3:15
Seed of Abraham                               Genesis 12:3; 22:18
From tribe of Judah                            Genesis 49:10
Heir to David’s throne                         Isaiah 9:6,7
Born in Bethlehem                              Micah 5:2
His appointed time                              Daniel 9:25
Born of a virgin                                    Isaiah 7:14
Son of God                                          Psalm 2:7
Rejected by his own                            Isaiah 53:3
Triumphal entry on a donkey               Zechariah 9:9
Sold for 30 pieces of silver                                        Zechariah 11:12
Falsely accused                                   Psalm 35:11
Silent to accusations                            Isaiah 53:7
Whipped and spit on                            Isaiah 50:6
Hated without a cause                                               Psalm 35:19
The sacrificial Lamb                             Isaiah 53:5,7
Crucified with criminals                        Isaiah 53:12
Pierced through hands, feet, and side                       Zechariah 12:10
Given vinegar to drink                                                Psalm 69:21
Soldiers gambled for his clothes                                Psalm 22:18
No bones broken                                  Psalm 34:20
Buried with the rich                               Isaiah 53:9
Resurrected                                          Psalm 49:15
Ascended to heaven                             Psalm 68:18

10 Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.
11 Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.
12 Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands.
13 The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.
14 I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.

God kept his promise and sent his Son into the world. He also promised He will come back again. The first time He came as a Lamb. The next time He will come as a Lion. If you receive Him now you will not have to incur his wrath when He returns.

15 I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools.
16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
17 They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods.

Aaron did this with a golden calf. The Catholic Church does it with a wafer and a cup of wine. But what about us? Anything I allow to come between me and my relationship with God is an idol.

18 Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see.

God is telling people to open their eyes and see the truth of the gospel. The truth of Scripture is plain to see for anyone who will seek, knock and ask for understanding while reading the Bible.

19 Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect [Jesus], and blind as the LORD’s servant?
20 Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not.

Just as Lady Justice is blindfolded, Jesus looks past all our shortcomings and imperfections; his patience with us is beyond measure; his mercy endureth forever.

21 The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:17-20

Jesus fulfilled and magnified the Law in his death and resurrection. All things in the Law pointed to Jesus, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. Once Jesus fulfilled the Law, He said It is finished. (Jn 19:30) How can our righteousness exceed the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees? The scribes and Pharisees tried to establish their own righteousness. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isa 64:6) For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (Rom 10:3) But when we receive Messiah, his righteousness is imputed to us by faith. Therefore when God looks at us, He no longer sees our filthy rags. He sees the righteousness of his Son. Whether we be Jew or Gentile, we receive this righteousness as a free gift (Rom 5 et al) through faith alone (Eph 2:8,9 et al) in Christ alone (Heb 1:3 KJV et al).

22 But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.
23 Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come?
24 Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law.
25 Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.
Isaiah 42

There is no ambiguity at the end of Chapter. Isaiah makes it clear who he is talking about. He uses both names, Jacob and Israel. Isaiah is very direct and says that God’s fury and anger are poured upon them. In a manner rather uncharacteristic for Isaiah, he ends the chapter on a sour note, but the apostle Paul says concerning Israel, For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. (Rom 11:29) God will never forsake his beloved Israel. God is holy and He must deal with sin, but He is a God that keeps his promises. He made many promises to Israel and He will fulfill them all. Jewish friend, let me say that I am sorry. I know that the so-called church has a history steeped in anti-Semitism that spans millennia. I know it’s true, but consider this: What did Jesus, Himself, ever do to hurt anyone? Why would you let yourself be robbed of the blessing of knowing Messiah because of something his supposed followers did or said? You would not think it was fair if somebody chose examples of supposed Jewish people who did bad things and equated them to Judaism. I do not think it is fair to judge Messiah by anyone or anything other than Himself and his word. Think about it. Pray about it. Messiah loves you more than you can possibly imagine.

Father, thank You for your Servant, our Messiah, Lord, and King.