A Different Emphasis – Isaiah 42

Speaking through the prophet Isaiah, spiritual counselor to those who reigned from David’s throne in Jerusalem, the Lord tells us of a coming Servant who will be quite different from any of Judah’s kings we have seen to this point.

1 “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold,
My Elect One in whom My soul delights!
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.
He will not cry out, nor raise His voice,
Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.
A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench;
He will bring forth justice for truth.
He will not fail nor be discouraged,
Till He has established justice in the earth;
And the coastlands shall wait for His law.”  Isaiah 42:1-4 NKJV

Like Isaiah, this new Servant will be chosen by God and will have access to God’s Spirit.  He will be humble in nature, gentle to those who have been through difficult times or suffering, and encouraging all who seek Him.

Through God’s spirit, this Servant will establish justice and truth all the way to the coastlands, a Biblical reference to the ends of the earth.  People everywhere will watch and listen attentively for His commands.  It will take time for this new kingdom to be established over the entire earth.  But He knows that it is coming, and patiently awaits its final establishment, not worrying about human efforts to stop it along the way.

Like Abraham, Moses, and David before Him, this Servant will please God and bring Him delight.  But there will also be a key difference.  Those three and others like them were primarily focused on God’s mission of calling out a people to Himself, the Jewish nation.  This nation was separated out for Him and made holy for a specific purpose – to worship God, establish His temple and throne in Jerusalem, and ultimately, to attract the whole world to the Lord by sharing His wonders and the message of His love.  

As we have seen, Israel, like us, was often distracted by idol worship and sin and fell short in their global mission.  Both their Northern and Southern Kingdoms would turn away from God, fall to the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires, and be taken from their land into exile.  Though many would later return and rebuild the temple, it will be through this new Servant that God will complete the mission of reaching out to reconcile the people of the world with Himself.

Isaiah informs us that a primary mission of this new Servant will be not only to bring justice to Israel, but to all those in the world not of Jewish origin, the Gentiles.  Though always part of God’s plan, this new emphasis points to something quite different – a Messiah reaching out to each and every person on this earth.

Who is this caring King – a humble, loving, gentle Servant reaching out to the whole world to bring reconciliation and justice to all?  None other than Jesus Christ.  He would come to bear the sins of you and I on a cross, taking our place to die the death we deserve, then rising from the dead by the power of the Spirit.  He ascended into heaven and will one day return to establish justice and global peace.  He will never fail or be discouraged in His mission.

Do you know this Servant today?  Reach out for His loving hands – He loves you.  You are His emphasis.

Reflection

Where do you need justice today, or maybe just a little reassurance or a hug?  Let Him know.  If you do not yet know Him, reach out.  He longs to hear from you, and wants to give you the very best.

Father God, thank you for this wondrous miracle of a day You have given us.  Bring healing and relief to all who are sick, suffering or going through hard times or pain, including the pain of injustice.  We ask that You bring hope and freedom to all who seek You.  Help us to do the things today which bring both You and us joy and delight.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

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