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June 10: Isaiah 42
Deuteronomy 15; Psalm 102; Isaiah 42; Revelation 12
Understanding the book of Isaiah requires discerning which “servant” he is talking about, and it’s not always obvious. As D.A. Carson points out, Isaiah has thus far described four people as God’s servant: himself (6:8; 20:3); Cyrus (see yesterday); the nation of Israel as a whole (41:8-20); and Hezekiah’s chief steward Eliakim (22:20).
But now in chapter 42, Isaiah prophecies of another servant, who will be qualitatively different from the rest. God delights in him and places His Spirit upon him, that he might bring justice to all the nations (1). Though we would expect it, he will not complain when treated unjustly (2), and he treat those who are on the verge of breaking with same gentle heart (3). Justice, justice, justice he will bring “in the earth” (4).
His mission is qualitatively different than all the rest. God commissions and empowers this servant with the same power that He spoke all things into being as Creator (5). Though living in the world, he will possess unfallen perfection (6). He will complete the original covenant that God made with Abraham (Gen. 15); he is the flaming torch to God’s smoking fire pot (Gen. 15:17). And by his own light (6) will he open the nations’ eyes and free their souls from death (7).
No wonder Isaiah sings praise for the day these words are fulfilled (Luke 4:21). Yet the heart that praises Him will also take His words to heart (25), repent of idols (17), and submit afresh to His law (24).