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Read Isaiah 42

The Servant of the Lord

42 “Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
    and he will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout or cry out,
    or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
    he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
    In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”

This is what God the Lord says—
the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
    who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,
    who gives breath to its people,
    and life to those who walk on it:
“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
    I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
    to be a covenant for the people
    and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind,
    to free captives from prison
    and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

“I am the Lord; that is my name!
    I will not yield my glory to another
    or my praise to idols.
See, the former things have taken place,
    and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
    I announce them to you.”

Song of Praise to the Lord

10 Sing to the Lord a new song,
    his praise from the ends of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it,
    you islands, and all who live in them.
11 Let the wilderness and its towns raise their voices;
    let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice.
Let the people of Sela sing for joy;
    let them shout from the mountaintops.
12 Let them give glory to the Lord
    and proclaim his praise in the islands.
13 The Lord will march out like a champion,
    like a warrior he will stir up his zeal;
with a shout he will raise the battle cry
    and will triumph over his enemies.

14 “For a long time I have kept silent,
    I have been quiet and held myself back.
But now, like a woman in childbirth,
    I cry out, I gasp and pant.
15 I will lay waste the mountains and hills
    and dry up all their vegetation;
I will turn rivers into islands
    and dry up the pools.
16 I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
    along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
    and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
    I will not forsake them.
17 But those who trust in idols,
    who say to images, ‘You are our gods,’
    will be turned back in utter shame.

Israel Blind and Deaf

18 “Hear, you deaf;
    look, you blind, and see!
19 Who is blind but my servant,
    and deaf like the messenger I send?
Who is blind like the one in covenant with me,
    blind like the servant of the Lord?
20 You have seen many things, but you pay no attention;
    your ears are open, but you do not listen.”
21 It pleased the Lord
    for the sake of his righteousness
    to make his law great and glorious.
22 But this is a people plundered and looted,
    all of them trapped in pits
    or hidden away in prisons.
They have become plunder,
    with no one to rescue them;
they have been made loot,
    with no one to say, “Send them back.”

23 Which of you will listen to this
    or pay close attention in time to come?
24 Who handed Jacob over to become loot,
    and Israel to the plunderers?
Was it not the Lord,
    against whom we have sinned?
For they would not follow his ways;
    they did not obey his law.
25 So he poured out on them his burning anger,
    the violence of war.
It enveloped them in flames, yet they did not understand;
    it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart.

Go Deeper

Isaiah was written long before Jesus’s physical birth, and this book is a foreshadowing with the same message: He’s coming. Jesus is firstly named as the Servant, and He fulfills this role without err. Jesus lived as the Servant by bearing all of humanity’s sins and weaknesses on the cross and resurrecting three days later, so that we (in belief and through faith) could have eternal life with God! On top of that, Jesus still serves those who have accepted the Gospel by interceding for us at the right hand of God continually. What great news! Jesus paid the one-time penalty of death for our sins, AND intercedes for us in heaven? He truly is the Servant. He serves out of the contentment found in knowing that the Father loves Him and He is fulfilling His mission.

The analogy of the bruised reed and smoking flax highlights Jesus’ tenderness. Reeds are plants that are easily tossed by the wind and often damaged. A smoking flax is the wick of a lamp with dim flame that is soon to go out. When we are weak and vulnerable, Christ Himself sees our needs and cares tenderly for us. Understanding that the Father is tender towards the Son helps us to further comprehend the character of God: He is personal. Yet while being gentle, God is never weak or discouraged. God’s compassion perfectly compliments His power as both the Comforter as well as the Judge. He alone is the LORD, and is worthy of all of our adoration. This chapter continues to bridge God’s greatness with His individualized salvation for us all. 

Learning more about the character of God–His tenderness yet holiness, His compassion yet judgment, His meekness yet strength–inspires praise in us! Trusting that we have (or can have, for those who have not accepted the Gospel) an everlasting relationship with this God leads us to worship! Yet how often do we forget His character? Similar to the Israelities, we stray quickly and easily from the reality of God’s coming and stumble around without vision or direction. To wake us up from our wandering, God (like a loving Father) disciplines us. From this low place, we are met by our need for a Savior. Oftentimes, it takes being disciplined to be humble enough to see our need for Christ, and then return to Him in repentance and with a softened heart to His commands (which is the good life)! Just as the Old Covenant law was used to expose the Israelites’ sin and point them to their need for Jesus, so too are the specific things that God uses to refine us in our lives. Therefore, just as the law had a purpose, so too does our suffering.  

Much of what was occurring in the lives of the Israelities is occurring in our lives today: their message of Jesus’s coming, their complacency/comfortability, and their discipline from God. Yet Jesus shows the Father’s tenderness to us through not only His Earthly life, but also His daily intercession for us. God is higher than we are, but He made a way to be near to us forever. God chooses to refine the sin in our lives out of His tender care for us. Christ-followers are given everything that we need to fight the spiritual battle here on Earth– we have God Himself around us and inside of us, and know that He will win the war–but we are often complacent to the battle going on presently, and because of that we are ineffective soldiers in God’s kingdom. Therefore, God uses refinement to wake us up from our laziness while drawing near to us in tender love.


  1. How often do you take notice of the ways that God cares for you daily?
  2. How do you think of and treat those who are weak/vulnerable around you?
  3. How is God disciplining you as His beloved child? Are you aware of His heart behind refining your sin?

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3 thoughts on “Isaiah 42”

  1. The very nature and character of God are revealed in how he sent Jesus straight into the depravity of a sin-wrecked, messy world to rescue & redeem us. One who wields justice, yet is gentle and ushers in truth and righteousness. In our rebellion, running & ruin, he offers a covenant relationship releasing us from our self-imposed captivity. Who does that? Only a God so holy and loving and long suffering would craft a redemption plan to rescue us. Let our redeemed selves forever praise him! Speaking of praise, what a privilege it was to worship with Shane & Shane last night at HCBC. I’m sharing a link to a beautiful selection that has become my anthem.

  2. V16 These are the things I will do;
    I will not forsake them.
    One thing I noticed in reading is there is only one time an exclamation mark is used-v18 when Isaiah speaks for deaf to hear, and the blind to see! I, on the other hand, can’t read about the power of God and His promises(all the things He will do) without them!!!!!!! Praise God!! 🙌🏻🙌🏻
    John 1:9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
    One things for sure—when Jesus does come a second time, it will be instantly for those who believe to be in glory! We don’t have to wait (30+ yrs) until Jesus starts his ministry on earth to see prophesy fulfilled. It will be in an instant! No waiting, no time to get right—Raptured with Christ! 🙌🏻

  3. BUT GOD He is so amazing! I love corporate singing like we had at HCBC last night. It was a beautiful sound to His ears I believe. My imagination goes (maybe out there idk) to the angels were also singing with us at these times. Aaron Williams sang his new song Abide. That is where I want and need to be is abiding. John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. This world is throwing those fiery darts at us constantly so without our amour and abiding we will just tread water. I want to walk on that water I am so focused on Jesus!!!!!! We need each other to lift and remind so be praying for people. The Holy Spirit can prompt you or just whom ever pops into your mind for whatever reason say a pray for them. Most times there is not something we can do physically for folks BUT GOD through our prayers can intercede and help more better (sorry teachers).

    God thank You for making the way for me to be Your daughter. Thank You for allowing me to share in that corporate singing with other here last night with Your heavenly hosts to YOUR Glory, Honor and Praise!!!! Thank You for interceding through my prayers for those that I pray for at all random times during the day. God You know their needs, wants and desires. Thank You for helping them to see You through answers. God I am so amazed, in awe, in love, in joy, in adoration, without adjectives to be worshipping You!! Thank You for Your words coming out of my mouth, the actions (my actions Your wisdom through that action) that would benefit your people I encounter to bless and make a difference for them today, in Jesus name amen.

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