BEHOLD! MY SERVANT – Isaiah 42:1-4
Presented by Marvin Griffin on February 21, 2021
“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.” NKJV
Isaiah applies the name ‘servant’ to the Messiah, to the entire nation of Israel, to the godly remnant of the people, and to Cyrus. Remember God used Cyrus to end the captivity of Israel. Usually the context makes which one is intended. In our portion, it is obvious that the Servant is the Messiah. This verified in Matthew 12 where it applies these verses to the Lord Jesus. This Servant has a very clear mandate. Three times in this short portion we hear it! “He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.” “He will bring forth justice for truth.” “till He has established justice in the earth;” I think we can see in this threepeat
What the Perfect Servant of Jehovah will do.
Behold! My Servant…The Lord calls to all people, Jew and Gentile, to behold (study, focus on) His Servant. He actually is THE Servant because He is servant to the greatest number of people. He is servant of all! “For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. (Mark 10:44). He now serves us every day by His care, love, guidance, and intercession.
Whom I uphold…The master-servant relationship is a two-way street. When someone is servant to another, the servant is required to give full service and obedience. But the master is also required to take care of the servant. We can see this as God used a Joseph to flee to Egypt with the young King of the Jews, thus avoiding the clutches of evil Herod. Enemies could not prevail against the Lord Jesus his whole life through. They thought they had the victory when they had Jesus on the cross, but no man took His life from Him, He laid it down of Himself. What a ransom for us and an offering to God!
Dear child of God, God will uphold you as well until your work for Him is done!
My Elect One in whom My soul delights…I appreciated one commentators thoughts of this phrase.
“Jesus is the ultimate Elect One, our election is really a matter of being chosen in Jesus. As Paul wrote in Eph. 1:4 ‘He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.’ ‘ In whom My soul delights.’ shows us that for the Lord, election is not a cold, calculating, technical thing. It is connected deeply with His love and approval. When God chooses someone, His soul delights in them. If you are chosen in Jesus before the foundation of the world, then God says, “My soul delights in you.”
Understanding this, helps us to receive God’s favor, instead of trying to give Him a reason to delight His soul in us! Many of us are trying to earn the approval of God, instead of realising it is His free gift, received by faith, because He has elected/chosen to delight His soul in us!
I have put My Spirit upon Him … In the gospels we read of the baptism of the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit like a dove descending on Him. How gracious of God to give us a visual of this and the audio,
“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased!” All of Christ’s service is in the power and flow of the Holy Spirit.
He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles… I am reminded of the 2nd Psalm, “I have set my King on the holy hill of Zion.” It’s as good as done in the eyes of God! No longer would sinful, cruel kings rule over the nations. Such kings who dictate who lives and who dies. Too often, it was thumbs down on a whim.
No, it’s in the plans of God. The work of His Servant is to bring justice to the Gentile nations!
V.2 He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. This is true in the political arena. Politicians of this world, as they grasp for power, insult each other, bluster and debate with overwhelming talk. Not so our Lord Jesus. When he cried out on the great day of the feast, He was simply inviting the people to receive a blessing. “If anyone thirsts, let him come unto Me and drink.” (John 7). Christ wasn’t self-assertive. Think of the quiet way that God works. He guides the sun and the planets. He refreshes the world with showers. He put the earth in the perfect place in the Milky Way galaxy to sustain life. God does all this so quietly that many people claim there is no God at all. Many people chose to ignore the humble servitude of Christ in providing salvation.
V.3 A bruised reed He will not break and smoking flax he will not quench. Brother/sister, have you been hurt by unkindness and adverse situations? Christ is working in your life to restore you, just the opposite of breaking and throwing in the rubbish heap. Remember the reed instruments can make beautiful music!
Sometimes we feel like smoking flax, more smoke than light or warmth, more discouraging than dispensing blessing. The gentle Saviour ministers to us when we need it most and in unexpected ways and the next thing we know our light is burning brighter!
He will bring forth justice to truth. I like to see this work of justice as gospel truth. You’ve heard of people stating, “It’s the gospel truth”. Well here is the gospel truth. “You must be born again.” “There is no other Name under heaven, given among men, whereby you must be saved.” “Whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” As Paul wrote to the Romans, ”that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” So in the word ‘justice’ I see salvation for a sinner like me!
V.4 He will not fail nor be discouraged The Servant is gentle but not weak. In the words of David Guzic,
“Isn’t it wonderful that Jesus never gets discouraged? When we think of the job He has to do, the obstacles He must overcome, and the tools He has to work with, it is amazing that He never becomes discouraged. It is because He has all power and authority!”
Redpath helpfully informs us, “ ‘fail’ is the same word as ‘smoking’ in ‘smoking flax He will not quench’. ‘Discouraged’ is the same word as ‘bruised’ in ‘a bruised reed He will not break’. So here is the Servant of the Lord…there are no bruises about Him, He is no mere smoking flax. He is well able to do the task of redemption because He is free from all the failures and weaknesses of His people. He has no flaws and blemishes. He is perfection and majestic strength.”
Till He has established justice in the earth Oh, that little word till (until)! Brother/sister it’s getting real close now! The anti-christ is working behind the scenes in all the current events for his takeover. He will have his day (short day), just after we get called to the glory. Then after the 7 years of the tribulation period and the battle of Armageddon that old dragon will be cast into the bottomless pit. Then the Servant will be the Sovereign of a most glorious and absolutely righteous kingdom!
And the coastlands shall wait for His law And then, justice in the earth when all people, near and far, will eagerly await every instruction from our King!