April 29

Isaiah 42-44, Psalm 119:1-32

In today’s reading, Isaiah 42:1-9, we come to the first of the four “servant songs” in the book of Isaiah. The other “servant songs” are found in Isaiah 49:1-13, 50:4-11, and 52:13-53:12. As a result of these passages and others in Isaiah, this book is sometimes called the fifth gospel and Isaiah 40-66 is sometimes called the New Testament of the book of Isaiah. In these passages the Messiah is shown to be God’s meek and gentle Servant. As we go through all of these passages we will see this Messiah atoning for the sins of the world and delivering the world from the prison of sin. The Jewish people found it difficult how to reconcile this suffering servant Messiah, whom they called Messiah ben Joseph, with the many passages revealing the Messiah as the conquering, ruling, judging Messiah that they called Messiah ben David. We know that Jesus will fulfill both roles, the second role with His second coming. Amazing prophecy about this in Zechariah 12:10, “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.”

The first 3 verses of Isaiah 42, “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 a smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth.”, are quoted in Matthew 12:18-20 being directly applied to Jesus. The bruised reed and the smoking flax are considered worthless and broken objects which the world steps on and eliminates. But we are these worthless and broken objects, due to sin, and our Savior as depicted here lifts us up and breathes fresh life into us. Notice in verse 6 of Isaiah 42, “I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness, And will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the Gentiles.” This verse, along with Isaiah 49:6, shows that Jesus was opening up the kingdom to the Gentiles. In Isaiah’s day, Gentiles were despised, in fact most Jewish people would avoid touching and even burn their clothes if they touched a Gentile. We know that before Jesus, we Gentiles were without hope, but through Jesus we are one with the Jewish people. In fact in Galatians 3:28, Paul says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

As the suffering Servant, in the site, Got Questions, it states that He was a servant for four reasons: Jesus always did the will of the Father, Jesus never sought to please Himself but always to please the Father, Jesus finished the work that God had sent Him to do (John 17:4), and Jesus came to glorify the Father. In John 17, Jesus prays that we would be like Him. May we all take the example of Jesus seriously, and as He said in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Aaron Salvato