March 6, 2005

Isaiah 42:1-9 Sermon Notes

Category: Bible - OT - Isaiah :: Permalink

Isaiah 42:1-9
(March 6, 2005 Sermon Notes)

During Lent, people often fast. Fasting may sometimes be appropriate as we think about our sin and Christ’s suffering. But we may not act as if we don’t know that Good Friday was followed by Easter. Jesus’ suffering was not defeat. It was victory. Isaiah 42 shapes our preparation for Good Friday this year by pointing forward to that victory.


God sends His servant to bring salvation to the world. In Isaiah, God’s chosen servant is Israel (41:8-9), through whom all the nations would be blessed. But Israel herself needs salvation. Here, God’s servant is a faithful man who will carry out Israel’s calling. That Servant is Jesus Christ, our head, but it includes us as His body.

Jesus is God’s chosen one in whom He delights, and in Christ we are too. Jesus received God’s Spirit, and in Christ we have too. Jesus will bring forth justice to the nations, and in Christ that’s our calling too.

“Justice” here involves God’s condemnation and overthrow of the idols and their servants as well as the establishment of righteousness in the world. God is going to make things right, and all who trust in Him will enjoy His justice as it comes to expression in forgiveness and peace.

The Servant will accomplish this goal by meekness and humility. He won’t quarrel or out-shout his opponents. His people will be “broken reeds” that snap and pierce his hand (Isa. 36:6). They will be smoldering wicks in a lamp, giving little light. But he won’t destroy them (Matt. 12:14-21). He lets them pierce his hand and leave him in darkness.

Is that failure? No. It’s victory. Literally, verse 4 says that he won’t be splintered (like the reed) nor will he smolder (like the wick). Even death won’t stop him from establishing God’s justice in the world to save all the Gentiles who hope in his law (= in his name, Matt. 12:21).


The Servant’s mission is backed by the God who called him, who is the creator, not just of Israel, but of the world (v. 5). He called the Servant in His faithfulness to His covenant and He won’t abandon him (or us!).

He will make him a covenant for “the people” (Israel). The covenant is a person. Only in Jesus would Israel enjoy God’s covenant promises. But so would Gentiles because He is a light to the Gentiles, to rescue them from the blindness and slavery of sin and draw them to Himself (Isa. 60:1-3). He drew us from darkness to light (1 Pet. 2:9) and now we also are the light of the world (Matt. 5:14-16).

God won’t share His glory with idols. In the end, through the servant’s work, the world will turn from idols and glorify Him alone. Just as He brought about the former things (return from exile), He will bring about this victory, too. The Servant will be successful. The Creator guarantees it!

Posted by John Barach @ 5:03 pm | Discuss (0)

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