A New Covenant for God's People

And that new covenant is a Person.

The Coming Servant of God, Part 1: Isaiah 42, 43 (1)

Pray Psalm 126.4.

Bring back our captivity, O LORD,
As the streams in the South.

Read Isaiah 42.1-9.

Reflect.

1. How does God describe the Servant Whom He is sending? What will be the effects of His coming?

2. To what does God point to encourage His people to believe in the coming Servant?

Meditate.
The people of God have proven one thing through their disobedience: They cannot save themselves. They have failed the covenant God made with Abraham, and which He renewed and extended with Moses and David (cf. Jer. 31.31, 32). God will make a new covenant with His people, and this covenant will be embodied by His Spirit-filled Servant (v. 1), Who will bring justice and righteousness to the world (vv. 1, 4, 6).

The promise is astounding. Even the Gentiles will be embraced in the Servant’s work (v. 1), and the weak and poor (v. 3). His work will go largely unnoticed in His day (v. 2), but when it is finished, justice will flourish on earth, and even the distant coastlands will “wait for His law” (v. 4). The new covenant God is bringing in through His Servant does not negate the Law, which Israel has chronically disobeyed; it establishes it for all nations (Rom. 3.31).

God reminds the people of His credentials: He is Creator and Sovereign over all things (v. 5). He gives life and breath to every person (v. 5). He will be with His Servant as He comes to redeem the people of Israel and the Gentiles, so that He will not fail in His task (vv. 6, 4). He will bring healing and light and freedom and glory to the world, unlike the false deities Israel banked on for so long (vv. 7-9).

“Remember what I have done, based on what I have spoken,” says the Lord (v. 9). “And now I am telling you new things, before they come to pass.” He wants His people to believe His Word, rejoicing in His promises, and preparing through obedience to endure judgment with a view to the coming Servant and His redemptive work.

Remember. Believe. Obey. Hope. Here’s a formula for God’s people to embrace in every age.

Prepare.
1. The Servant will bring justice and righteousness (the Law, v. 4) to the world. How does He do that? 

2. God points to the creation to confirm the reliability of His promises (v. 5). Does He still do that today? Explain. 

3. God calls His people to “look back” and “look ahead” so that, as they “look around” at their times, they may have proper perspective for their lives. How does that work for believers today?

Moses received it, but they were not worthy. But how did we receive it? Learn! Moses received it as a servant, but the Lord himself gave it to us, that we might become the people of inheritance, by suffering for us. And he was made manifest in order that they might fill out the measure of their sins and we might receive the covenant through the Lord Jesus who inherited it, who was prepared for this purpose, in order that by appearing in person and redeeming from the darkness our hearts, which had already been paid over to death and given over to the lawlessness of error, he might establish a covenant in us by his word. Letter of Barnabas (ca. 130 AD), Letter of Barnabas 14.4-7

Lord, You have sent Jesus, Your Servant, that I might be free from sin to serve You in righteousness. Help me today to…

Pray Psalm 126.

What vision of restoration do you hold in mind, as you seek the Lord and go forth to sow for Him each day?

Sing to the Lord.
Psalm 126 (Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns)
When God restored our fortunes all, we were like those who sweetly dream.
Our mouths with joy and laughter filled, made Him our constant song and theme.

Then the astonished nations said, “The Lord has done great things for them!”
Indeed, great things our God has done, Whose Name we praise, Amen, Amen!

Restore our fortunes, Lord our King! Let grace like flowing streams prevail.
All they with tears of joy shall sing who sow while yet they weep and wail.

They who in tears of sorrow sow, and cast their seed on every hand, 
with joy shall reach their heav’nly home, and bring the harvest of their land.

T. M. Moore

Where do the prophets fit with the rest of Scripture? How can I be a better student of God’s Word? Our course, Introduction to Biblical Theology, can help you gain a better approach to and understanding of the Scriptures. Watch this brief preview video, then register at The Ailbe Seminary and enroll in this free online course.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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