The Coming Servant of God, Part 1: Isaiah 42, 43 (7)
Pray Psalm 118.1.
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Review Isaiah chapters 42, 43.
1. How many different ways does God emphasize His grace toward His people in these chapters?
2. What does God expect from those who would know His blessings? Is He just in expecting this?
The captivity of Judah and Jerusalem is approaching – not in Isaiah’s lifetime, but shortly thereafter. Undoubtedly, the people will have plenty of time to hear about the growing power of Nebuchadnezzar, and to prepare their hearts for what Isaiah has prophesied.
But they must not lose hope, and it’s never too late to seek and call upon the Lord. In these two chapters, God reminds the people of His grace, and tells them in very explicit terms what they can do to know His presence, even through their time of trial. He must discipline His people, but He will not abandon them. He will bring them back from Babylon in due course, and, beyond that, He is storing up even greater blessings of renewal and restoration for all who look to Him in faith.
A Servant is coming, a Messenger of God’s covenant, and He will bring the fullness of blessings promised all the way back to Abraham. Healing of the weak, healing of the earth, restoration of God’s people, the forgiveness of sins, and a worldwide celebration of God that reaches the very ends of the earth: these are what the Servant of God will accomplish when He comes to restore God’s people to Him.
The people must now, immediately, and continuously, leave off their rebellion, repent of their sins, call upon the Lord, and trust in His Word. They are about to suffer a great trial; but they can know Him present with them in it, and thus be comforted, as they look ahead to the new work of God to come.
1. God said that His Servant/Messenger would be as a “covenant” from Him for the people (42.6). Why is that an appropriate term for thinking about Jesus?
2. From what we see in these chapters, what can we do, as we endure trials of various kinds, to make sure that we know the presence of the Lord with us?
3. What’s your primary takeaway from Isaiah 42, 43?
What I am going to do, he says, merits still more admiration than the things done [in the past]. He adds what will be: “And I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the dry land.” Some have thought that these declarations relate to the return from Babylon. This is wrong, for he did not favor them at that time, while they were returning from exile, either with a strange road or with rivers. But he is calling the Gentiles “the desert” [wilderness], and the preachings of the apostles “rivers” and the course that escapes error “the way.” Theodoret of Cyr (393-466 AD), Commentary on Isaiah 13.43.19
Thank You, Lord, that You made a Way for me to come through the desert of my sin into the refreshing waters of Your grace! Make me a fountain of living water today as I…
Pray Psalm 118.
This is a most encouraging psalm. As you pray it, let the Spirit speak into the day ahead, and let God’s Word encourage you in specific ways for your walk with and work for Him today.
Sing to the Lord.
Psalm 118 (St. George’s Windsor: Come, Ye Thankful People, Come)
Thank the Lord, His love endures! All to whom His love is sure,
all who fear Him day by day, let them thanks and praise now say!
Out of my distress I cry; He will hear me from on high.
He will free me from all fear. What can man do to me here?
For the Lord stands next to me; He will give me victory!
Over all who hate my life I will triumph through the strife!
In His grace I refuge find; in His steadfast love so kind.
Trust not princes, trust not men – Christ shall be our haven then!
Praise the Lord, in whose great Name all His foes are brought to shame!
Though they swarmed on every side, in God’s Name He dashed their pride!
Like a fire His judgment goes to consume His ardent foes;
Though they pushed against Him hard, He was rescued by the Lord.
In the Savior we are strong! He is all our strength and song!
To His grace now raise your voice; in His righteousness rejoice!
For the Lord does valiantly; we shall live eternally.
Praise His works with all your breath, you whom He redeems from death.
All who know Christ’s righteousness His great Name now thank and bless!
Though His gate full righteous is, He our saving mercy is.
Cast aside and left alone, Christ is now our Cornerstone!
God has made His Son and Word our salvation: Praise the Lord!
Blessed are they who in His Name come and Jesus’ grace proclaim.
God His light upon us shines in the Savior’s sacrifice.
Praise and thanks to You, O Lord; we extol Your holy Word!
Thanks to You for You are good! Thanks to our great loving God!
T. M. Moore
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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).