7/22/2016

The Servant Saves (Isaiah 42)

Theme: Man's hope is that the Servant proclaims justice by gently and persevearingly serving the weak, blind and deaf. God's heart is always for the weak, blind and deaf.
  1. What the Servant does (1-9): Proclaims justice to the nations.
  2. How the world responds (10-12): Praise the Lord!
  3. What God does (13-17): Zealously accomplish his purpose.
  4. Who we truly are (18-25): Blind and deaf.
The "servant of God" theme is one of the richest strands of Isaiah's thought, and it lies right at the heart of his message as it moves to its climax in this second half of the book. 42:1-9 is the first of four "Servant Songs" (49:1-13; 50:4-9; 52:13-53:12), the first of a remarkable series in which the servant theme is developed in a quite distinctive way and brought to a resounding climax. 61:1-3 could be regarded as fifth and final Song which brings the whole series to a (another) climax.

  • Isa 40 gave a general introduction to the two great themes: God's love (1-11) and his unique power (12-31). People Who Fly (40:27-31).
  • 41:1-42:9 gave a more specific introduction to God's case against the idols and to the two servants: one fearful and the other ministering God's justice to the world (42:1-9).
  • 42:10-44:22 gives even more specificity as God declares his intention to deliver his people from their distress and to use them as his witnesses against the idols.
    • 42:10-43:7 addresses the certainty of God's deliverance.
    • 43:8-44:22 deals with how that deliverance will witness for God and against the idols.
(42:10-17) A Hymn of Praise.

42:10-12 Isaiah calls on the whole world to give praise to God.

Barry Webb:
  1. God's perfect Servant (1-9).
  2. Praise the Lord! (42:10-17).
  3. Sinful Israel, the blind and deaf servant (42:18-25).
Derek Kidner [Light for the nations (42:1-17); Inconstant servant and unchanging Lord (42:18-48:22)]
  1. The first "Servant Song" (1-9).
  2. The world acclaims its Master (10-12).
  3. The Lord declares his zeal (13-17).
  4. Blind leaders of the blind (18-25).