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A Just Servant

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Sunday Scholl Lesson from the Standard Commentary.

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Introduction

You would remember that lesson 1 focused on “God Requires Justice.” Each week we dealt with:
A Call to Accountability
A Prayer of Justice
Consequences for Injustice
An Argument Against Corrucption
Need for Just Leaders
This lesson leads us to Unit 2 which emphasizes “God Promises of a Just Kingdom.”
The first lesson is titled “A Just Servant.”
The text is Isaiah 42:1-9 with the key verse being:
Isaiah 42:1 KJV 1900
1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; Mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
Our Aim in today's lesson is to be able to:
Identify the Lord’s Servant and the Servant’s Task.
Explain the fulfillment of the lesson text found in Matthew 12:15-21.
The Prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of the Messiah as the champion of justice.
Isaiah had a lengthy ministry from about 740 - 680 BC.
Isaiah 1-39 has been described as the book of Judgement because it focuses on the sins of Judah
Isaiah 40-66 is the book of comfort, it looks forward about a centry in a half to the time when Judah’s exile in Bablyon is about to end.
Many theologians have stated that this chapter speaks of Cyrus theKing of Persia who conquered Babylon.
Other say that is speaks of Israel who were supposed to function as God’s Faithful servants who were chosen and empowered to serve him in this world.
Then others believe that is speaks to the Messaiah.
Isaiah 42:1-9 is the first of Isaiahs five servant songs in which the servant is identified with the Messiah to come.

I. Presentation (Isaiah 42:1-4)

A. God’s Servant (v.1)

Isaiah 42:1 KJV 1900
1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; Mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
The servant introduced here have similarities to the annoited sheperd Cyrus and servant Israel.
However,, this servant is profoundly different from both. (Isaiah 42:1-4)
Matthew establishes this to be Jesus.
Matthew 12:18–21 KJV 1900
18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. 19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. 20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. 21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.
God both supports and delights in Him
Matthew 3:16–17 KJV 1900
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Isaiah 42:1 KJV 1900
1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; Mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
Members of Ancient Israel did not experience the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as Christians do today.
So the servant is marked as special for a special purpose, and Jesus baptism clearly points back to this verse.
Isaiah 42:1 KJV 1900
1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; Mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
We cannot miss the servants mission of bringing judgement to the world, since it is mentioned three times in the first 4 verses of Isaiah 42.
This means more than judicial equity. The judgement that the servant shall bring forth also includes making available the salvation of God.
Isaiahs plan includes Gentiles
Isaiah 42:6 KJV 1900
6 I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, And will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, And give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
God’s plan ultimately is to make one people of many.

B. Gentle and Just (vv. 2-4)

Isaiah 42:2 KJV 1900
2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, Nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
This servant of the Lord will be quite different from the typical king or conqueror who call attention to himself through loud proclamations
Acts 25:23 KJV 1900
23 And on the morrow, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and was entered into the place of hearing, with the chief captains, and principal men of the city, at Festus’ commandment Paul was brought forth.
He want cry, nor lift up his voice, or shout in the street.
God’s answer to the worlds arrogance is not more arrogance.
The crowds at Jesus Triumphal Entry will shout,.
Luke 19:37–38 KJV 1900
37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; 38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
notice Jesus never said a word.
Isaiah 53:7–8 KJV 1900
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, Yet he opened not his mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, So he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: And who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: For the transgression of my people was he stricken.
In ancient times, many people were attracted to leaders who draw attention to themselves, boasting of their abilities and accomplishments.
We should always remember that we do well not to boast.
Paul refused to boast.
2 Corinthians 10:17–18 KJV 1900
17 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 18 For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.
Isaiah 42:3 KJV 1900
3 A bruised reed shall he not break, And the smoking flax shall he not quench: He shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
Instead of using his power to crush the mighty, the servant will be so gentle that he want even break of a bruised reed that is bent over.
Matthew 11:29 KJV 1900
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
How could we model these characteristics in a world like this?
Isaiah 42:3 KJV 1900
3 A bruised reed shall he not break, And the smoking flax shall he not quench: He shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
The servants mission is tied to judgement.
This is fitting for a King who comes from the lineage of David.
1 Chronicles 16:14 KJV 1900
14 He is the Lord our God; His judgments are in all the earth.
But now the qualifier unto truth is added.
Where Israel has failed Jesus will succeed.
Isaiah 48:1 KJV 1900
1 Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, Which are called by the name of Israel, And are come forth out of the waters of Judah, Which swear by the name of the Lord, And make mention of the God of Israel, But not in truth, nor in righteousness.
Isaiah 59:12–15 KJV 1900
12 For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, And our sins testify against us: For our transgressions are with us; And as for our iniquities, we know them; 13 In transgressing and lying against the Lord, And departing away from our God, Speaking oppression and revolt, Conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. 14 And judgment is turned away backward, And justice standeth afar off: For truth is fallen in the street, And equity cannot enter. 15 Yea, truth faileth; And he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: And the Lord saw it, and it displeased him That there was no judgment.
Jesus will prove to be the very embodiment of truth.
John 14:6 KJV 1900
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Isaiah 42:4 KJV 1900
4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, Till he have set judgment in the earth: And the isles shall wait for his law.
we see here a hint of the suffering the servant will experience.
this finds full expression in the fourth of Isaiah’s servant songs.
Isaiah 52:13–53:12 KJV 1900
13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 14 As many were astonied at thee; His visage was so marred more than any man, And his form more than the sons of men: 15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; The kings shall shut their mouths at him: For that which had not been told them shall they see; And that which they had not heard shall they consider. 1 Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, And as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; And when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: And we hid as it were our faces from him; He was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, And carried our sorrows: Yet we did esteem him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: The chastisement of our peace was upon him; And with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned every one to his own way; And the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, Yet he opened not his mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, So he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: And who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: For the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9 And he made his grave with the wicked, And with the rich in his death; Because he had done no violence, Neither was any deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, He shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; For he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, And he shall divide the spoil with the strong; Because he hath poured out his soul unto death: And he was numbered with the transgressors; And he bare the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.
Although faced with many opportunities to depart from God’s chosen path, the servant will faithfully and obediently remain true to God’s mission.
Isaiah 42:4 KJV 1900
4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, Till he have set judgment in the earth: And the isles shall wait for his law.
Here is the climax of Isaiah’s statements regarding judgement in Isaiah 42:1-4.
The servant want just preach justice he will enact it.
Isaiah 9:7 KJV 1900
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, Upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, To order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice From henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
Although He will be gentle but not weak. Establishing judgement- God’s divine order in the earth is a huge task.
Centuries later, the people in Malachi’s day will ask, “Where is the God of Judgement.”
Malachi 2:17 KJV 1900
17 Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, And he delighteth in them; Or, Where is the God of judgment?
Malachi responded by telling them it is fulfilled in John the Baptist who prepares the way for the Messiah.
Malachi 3:1 KJV 1900
1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: And the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, Even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: Behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.
Matthew 11:10 KJV 1900
10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
Isaiah 42:4 KJV 1900
4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, Till he have set judgment in the earth: And the isles shall wait for his law.
Isaiahs way of speaking of distance places.
This prophesy is meant to inform all that this concerns the entire world.

II. Commission (Isaiah 45:5-9)

A. Called by the Creator (v.5)

Isaiah 42:5 KJV 1900
5 Thus saith God the Lord, He that created the heavens, and stretched them out; He that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; He that giveth breath unto the people upon it, And spirit to them that walk therein:
The Lord is not merely Israel’s God but is the Creator of all things.
Genesis 1:1 KJV 1900
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Genesis 1:9 KJV 1900
9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
Psalm 102:25 KJV 1900
25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: And the heavens are the work of thy hands.
Isaiah 48:13 KJV 1900
13 Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, And my right hand hath spanned the heavens: When I call unto them, they stand up together.
Based on this God has the authority and power over all land and people and over all nations.
more significantly, He is the one who gives breath and spirit to people.
Genesis 2:7 KJV 1900
7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
How sad is it, that these very people create idols with no breath or soul?
Jeremiah 10:14 KJV 1900
14 Every man is brutish in his knowledge: Every founder is confounded by the graven image: For his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.

B. Called to Covenant (vv.6,7)

Isaiah 42:6 KJV 1900
6 I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, And will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, And give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
Having presented the servant and his mission, now the Lord addresses and commissions His servant.
God has called the servan according to his on nature - His Righteousness.
Jeremiah 23:6 KJV 1900
6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
The servant will do:
God’s work
In God’s power
According to God’s will.
Isaiah 41:9–13 KJV 1900
9 Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, And called thee from the chief men thereof, And said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. 10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: Be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; Yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: They shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. 12 Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: They that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. 13 For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, Saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
Isaiah 42:6 KJV 1900
6 I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, And will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, And give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
The heart of this work is that the Servant will initiate a covenant
He is to establish a new covenant through His sacrificial death.
Isaiah 55:3 KJV 1900
3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, Even the sure mercies of David.
Jeremiah 31:31–34 KJV 1900
31 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, That I will make a new covenant With the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers In the day that I took them by the hand To bring them out of the land of Egypt; Which my covenant they brake, Although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, And write it in their hearts; And will be their God, And they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: For they shall all know me, From the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: For I will forgive their iniquity, And I will remember their sin no more.
Hebrews 8:6–13 KJV 1900
6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
He also becomes a light on behalf of the Gentiles.
Isaiah 42:7 KJV 1900
7 To open the blind eyes, To bring out the prisoners from the prison, And them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
Ancient Prisons were extremely dark, both literally and figuratively.
The light imparting ministry of the servant will indeed be welcomed by them that sit in the dark.
Isaiah 49:9 KJV 1900
9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; To them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, And their pastures shall be in all high places.
Light would come trough freedom.
Blind eyes were to be opened by the servant whether physical are spiritual.
Psalm 146:8 KJV 1900
8 The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind: The Lord raiseth them that are bowed down: The Lord loveth the righteous:
Matthew 11:5 KJV 1900
5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
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This fulfillment will come into full scope when Jesus reads in Nazareth.
Luke 4:18–19 KJV 1900
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

C. Called for God’s Glory (vv. 8, 9)

Isaiah 42:8 KJV 1900
8 I am the Lord: that is my name: And my glory will I not give to another, Neither my praise to graven images.
The Lord declaring his name puts us in mind of Moses and the burning Bush. There God introduced his personal name to Moses.
Isaiah 42:8 KJV 1900
8 I am the Lord: that is my name: And my glory will I not give to another, Neither my praise to graven images.
Graven images cannot share His power.
You would be reminded that God is beyond comparison.
Isaiah 42:9 KJV 1900
9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, And new things do I declare: Before they spring forth I tell you of them.
God challenges the idols to reveal the former things - the things God has revealed in Prophesy and brought to pass.
Isaiah 41:22 KJV 1900
22 Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: Let them shew the former things, what they be, That we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; Or declare us things for to come.
The new things of the OT era likely point to Israel’s restoration following the end of Babylonian exile.
Regarding the beginning of the NT era, the Jews of Jesus ‘ day will hope for a militaristic Messiah to come and, like Cyrus, deliver them from the oppression of foreign nations.
But the servant who was to come did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom you and I.
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