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This awesome servant..... (1)

Look and see my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights (1); I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations (2). He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street (3); a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice (4). He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth (5); and the coastlands wait for his law. Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it (6): “I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you (7); I will give you as a covenant for the people (8), a light for the nations (9), to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness (10). I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.” Isaiah 42: 1-9 [written c. BC 700]

Surely there must be some value to all human beings to read something foretold 2,700 years ago – and then to evaluate whether it has come true or not – as at AD 2014. If you think so please look at the words in bold above.

The writer, Isaiah, was a prophet living in Jerusalem in a time of international turmoil. His tiny country – Judah (part of Israel) – was a pawn compared with huge, hostile and cruel world powers around it.

“Foretellers” or “prophets” like Isaiah were instructed faithfully to record the actual words of “the LORD”. Through Isaiah, therefore, the LORD draws attention (“look and see”) to His own (the LORD’s own) servant. The LORD wants folk to look for and closely examine “My servant” because the LORD upholds him, has chosen him, and delights in him (1).
‘I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.’ (Thomas Jefferson, Third US President, 1743-1826)

Not only that but the LORD has put His Spirit (that is, His life and breath) upon His servant and that servant will bring forth justice to the nations (2). In Isaiah’s day those nations were as belligerent and power and wealth crazy as they are today. And the LORD says – look and see My servant who will bring justice to these nations. This must be some servant. Look and see him.

The LORD’s servant will do this without oratory or shouting or calling public rallies (3). Moreover he won’t harm the weak or put to death those who can’t do anything to help him (4). He’s no dictator clinging to power.  On the contrary, this servant of the LORD won’t grow weary or be discouraged until he has actually established justice in the earth (5). No rest until the job’s done.

The LORD then speaks (through Isaiah) (6) directly to His servant. Before He does so He reminds everyone who He, the LORD, really is: the creator of the universe; the filler of the earth with good things including plants which multiply without end and without decline in reproductive strength; the repeated giver of life and spirit and breath to all people - again without any failing strength.

The LORD’s words to His own servant – foretold through Isaiah – encourage and confirm him. The LORD will take him by the hand and will keep him (7). The LORD confirms that his servant will be a covenant for the people (8). A covenant is a contract. Did Jesus not say that his body and blood, bread and wine, were his covenant with all who would take and eat and thereby confirm that they would go his way in future, with him inside them?

The LORD states His purpose that His servant will be a light for the nations (9) - a beacon of light to the whole world. By seeing His servant they will see the truth about themselves and the desolation their desires are bringing about. When some people see this light (His servant) wonderful changes then take place (10): blind eyes opened, prisoners brought out of their dungeon, from the prison where they have been seated - in darkness. 
‘A God who could pardon without justice might one day pardon without reason.’ (C H Spurgeon, preacher and writer, 1834-1892)
Let’s recap: all four biographers of Jesus (AD 0-30) confirm his avoidance of earthly power (3); Jesus called to himself all who were weak or burdened (4); Jesus gave his life as a covenant ransom for his enemies (8); Jesus has been and is a light to the nations of this world – a light that is abhorred by the powerful (9); Jesus is bringing justice upon earth by gathering together a people who have decided upon his way of obtaining justice, the way of this awesome servant (4); Jesus’ people have begun to see, begun to live outside the dungeon, begun to live no longer in darkness (10); Jesus will surely establish justice on earth (5), an earth populated by those to whom this awesome servant has given the LORD’s eternal life by giving himself.
Richard Syvret

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