Isaiah 42 Commentary

Isaiah 42 Commentary

Verse 1 mentions the servant of the LORD. He will have the Spirit of the LORD to bring justice to the nations. The Islands will put their trust in his teaching. We guess this is another version of Immanuel, the Branch, or the Son – the son born to us with the government on his shoulders. But wait a minute, what about verse 19?

“Who is blind but my servant, and deaf like the messenger I send?” What is the prophet talking about? The same institution? Yes and no.

Jacob is God’s servant. The Abrahamic blessing rested on him. He was meant to bless the nations but he is blind and in need of rescue. Are we looking at the failed project and at the need for plan B? Not exactly the right assessment. The Abrahamic blessing is simply a repeat of the promise the LORD had made to rescue mankind through the Seed of the woman. Nothing has changed.

The world, therefore, still waited for the Seed of the woman that Israel so poorly represented. The earlier chapters called Him by different names: Immanuel, the Branch, or the Son. Other titles included the Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, and Mighty God – the heaviest title reserved for the Creator God Himself.

In reference to this chapter, we have Luke 4 verse 18. “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.”

He will lead us by ways we have not known, along unfamiliar paths will He guide us. He will not forsake us.

Isaiah has fed us with the usual mix: his own present together with the glories of the future. He has clearly pointed to the times of the Son whom he has presented as the Servant. The kingdom of the Son is an all-conquering institution but from the point near obscurity. The king Himself would be born in a manger and had to be rushed to Egypt for temporal protection from the powerful and wicked authorities of the time.  

Even today, His messengers operate with the gospel that appears like foolishness to many. Yet is an item of the highest value possible. Let the blind see; let the deaf hear.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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