The Lord’s Chosen Servant

Why Jesus is My Hero #49 of 52

Isaiah 42:1-9:

“Behold my servant, whom I uphold,

my chosen, in whom my soul delights;

I have put my Spirit upon him;

he will bring forth justice to the nations.

He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,

or make it heard in the street;

a bruised reed he will not break,

and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;

he will faithfully bring forth justice.

He will not grow faint or be discouraged

till he has established justice in the earth;

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:

‘I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness;

I will take you by the hand and keep you;

I will give you as a covenant for the people,

a light for the nations,

to open the eyes that are blind,

to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,

from the prison those who sit in darkness.

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.'”

I’m not really sure what I can add to this totally awesome passage about why Jesus is so fab.

The Puritan Richard Sibbes makes much of v3 in his book “the bruised reed”: “a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench”. It really brings out Jesus’ tenderness and gentleness with his people – as Psalm 103:14 puts it “For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” Being a Christian isn’t all about being perfect all the time and never messing up – it’s about trusting in a great saviour who paid a great price to forgive us a great debt so that we can live a grateful life. However bruised we feel, however much we feel like the flame is about to die out altogether, Jesus knows our need and he longs for us to run to his grace-filled arms for strength.

I rather like v4 as well: “He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law.” Here is someone who will not rest until his purposes have come to pass, and being God he will never run out of enthusiasm or patience before achieving his goal. “Justice” here is a picture of the created order being brought back in line with God’s will – of all of the effects of the fall being reversed and things being set straight that formerly were crooked. What a great day that will be, and what a relief for bruised reeds and faintly burning wicks!

“I am the Lord; that is my name;

my glory I give to no other,

nor my praise to carved idols.”