Isaiah 42:1- 43:13

In chapter 41 Isaiah has shown that God has great purposes for Israel, his servant. That purpose is now declared. It is a purpose of blessing to all nations (42:1-4 and 5-9; cf. Gen. 12:13b). In order to accomplish it, God will redeem his people from their present plight (42:13-16), confounding those that trust in idols (42:17), and calling forth from far and near a paeon of praise to his name (42:10-12). Israel’s present condition, under God’s chastisement for her sins, is indeed pitiable (42:18-25), but God will ransom his people, letting other nations suffer subjection in their stead (43:1-7), and Israel shall then bear witness before the assembled nations to Jehovah’s sovereign might and glory (43:8-13).

  1. 42:1-4. The prophet, in this picture of God’s ideal Servant, perfectly portrays the Lord Jesus. Cf. Matt. 12:18-21. What is said concerning:
    (a) his relation to God;
    (b) his equipment for his task;
    (c) the purpose and scope of his mission;
    (d) the qualities that characterize him;
    (e) the method of his ministry;
    (f) his endurance;
    (g) the final fulfillment of his work?
  2. What does God promise to do for his people Israel in their distress (42:16, 17; 43:1-7)?
    What witness will Israel, when redeemed, bear to God and his saving power (43:10-13)?
    Have we a similar testimony to the world around us concerning the reality of God’s work of redemption?

Notes

  1. 42:19. ‘Blind’: i.e., to destiny and mission.
  2. 43:3, 4. The meaning seems to be that God will give to Cyrus other people to serve him in payment for setting the Jews free.
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