Nov 23, 2023
"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."
In Isaiah 42:1-4, God set the Servant before the eyes of our hearts and called us to behold Him. He, the treasured, chosen, and upheld Servant, will establish His just government in the world through humble, gentle, and patient service. He will “bring forth justice,” and He will do so through the following means.
The LORD will give the Servant as a covenant for the people.
“I am the Lord... I will give you as a covenant for the people (Isaiah 42:6 ESV)
A covenant is an agreement, a promise. A covenant, especially one God establishes, cannot be broken. He, through the Servant, establishes an “everlasting covenant” that cannot be broken, for He makes this covenant in His “steadfast, and sure love” (Is 55:3). His love for His Servant and for His people has no end; therefore, His promise to bring them into His kingdom where righteousness and justice prevail and where joy overcomes sorrow - this promise will not be broken. The Servant serves as a covenant for the people, and this covenant will not pass away.
The Servant will be a light to the nations.
6...I will give you as... a light for the nations, 7 to open the eyes that are blind (Isaiah 42:6-7 ESV)
In other words, the nations will see. The darkness will find expulsion. Truth will prevail. God through the covenant given in the Servant will cure blindness. Haters of God will become confessors of truth. The Servant will serve like the rising of the sun. Light will break forth and the people will see. The work of the Servant, as the offered covenant, will make known the truth about God. God through the Servant will set forth His Name so that the people will know the truth about Him.
The Servant’s light will bring healing and deliverance.
to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. (Isaiah 42:7 ESV)
Those dwelling in dungeons will now dwell in the warmth of the sun’s rays. Those sitting in captivity will have their chains broken, their cell doors opened, and their feet unrestrained so they might, in liberty, walk freely again. Those who grope as blind men will no longer stumble into ditches. They will see the truth and the truth will set them free (Jn 8:31-32). Before the Servant’s work, the people lived lives of anguish under the cruel task master, Sin.
Darkness held them captive. But, God set forth a promise in the Servant to lift the oppressive darkness, heal the terrible effects of unrighteousness, and to establish a government of justice which, in time, will yield a great and tasty harvest of righteousness.
God reveals Himself in Jesus who is the offered covenant.
When Jesus’ parents brought him to the temple shortly after His birth, they encountered a “righteous and devout” man named Simeon. Simeon waited by faith all his life for the healing and deliverance promised to Israel through the prophets such as Isaiah. Simeon waited with expectant hope, for the Holy Spirit had told him that “he would not see death before he had seen the LORD’s Christ” - the anointed king promised in Isaiah 42.
When Simeon saw the young boy, he “took [Jesus] up in his arms and he blessed God.”
29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation 31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32 ESV)
Simeon confessed by faith what Jesus claimed about Himself - “He is the light.”
12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12 ESV)
This light would shine forth through Jesus as He gave himself up as a covenant between God and His people. He did so by shedding His own blood for them.
20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. (Luke 22:20 ESV)
He went to the cross on Calvary so that sinners might be brought near to God, that the deaf would hear, the blind would see, the ignorant would know, and the captives would walk free. God gave this Servant as a covenant by offering Him up on a cross. And there, in His death on the cross, the light of the glory of God radiates outward.
20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, (Hebrews 13:20 ESV)
Publish the Good News of the Servant’s Work.
Do you know anyone struggling in darkness? Do you have a child enslaved to sin? Are your neighbors languishing under the tyrannical leadership of deceitful passions? Do you yourself know the weariness, struggle to see the with light offered to you in the gospel? Are you burdened by the decay of the culture and the corruption of those governing your small town, state, and nation? Are you burdened by the events taking place on the world stage?
Do something helpful, share the good news about Jesus. Talk about Him in your home, at the park, in the workplace break room. When your neighbor discloses to you a struggle in his life, offer to him the healing and deliverance found in the light radiating from the cross of Christ. When you find yourself in the struggle against your own sin, when the eyes of your heart know a dimness that leaves you stumbling as a blind man, turn your gaze toward the source of light and life. Preach the gospel to yourself. Remind yourself of the eternal covenant offered to you in the pierced hands of God's servant Jesus Christ.
If you will publish in the streets the good news of the Servant’s work, your neighbors will experience deliverance. If you publish the good news in the nations, foreigners will enter the kingdom, and if you publish the good news in your own heart you will see with clarity.
22 To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: 23 that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.” (Acts 26:22-23 ESV