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TO CHEW ON: "Behold! My Servant whom I uphold,
My Elect One in whom My soul delights!
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles." Isaiah 42:1
In today's passage we read the first of what Bible scholars call the Servant Songs of Isaiah. GotQuestions.org defines these:
"There are four “Servant Songs” of Isaiah that describe the service, suffering, and exaltation of the Servant of the Lord, the Messiah. All four songs show the Messiah to be God’s meek and gentle Servant. He is a royal figure, representing Israel in its ideal form; He is the high priest, atoning for the sins of the world. Isaiah predicts that this Servant of the Lord would deliver the world from the prison of sin. In the royal terminology of the ancient Near East, a servant was a “trusted envoy,” a “confidential representative,” or “one who is chosen.” The Servant Songs are found in Isaiah 42:1–9; Isaiah 49:1–13; Isaiah 50:4–11; and Isaiah 52:13—53:12" (read entire article...)
I am sure there are many scholarly approaches we could take to discovering the riches of these songs, but I'm going to look at them personally and devotionally, through the lens of Jesus being their fulfillment—the Servant that these songs celebrate.
The Servant involves all of God.
This first song is rich in all of the Godhead. All of the trinity is here: The speaker, God the Father, who "puts upon" the Servant (God the Son) the Spirit - Isaiah 42:1. Later the Servant qualifies to receive God's glory (which He will not give to another) - Isaiah 42:8.
The Servant is gentle.
I have heard the Holy Spirit described as a gentleman. That is certainly how He appears here as the Servant empowered by the Spirit administers justice, but with a soft voice and unshowy ways - Isaiah 42:2. He is also gentle with the hurting and frees the most tightly bound - Isaiah 42:3,7.
The Servant is trustworthy.
He stands for what is right and true, and is the means by which God keeps His promises - Isaiah 42:3,6.
The Servant is creative.
He was active with God in creation - Isaiah 42:5 and will be the catalyst of new things - Isaiah 42:9.
I invite you, as I am doing, to let this first Servant Song be salve to your spirit today. Do you need gentleness? Jesus is gentle. Do you crave truth and righteousness? Jesus is that too. Do you need to know you have put your faith in someone who can and will keep His promises? That's Jesus. Do you need His creative activity in your life? Ask Him to be Creator in your circumstances.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for this beautiful picture of Your willingness to serve God the Father, and us. Help me to find comfort and hope in Your abilities today. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.