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Isaiah 42:1

Behold My Servant!

1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.


In this chapter, Isaiah focuses on the character and work of the Messiah.

He begins with a call from Yahweh for us to pay special attention to His servant. However, this time the servant is not Israel as in 41:8. This is someone whom God upholds, or sustains, and therefore loves. Furthermore God has chosen this person. "To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious." (1 Peter 2:4)

He is precious, because God's soul is delighted, or well pleased, with Him, and this could be none other than our Lord Jesus Christ. "And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17) There is no other person in all creation who could delight the LORD, for to do so one would have to be without sin.

This Servant has had the Spirit of God placed upon Him. The idea of this is confusing, because Jesus is God, and therefore is one with the Holy Spirit. However, when He became flesh and took on the form of a man, some might question His divinity. As a man, He still had the full measure of the Holy Spirit and was still fully God, fully divine. "For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him." (John 3:34)

In the synagogue at Nazareth, where Jesus had attended services since His youth, He read and commented on Isaiah 61:1, shocking those who heard Him. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." (Luke 4:18-21)

Finally, we are told that this Servant will bring forth judgment to the Gentiles, and we must seriously question what that is supposed to mean. The Hebrew mishpat literally means "a verdict (favorable or unfavorable) pronounced judiciously." However, by extension of that basic meaning, it has been used in a very wide variety of meanings. One of those uses is to mean, "justice, including a particular right, or privilege." This is probably the meaning that it carries in this verse.

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" (John 1:12) The word "power" in this verse would be better translated as "authority, or right." There is no exclusion of any people group from this right. "As many as received Him..." means Jews and Gentiles. The gospel of Christ is the "power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

Thus, this is one of many verses in the OT that tells us that the Messiah will bring salvation to the Gentiles. There can be no doubt, therefore, that this chapter introduces the character and work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is a piece of scripture that has been completely fulfilled by His life, death, burial and resurrection.

We are summoned to behold Him or, as God Himself has said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." (Matthew 17:5)

Before The Throne:

Will you listen to Christ today and submit yourself to Him? If you have received Him as your Savior, you have acquired the right to be called a son of God. Pray about that. What difference should that make in the way you live your life? Does it change your attitude about anything? Ask God to give you a vision of what a member of His heavenly family should be doing here on earth. What is His plan for your life and where should you begin today?

For Further Study:

(v.1) ** my servant. Isa 43:10; 49:3-6; 52:13; 53:11; Mt 12:18-20; Php 2:7; ** whom I. Isa 49:7,8; 50:4-9; Joh 16:32; ** mine elect. Ps 89:19,20; Joh 6:27; 1Pe 2:4,6; ** my soul. Mt 3:17; 17:5; Mr 1:11; Lu 3:22; Eph 1:4,6; Col 1:13; **marg: I have. Isa 11:2-5; 59:21; 61:1; Mt 3:16; Mr 1:10; Lu 3:22; Joh 1:32-34; 3:34; Ac 10:38; ** he shall. Isa 32:16; 49:6; Mal 1:11; Mt 12:18; Ac 9:15; 11:18; 26:17,18; 28:28; Ro 15:8-16; Eph 3:8;

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