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Isaiah 42:18-22

The Blind Servant

18 Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see. 19 Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the LORD'S servant? 20 Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not. 21 The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable. 22 But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.


Having rebuked the heathen for their idolatry and promised a Messiah to both the Jews and the Gentiles, Yahweh turns to address His own people again for their sins.

"Hear ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see." For many centuries, God had been speaking to His people, but they had not listened to Him. He had frequently called them to repentance and often warned them of the consequences of disobedience, yet they would not listen. He had shown them His power to protect them, had demonstrated His love for them and had even lived among them, but they would not see the light.

"Who is blind, but my servant?" This is a rhetorical question, the point of which is to say that, compared to other nations, they had been given the advantage of so many more opportunities to see the truth, and they did not see it. Compared to them, no other people could be called blind or a deaf. Judah is definitely the servant and the messenger in this verse. They had been given the word of God and had broken every precept.

They are called "perfect," and the Hebrew word means, "to be safe, to be friendly, and to be at peace." God kept the Jewish people safe. They were His people, His friends, and had every opportunity to live in peace with Him, but they were deliberately blind to everything that He had done for them.

In spite of all of this, the Lord is well pleased on account of His own righteousness. God's righteousness is perfect. It demands that justice be done, and the wages for sin is death. We must understand that mercy, grace and forgiveness of sins are all contrary to justice. Yet God is pleased with His perfect righteousness, because justice will be done and He will remain merciful, full of grace and forgiving. His own Son would pay the cost of the sins of His people. The Messiah would suffer on the cross for each of us, so that our debt is paid, God's grace is extended to us and our sins are forgiven. Thus, God draws us into His perfect righteousness, not because of any merit found in us, but for the good pleasure of His will.

The righteousness of God would therefore be poured out upon His people, and His law would not be neglected, but magnified and made honorable. Not one jot or tittle would fall from the law, but His people would be saved.

But, He says, "Look at this people who have been robbed and spoiled. Look at yourselves and what has become of you, because of your blindness. You are in traps, hiding in holes, and hidden away in prisons. You have no one to rescue you. You have been spoiled by your enemy and no one says that he will restore you... except your God."

Sometimes we Christians tend to get just like the Jewish people of Isaiah's day. We have been the beneficiaries of God's perfect righteousness, our sins having been paid for by the suffering and death of our Savior. We have been given a lively hope by His resurrection from the dead. Yet, many times we live as though we are completely unaffected by what He did for us. We are deliberately blinded to what happened at Calvary and we do not listen to Christ's call to go and make disciples of every nation. We are messengers sent by God but we have forgotten to deliver the message.

Before The Throne:

Is that your spiritual condition right now? Are you a blind and deaf servant? Did you forget to deliver the message to the clerk at the store or to the mechanic at the garage or to your own family members? Pray about it. God has not delivered you to your enemies, has not cast you into prison and has not left you without a homeland. Give Him thanks for your many blessings and make a commitment to be a better messenger. Serve Him because you love Him.

For Further Study:

(v.18) ** ye deaf. Isa 29:18; 43:8; Ex 4:11; Pr 20:12; Mr 7:34-37; Lu 7:22; Re 3:17,18;

(v.19) ** Who is blind. Isa 6:9; 29:9-14; 56:10; Jer 4:22; 5:21; Eze 12:2; Mt 13:14,15; 15:14-16; 23:16-24; Mr 8:17,18; Joh 7:47-49; 9:39,41; 12:40; Ro 2:17-23; 11:7-10,25; 2Co 3:14,15; 4:4;

(v.20) ** Seeing. Isa 1:3; 48:6-8; Nu 14:22; De 4:9; 29:2-4; Ne 9:10-17; Ps 106:7-13; 107:43; Joh 9:37-40; 11:37-50; ** opening. Isa 58:2; Jer 42:2-5; Eze 33:31; Mr 6:19,20; Ac 28:22-27;

(v.21) ** well. Isa 1:24-27; 46:12,13; Ps 71:16,19; 85:9-12; Da 9:24-27; Mt 3:17; 5:17; 17:5; Joh 8:29; 15:10; Ro 3:25,26; 2Co 5:19-21; Php 3:9; ** he will. Ps 40:8; Mt 3:15; 5:17-20; Ro 3:31; 7:12; 8:3,4; 10:4; Ga 3:13,21; 5:22,23; Heb 8:10; 1Jo 3:4,5; ** it. Joh 13:31,32; 17:4,5;

(v.22) ** a people. Isa 1:7; 18:2; 36:1; 52:4,5; 56:9; Jer 50:17; 51:34,35; 52:4-11; Lu 19:41-44; 21:20-24; ** are hid. Isa 14:17; 45:13; Ps 102:20; Jer 52:31;

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