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CHAPTER 42 Jun. 18 
The Lord's Chosen Servant
Behold, My servant, whom I uphold; My chosen, in whom My soul delights— I have put My Spirit on him. He will bring justice to the nations. 2He will not shout, nor raise his voice, nor cause it to be heard in the street. 3He won’t break a bruised reed. He won’t quench a dimly burning wick. He will faithfully bring justice. 4He will not fail nor be discouraged until he has set justice in the earth, and the islands will wait for his law. 5Thus says God Yahweh, He who created the heavens and stretched them out, He who spread out the earth and that which comes out of it, He who gives breath to its people and spirit to those who walk in it. 6I, Yahweh, have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand and will keep you, and make you a covenant for the people, as a light for the nations; 7to open the blind eyes, to bring the prisoners out of the dungeon, and those who sit in darkness out of the prison. 8I am Yahweh; that is My name. I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to engraved images. 9Behold, the former things have happened, and I declare new things. I tell you about them before they come up.

A Song of Praise
10Sing to Yahweh a new song, and His praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is therein, the islands and their inhabitants. 11Let the wilderness and its cities raise their voices, with the villages that Kedar inhabits. Let the inhabitants of Sela sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains! 12Let them give glory to Yahweh, and declare His praise in the islands. 13Yahweh will go out like a mighty man, He will stir up zeal like a man of war, He will raise a war cry. Yes, He will shout aloud, He will triumph over His enemies.

God's Promise
14I have been silent a long time, I have been quiet and restrained Myself; now I will cry out like a travailing woman, I will both gasp and pant. 15I will destroy mountains and hills and dry up all their herbs. I will make the rivers islands and will dry up the pools. 16I will bring the blind by a way that they don’t know, I will lead them in paths that they don’t know. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. I will do these things, and I will not forsake them.17Those who trust in engraved images, who tell molten images, ‘You are our gods’ will be turned back. They will be utterly disappointed.

Israel's Failure to Learn
18Hear, you deaf, and look, you blind, that you may see. 19Who is blind, but My servant? Or who is as deaf as My messenger whom I send? Who is as blind as he who is at peace, and as blind as Yahweh’s servant? 20You see many things, but don’t observe. His ears are open, but he doesn’t listen. 21It pleases Yahweh, for His righteousness’ sake, to magnify the law, and make it honourable. 22But this is a robbed and plundered people. All of them are snared in holes, and they are hidden in prisons. They have become a prey, and no one delivers; and a spoil, and no one says, ‘Restore them!’. 23Who is there among you who will give ear to this? Who will listen and hear bearing in mind the time to come? 24Who gave Jacob as plunder, and Israel to the robbers? Didn’t Yahweh, He against whom we have sinned? For they would not walk in His ways, and they disobeyed His law. 25Therefore He poured the fierceness of His anger on him, and the strength of battle; and it set him on fire all around, but he didn’t know; and it burned him, but he didn’t take it to heart.


42:3 Quoted about the preaching of Jesus in Mt. 12:18-20. He didn’t turn away from human weakness, but rather tried to fan what spiritual fire there was into a greater flame; we should have the same attitude to people. Isaiah prophesied in the context of the Assyrian invasion, at which time Judah were tempted to trust in the “broken reed” of Egypt (2 Kings 18:21). This is the only other time the phrase is used. God was even unwilling to break Egypt, but rather sought even their salvation (Is. 19:24).
42:4 He will not fail nor be discouraged- This is a prophecy of Jesus. He had so much to discourage Him, and yet it seems He never felt totally discouraged even once- because He looked at the short term ups and downs of His ministry from a Kingdom perspective, knowing that ultimately all would work out. We need to look at the down cycles of our own experience the same way.
42:14 God likens Himself here to a woman; characteristics of both male and female are found in Him, in whose image both male and female were created (Gen. 1:27; 5:1,2).
42:16- see on 40:3.
42:22 No one says, ‘Restore them!’- Nobody at that time was saying that, but God had prophesied so many times that His people would be restored at the end of 70 years, and Cyrus did indeed make the amazing call to restore Judah then (see Ezra 1). The challenge at Isaiah’s time was to view the discouragement of the moment in the context of God’s prophetic word- to suffer the apparent silence of God “bearing in mind the time to come” (:23) when one would say “Restore them!”.