Isaiah 42 – Part I
By Kristina Cornell
Israel, the chosen people of God, had been through every version of temptation, torture,
bondage, victory, triumph, pain, betrayal, royalty, holiness, disappointment, hunger,
famine, decadence, servanthood; you know, LIFE!
Why God? Why am I going through this? Why have You forsaken me? What am I going
to do? When will You deliver me? When will you hear me? Why can you not hear me?
Who is even on my side anymore?
Have you heard those questions in your own mind? Have you said them aloud to
others or in prayer? I surely have! I have gone through so much trauma in my life that
my brain does not even process as it once did. (Side note, my doctor told me that with
every trauma we face, our physical brain is “re-wired” and we have to literally learn how
to process differently) It is a physical issue and leads to additional psychological and
“soul” issues. When you endure several traumas, you can become a totally different
Moses went through so many stages in his life. He was the prince of Egypt. He was a
murderer. He was a fugitive. He was the leader of the Israelites in the great Exodus, out
of Egypt, out of slavery. He was disobedient and tried to do things “his way” even after
God gave a specific instruction which resulted in him never entering the Promised Land.
Sound familiar? Twists and turns, taking us where we never thought life would lead.
After Moses, we read the life stories of Joshua, Ruth, Samuel, Esther, Job, David,
Solomon. Which lands us in our new series, taking place in the life of the prophet Isaiah.
Talk about running the gamut of emotions and perspectives!
The chapters leading to Isaiah 42 are packed full of more roller-coaster riding for the
people of Israel. Then we land here, at Isaiah 42 verses 1-4:
1 “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights.
I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations.
2 He will not cry out nor raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street.
3 A bent reed He will not break off And a dimly burning wick He will not
extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice.
4 He will not be disheartened or crushed until He has established justice on the
earth; And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.”
Isaiah is prophesying about the Messiah, Jesus. He is speaking words from the Father
and foretelling of the Savior of the world! As we continue in this chapter, we will dig in a
little more deeply to what the Father is saying, but I would like to pause here and point
out a few things that I found as I was studying for this series.
As I stated, trauma rewires our brains, leaving one going through stages of grieving that
feel overwhelming at times. Even when thinking that a stage of grief is complete, one
may find the former stages necessary to revisit. Modern psychology has even stopped
calling it the “stages” of grieving and now refer to it as the “cycle” of grief, as it is an
infinite circle until it is done. There is no magic wand that takes away the pain. There is
no perfect situation or event that “snaps” you back to a former version of self. Rather,
we deal, we cope, we keep going until we make it to the other side of our grief.
In verse one, Jesus is described as a servant, the one in whom the Father delights and
has endowed His spirit. Immediately following who He is (same verse) we are told why
He is. He is bringing justice (Hebrew: mišpāṭ which is a derivative of the root šāp̄aṭ,
meaning – The final say, the final verdict, after having all the evidence and hearing all
the testimonies, finalizing the outcome). Keep reading because “bringing justice” took
on an entirely new meaning for me as I studied.
For all of us who have faced horrible things in your life (abuse, abandonment, death of a
loved one, disease, health issues, rebellion from your children or spouse, loss of your
job and/ or home, family betrayal, miscarriage, etc., etc.), verses two and three are for
us! Jesus was so meek and loving. He embodied mercy. He was sent fully emerged and
filled with the Holy Spirit. He had the ability to judge the sins of this world (and
consequently all of us who commit them) to the fullness of retribution. Yet, the Father
sent Him as a quiet, empathetic friend. He was not loud or seeking popularity (verse 2).
He was not about personal gain or being a traditional king. Philip reads a later verse
from Isaiah 53 as he preaches to the Ethiopian in Acts 8:32: “Now the passage of the
Scripture that he was reading was this: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and
like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth.”
AHA MOMENT OF THE WEEK –
Isaiah was prophesying of Jesus’ stance and Philip was testifying of Jesus’
Before Jesus came into the world, we expected (faith) that He would be humble and
kind. After Jesus came into the world, He fulfilled the prophesy (the word which God
spoke into Isaiah’s spirit), died for the sins of the world (taking the judgment upon
himself rather than allowing us to serve our own sentences), then rose from the dead
and landed at the right hand of the Father ever interceding for us as an advocate
( I John 2). THAT, MY FRIENDS, IS THE FULFILLMENT OF FAITH. Big difference in
the anticipation and the realization.
Verses three and four “sure up” what we actually read of Jesus’ time on earth. We now
know that Jesus accepted and loved everyone. Even when the Pharisees tried to
manipulate Him by asking which of the commandments is greatest (Matthew 22:36-40),
Jesus only spoke of love, as all the laws and prophets hinge on this.
We are going to continue digging into Isaiah 42 next week. But for now, find comfort in
knowing that there is nothing that God’s children have endured that He has not seen.His
children endure. His greatest gift for the “fix” is Jesus. Whatever we face in our lives,
remember what we have learned today: The Father delighted in Jesus. He did not send
Jesus to earth to embody punishment. Rather, Jesus is the fulfillment of the law. Jesus
is the fulfillment of the Christian faith. Jesus experienced every single hurt and pain that
you and I ever will experience. When the Father said that Jesus would “bring forth
justice”, my studies taught me that when Jesus resurrected from the dead, he “brought
forth justice”. We, as Christians, just never had to pay the penalty, He took all the
trauma for us!