This is one of the many places in the book of Isaiah which absolutely cannot be applied to anyone but the Messiah. It is evident that the prophet speaks of the Christ, for our Lord Jesus confirmed it in Matt. 12:14-21. Time and space will not permit us to comment on every word, so we will try to touch the high points.
(Vs. 1) HIS CONDESCENSION. "Behold my servant;" the Messiah, who was with God, who is God, and "who thought it not robbery to be equal with God, made himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a SERVANT" (Phil. 2:6-8). He is the servant, not of angels and men, but of the Divine Father, who chose Him, called Him, and sent Him to accomplish the redemption of His people. "Whom I uphold," strengthen and help as man and mediator so that He did not sink under the weight of the sins of His people and the wrath of God. "Mine elect."
1. God chose men and not angels (Heb. 2:16).
2. Christ is chosen, and we were chosen in Him (Eph. 1:3-4).
3. God delights and is well pleased in Him and with us as we are considered in Him (Eph. 1:6-7).
4. God put His Spirit upon Him, not as a divine person, but as a man for the work He would do (John 3:34-36).
5. By Himself He shall bring forth righteousness, truth, and justice to the nations.
(Vs. 2-3) HIS HUMILITY AND TENDERNESS. Earthly kings and rulers cry out in defense of their programs, strive with others, lift up their standards, and campaign in the streets. They have no use for the weak and weary nor the frail and the faint, and their means are justified by their goals. But OUR MESSIAH is "meek and lowly in heart, a tender plant, a man of sorrows, who openeth not His mouth." He does not strive nor contend to no profit. His kingdom is not of this world, so He does not boast and try to rally support for Himself in the streets. His KINGDOM is a spiritual kingdom; His ENEMIES are principalities and powers, rulers of darkness who are conquered and defeated by Himself alone; His PEOPLE are made willing in the day of His power by His Spirit and His gospel call. He came by His identification with us, His obedience and death to save sinners, weak and unworthy, frail and fainting; so He does not break the bruised, weak reed, but strengthens it! He does not quench the flickering lamp, but gives it oil to burn brighter. The bruised reed and the flickering, dimly burning lamp are His weak and frail people who are not cast off but comforted and cared for tenderly. His work is judgment and justice. The courts of heaven shall receive His people, for He justifies them on the basis of truth and righteousness (Rom. 3:25-26).
(Vs. 4) HIS SUCCESS. "He shall not fail nor be discouraged." What the Father purposed, the Son purchased and the Spirit applied. How can it even be imagined that our God should fail to accomplish His redemptive will and work? (Isa. 46:9-11; 53:10-11; John 6:37-39). "Till He have set judgment in the earth." He fully satisfied the justice of God for the sins of His people, settled and sent His gospel to call out His people, and sat down at the right hand of majesty till all that He purposed and performed shall be done. "The isles (islands, distant countries, and all nations) in hope wait for His word of grace," for He shall have a peodle from them all (Psalm 110:1-3).
(Vs. 5-7) HIS ASSIGNMENT. How often our Lord Jesus referred to "the work Thou
gavest me to do" (John 4:34: 9:4; 17:4).
1. The greatness of our god, who called and sent the Messiah, is set forth. He has the power, greatness, and authority to do what He will.
2. "I have called and sent the Messiah in righteousness," or in a righteous manner consistent with God's perfections (Psalm 85:10-13). Christ came a holy person (Heb. 7:25-26) and fully obeyed God's law (Rom. 5:19).
3. Christ was held, kept, sustained, and given to us as the surety, mediator, sum and substance of God's everlasting covenant of grace (Heb. 13:20-21). All the blessings and promises of the covenant are in Him, by Him, and given through Him (Heb. 10:14-18).
4. "He came to open blind eyes," spiritually blind, to enable them by His gospel to see the sinfulness of sin, their need of a Saviour, and WHO HE IS! "To set the prisoners free;" prisoners of sin, shut up to unbelief, and under the judgment of the broken law, in the darkness of spiritual death and ignorance (Luke 4:17-18). "If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed."
(Vs. 8-9) HIS NAME AND KNOWLEDGE. "I am Jehovah." His name expresses His eternality, His immutability, His redemptive character. It is the name by which He made Himself known to Israel of old. "The just God and Saviour" (Isa. 45:21). His name expresses His character and His redemptive glory (Exo. 33: 18-19), which He will not give to another. Men who truly believe His name, call upon His name, and glorify His name shall be saved (Rom. 10:13-14). He declares the former things and the new things before they come to pass (Isa. 46:10).
(Vs. 10-12) HIS PRAISE. These verses are summed up briefly in one phrase, "Let them give glory unto the Lord and declare His praise" (Psalm 150).
(Vs. 13-15) HIS VICTORY OVER HIS ENEMIES. The Lord, for many ages, has permitted satan, idolators, and rebels to go to and fro. He will one day roar, destroy, and devour them at once. The last enemy, death, shall one day be destroyed, and righteousness shall reign universally.
(Vs. 16-21) HIS REDEMPTIVE GLORY. Verses 16-18 are spoken of the GENTILES, who shall be made to see and hear what they have never seen and heard; and Verses 19-20 refer to the JEWS, who are called the servants and messengers of God and who claim to see and be perfect. But none are so blind and deaf as those who think they see and hear but do not! "But the Lord is well pleased". (Vs. 21) for the obedience and righteousness of the Lord Jesus, who in life and death MAGNIFIED God's law and made it honorable. There is nothing so important to any who would know God as to be taught bygod's Spirit three things: (1) The holiness of our God, (2) the sinfulness and inability of our flesh, and (3) the righteousness of God effectually and sufficiently displayed in and wrought out by our Lord Jesus (II Cor. 5:21; Rom. 10:1-4).
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