Isaiah 42:1-25

Daybreak for Students

Isaiah 42:1-25

OVERVIEW
DAYBREAK
Isaiah 42
Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth. — Isaiah 42:10

Have you ever been in a church service when the song leader called a song you didn’t know? Maybe it was introduced as a “new song” for the congregation to learn. Remember how unsure you initially felt? Often as I have learned the words and the tune of a new song, it has “clicked” with me, and I began to enjoy singing it. Sometimes for many days afterward I would catch myself humming the tune or singing some of the words as I went about my business.

In our text today we are encouraged to sing to the Lord a new song. Isaiah was prophesying about the coming Savior and His many characteristics such as His faithfulness and divine justice, and about Him being the healer of mankind. A new covenant was to be given, and the Gospel would be given to the Gentiles.

All of these allusions were meant to spark the obvious response — a new song welling up from within the hearts of the redeemed. Isaiah was calling upon all people to celebrate the divine mercy that was going to provide a Redeemer. The mercy was going to be so great that it demanded a new song!

The soul which has been born again can relate to the new song Isaiah was calling for. Christians can sing the song of the redeemed, one that a sinner cannot sing. Even the angels cannot sing this song! Our new song is one of thanksgiving to God for His mercy and grace which has been extended to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus, and His forgiveness of our sins.

Perhaps you are not a singer. Then you can make a joyful noise unto the Lord. Why not try singing to the Lord in your private devotions? An old Gospel song can make a new song of thanksgiving well up in your heart. Even if the current circumstances in your life do not necessarily inspire singing, you might be surprised at what a song of thanksgiving can do in your soul.

BACKGROUND

This chapter is a continuation of the same general subject which was presented in the two previous chapters. The purpose was to encourage Israel to put their confidence in God, and to assure them of their eventual deliverance.

The first words of the chapter are, “Behold my servant . . . .” Verses 1-17 are the first of Isaiah’s four “Servant Songs” referring to the promised Messiah. This Messiah upon whom God had placed His Spirit was also called the Servant. These verses describe the character of the Messiah, a description that is so amazing and perfect that it could only refer to Jesus, the Son of God.

Verses 1-4 describe Jesus’ earthly ministry and are quoted in Matthew 12:18-21. God’s Servant will be endowed with the fullness of the Spirit; meek and lowly, gentle and kind. The phrase “bruised reed” was an analogy to persons who were weak and helpless; “smoking flax” represented those who were broken and vulnerable.

In verses 5-9, God himself addressed the Messiah directly, and stated the reason He had appointed Him: to be a light to the Gentiles, to open the eyes of the blind (physically and spiritually), to set the prisoner free, and to be the pledge of the covenant between Him and His people. A portion of verse 7 is paraphrased in Isaiah 61:1. Jesus himself spoke these words in Luke 4:18, then followed up in Luke 4:21 with the statement: “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” God said He had called His Servant in righteousness, and promised to hold His hand and assist Him with His calling.

In the second half of the chapter (verses 18-25) Isaiah addressed the blindness of Israel. In this section the word “servant” referred to Israel, not the Messiah. Israel should have been the light to the Gentiles by helping them come to know the true God, but they had failed. Isaiah contrasted the faith of those who believed in God with the idolatry of those who trusted in graven images (idols). He described the unbelievers in Israel as being spiritually deaf and blind in God’s eyes. The identifying of Israel’s spiritual weaknesses pointed out the need for a personal Messiah who would deliver Israel from their sin and spiritual bondage. The chapter closes with the reason Israel had been judged and punished: they had sinned against God.

AMPLIFIED OUTLINE

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
IV.   The message of consolation: The Holy One of Israel comforting, redeeming and enriching
      A.   The promise of deliverance (comfort)
            3.   The character of the servant (42:1-25)
                  a.   The description of the servant (42:1-4)
                  b.   The ministry of the servant (42:5-9)
                  c.   The praise for the servant (42:10-13)
                  d.   The shame of idolaters (42:14-17)
                  e.   The fact of Israel’s blindness (42:18-25)

A CLOSER LOOK

  1. Which verse in this chapter explains very explicitly why God hates idol worship?

  2. Why might it have been an encouragement to the Jewish people to know that God’s Servant would have mercy on the weak and broken?

  3. In what ways are you illuminating the world around you and the people you come in contact with, so that they might be led to God?

CONCLUSION

As we sing a new song to the Lord, we don’t have to feel uncomfortable about learning the words or the tune. The entire song comes from the depths of our hearts as we begin to praise and thank the Lord for His mercy and goodness to us. Sing that “New Song of the Redeemed” today!