Summary: Exposition of Isaiah 42
The Promised Servant
The Character of the Servant Vs. 1-4
The Promises of the Servant Vs. 5-9
Sing a New Song Vs. 10-13
Intro: One Hit Wonders
Have you ever been to a concert of a musician who was a one hit wonder?
Sure they had made several albums but were only really known for one song?
When I was a kid Tommy Tutone was huge
His song 867-5309 was a number one hit, but can you think of another song he made?
Well he came to our fairgrounds to play a concert at the peak of his popularity
The stadium was packed with people excited to hear him
The only problem was they were bored for the whole show until the last song
Not only did people have no clue about his other songs they were terrible
He didn’t play his hit until the very end and most people walked out unsatisfied
We tend to make a big deal out of people who can write one good song
The music industry is filled with one hit wonders who never had another hit
But the true greats are artists and bands that can crank out hit after hit
If you think about bands like The Beatles and U2, and artists like Elvis and
Part of their allure is that their stuff was good and constant
As we get into Isaiah 42 we get this beautiful picture of Jesus Christ
But instead of describing him we get a list of his top hits and the list is extensive
What makes it all so amazing is that it is wrapped in the package of a servant, not a rock star
Read Isaiah 42:1-4
The preceding messages deal with God’s words of comfort and encouragement, which were supposed to cause the people in Jerusalem to look to God for strength and deliverance
The Israelites who heard these words should put their trust in the sovereign power and plan of God in their time of crisis. God will be their help now
Eventually God himself will come to Zion in power to care for his people, reward those who trust him, and transform this world
But how will this holy God transform this world so that he can dwell among his people and rule it in power?
God introduces a special servant who will help his people, bring justice to the earth, and serve as a light to all the nations of this world.
This prophecy doesn't specify the name of the person but you get a clear picture that its Jesus
Isaiah 42 is one of the clearest pictures we get of Jesus’ role in his first coming
This is the first of four passages that are typically called “servant songs” (the others are in 49:1–6; 50:4–11; 52:13–53:12).
Although there is a brief song of praise to God at the end of this servant oracle, the title “song” is somewhat misleading because 42:1–9 is not a song but more like an installation or commissioning
God presents his servant in 42:1–4 to his people, accompanied with words of divine approval, empowerment, and predictions of success.
Once the servant is introduced God speaks directly to the servant (42:5–9), reassuring him of God’s power and commissioning him to a task.
The Character of the Servant vs. 1-9
Vs. 1 Behold my Servant whom I uphold, in whom my soul delights
First let’s look at the character of the servant
The New King James Version rightly capitalizes Servant, because the context demonstrates this is a clear reference to Jesus.
Additionally, Matthew quotes Isaiah 42:1-5 and plainly says it is a prophecy fulfilled in Jesus
Matt 12:18-21 Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets;
This is God’s chosen servant, the one who comes to save the world
So in this, the LORD commands all peoples to put their focus on Jesus.
Jesus described Himself as a servant and we should follow his lead
Mark 9:35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.
And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many
But Jesus isn’t just a servant. He is The Servant, and every one should behold, as the LORD says, My Servant.
Paul describes this in Phil 2:5-10