Tag Archives: Isaiah 42:1-9

My Servant

In our time and place, we probably think of having a servant with bad connotations.  It takes us back to a time when people with too much money had people, who they kept well and truly in their place and subservient, doing tasks that they were quite capable of doing themselves.  We only have to think of programmes such as Downton Abbey or Upstairs Downstairs to see people being dressed, having their meals brought to them and served or generally being waited on hand and foot.

But a servant, in its most basic form is

a person who performs duties for others

And so Isaiah introduces us to The Lord’s Servant

Isaiah 42:1-9 (CEV)

The Lord’s Servant

42 Here is my servant!

    I have made him strong.
He is my chosen one;
    I am pleased with him.
I have given him my Spirit,
and he will bring justice
    to the nations.
He won’t shout or yell
    or call out in the streets.
He won’t break off a bent reed
    or put out a dying flame,
but he will make sure
    that justice is done.
He won’t quit or give up
until he brings justice
    everywhere on earth,
and people in foreign nations
    long for his teaching.

I am the Lord God.
I created the heavens
    like an open tent above.
I made the earth and everything
    that grows on it.
I am the source of life
for all who live on this earth,
    so listen to what I say.
I chose you to bring justice,
    and I am here at your side.
I selected and sent you
    to bring light
and my promise of hope
    to the nations.
You will give sight
    to the blind;
you will set prisoners free
    from dark dungeons.

My name is the Lord!
I won’t let idols or humans
    share my glory and praise.
Everything has happened
    just as I said it would;
now I will announce
    what will happen next.

Here is One that God has chosen to do a task for him.

Not a menial task, or something that he could easily have done himself had he tried, but the one that God has selected as the bright light to bring his hope to the world; to ensure God’s justice and freedom is seen.  This isn’t someone who is going to create a lot of noise or wreak damage, he isn’t going to destroy tiny flickers of light, he is going to work for God – and he won’t give up until the task is complete.

Of course, Isaiah is prophesying about The Messiah, God’s Chosen One – Jesus.  And we recognise all that he came to do within this passage.  But, we too are called to be God’s servants – to be people who perform duties for him.

We too are asked to protect the weak, bring life, shed God’s light, seek justice and set free those who are held down.

That is my task in the world, what God is calling me to do.  Wherever I am, whatever pattern or form my life takes, that is my basic calling – to work for God in my place.

I know that there is work to be done,
your work.
I want to work for you,
to do the things you ask of me;
to be someone
who bring life and light
where I go,
to protect the weak,
serve the vulnerable,
work for justice
and bring your freedom.

None of this I can do by my own,
so as I acknowledge that it is your work,
I pray for your strength,
your wisdom,
and your equipping power

We are called to be servants

Who do we appreciate?

In this post-Christmas period, we are still trying to work out what Jesus is about.  What his coming into the world means.

Isaiah reminds us that the Lord’s servant is coming to bring justice.

Here is God’s servant, the one he has chosen, the one with whom he is pleased – and the promise – he will bring justice to the nations.

I thought I’d look up justice , just to make sure I’d grasped its full meaning.  Dictionary.com tells me that it means “to act or treat fairly”.  To be just, is to be guided by truth, reason and fairness.  So it’s about doing the right thing, making sure that things are fair.  But it goes on to add another definition to justice that grabbed my attention

“to appreciate people properly”

If we appreciate people properly, we can do no other than seek the best for them, long for fairness for them – and we’re going to want others to do that too.  If we appreciate that each life is precious, we have to find justice and fairness for them.

“I alone am the Lord your God” is the declaration at the end of the Isaiah passage – and perhaps this is the key to justice – when the Lord alone is our God – not our bank account, our house, our looks or any other thing that we might treasure.  When we look to God’s ways, not things that seem important; when God alone is the centre of our lives, the reason for our actions, the purpose to life, the lens through which we see others – then we will seek justice.  Because that is his way, his desire for all people.

Is God alone our God?  Do we appreciate people?  Do we look to the ways that Jesus came to show us?  Do we seek to bring justice and peace, in our lives, in our community, in the world?

Come Lord, we pray

Bring justice and peace

In our lives

And through that

May we seek to bring justice and peace

to your world

That the gates of your Kingdom

May be flung wide open

And your ways will rule throughout the world