Here is My Servant, whom I uphold, My Chosen One, in whom My soul delights. I will put My Spirit on Him, and He will bring justice to the nations. He will not cry out or raise His voice, nor make His voice heard in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break and a smoldering wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow weak or discouraged before He has established justice on the earth. In His law the islands will put their hope.”- Isaiah 42:1-4 BSB
Our God is an awesome God! Etymologically, He should be called an AWFUL God! He doesn’t just have SOME AWE, HE is FULL OF AWE! Some backstory in scripture brings the WORDS to life, just like in the beginning! In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5) These 2 prophets, these 2 disciples are both talking about the same Servant of the Father, Jesus our Lord, Savior, the Messiah! God delivered his people from bondage in Egypt, made a covenant with them, and brought them through wilderness into the land of Canaan. They became a nation and built a temple for the Lord. For centuries they saw military victories and defeats under kings and generals. They strayed from God’s covenant, but prophets called them back. This is a typical fleshly response to God and to so many other things that are holy, righteous, and divinely proper. This is what the book of Judges so clearly illustrates, this cyclical pattern of man. Man gets in trouble and cries out to God, begs for God’s help, and even makes deals with God for deliverance and when things go well, we go back to our flesh, go back AWAY FROM GOD. That is why the most famous verse, read over and over in the book of Judges is: Every man did what was right in his own eyes. Sounds like America circa 2022.
Leader, Then, in the sixth century, it happened- just as God said it would happen. It is written: With my great strength and powerful arm I made the earth and all its people and every animal. I can give these things of mine to anyone I choose. Now I will give your countries to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who is my servant. I have put everything, even the wild animals, under his control. (Jeremiah 27:5-6) So as it was prophesied, the Babylonians defeated Israel. They destroyed the temple, plundered Israel’s treasure and livelihoods, took them into bondage, and marched them back to the gates of Babylon in chains, prompting “By the rivers of Babylon there we sat down and there we wept when we remembered Zion” (Psalm 137:1). The Babylonian victory over Israel was absolute. This was utter, complete devastation of the political, social, economic, and religious life God’s people had known for centuries. Into this identity crisis Isaiah speaks a word. The prophet reminds the people who God is and how God works. He draws their attention from this particular, historical moment, to the larger purposes of God. And that larger purpose of God has always been around His Son, our Savior, our Redeemer, our Messiah, Jesus the Christ. It has always been about Jesus, He is the reason for this all! For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created by Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:16)
Conduit, there are 2 great analogies here: A bruised reed and a smoldering wick. The Pulpit commentary posits: Here the image represents the weak and depressed in spirit, the lowly and dejected. Christ would deal tenderly with such, not violently. Smoking flax shall he not quench; rather, the wick which burns dimly- he shall not quench. Where the flame of devotion burns at all, however feebly and dimly, Messiah will take care not to quench it. Rather he will tend it, and trim it, and give it fresh oil, and cause it to burn more brightly. This picture gives us an understanding of Jesus’ mercy, grace, gentleness, and compassion. A commentator on Desiring God calls this out as MEEK, not weak! “Only Jesus can demonstrate ultimate strength and then apply that same unique strength in the most tender ways. The same Jesus who has the power not only to throw down tables in the temple courtyard, or to expel demons from the possessed, or even to call a dead man out of a grave — this Jesus also has the capacity to show tenderness to those who are most delicate and fragile.” Notice Matthew knowledge of scripture and Jesus: “He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; and in his name the Gentiles will hope.” (Matthew 12:19–21) There is no one, no thing more powerful than Jesus. He was fearless before those who opposed him. He never once hesitated to say what needed to be said, even when he knew it would provoke violent opposition. He confronted those who needed to be called out. And he claimed victory over sin and death. This is no weak man, this is a powerful man and a loving God! Do you know this Jesus? He will be coming soon to remove His church from the Great Tribulation. The hope we have is in Jesus. That when all Hell breaks loose during the time of ‘Jacob’s Trouble’, it is only those who have called on the name of Jesus who will be saved from the Great Tribulation. If you have yet to call on the name of Jesus, please reach out to me. I am on a rescue mission and there’s not much time left to decide. If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and if you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved! As the Scripture says, “Anyone who calls on the Lord will be saved.” Call out to Him, time is running out!