[Isa 42:1] Behold, my servant, whom I uphold; my chosen, in whom my soul delighteth: I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.
[Isa 42:2] He will not cry, nor lift up his voice, nor cause it to be heard in the street.
[Isa 42:3] A bruised reed will he not break, and a dimly burning wick will he not quench: he will bring forth justice in truth.
[Isa 42:4] He will not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set justice in the earth; and the isles shall wait for his law.
[Isa 42:5] Thus saith God Jehovah, he that created the heavens, and stretched them forth; he that spread abroad the earth and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
[Isa 42:6] I, Jehovah, have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thy hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
[Isa 42:7] to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house.
[Isa 42:8] I am Jehovah, that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise unto graven images.
[Isa 42:9] Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.
[Isa 42:10] Sing unto Jehovah a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth; ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein, the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.
[Isa 42:11] Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up [their voice], the villages that Kedar doth inhabit; let the inhabitants of Sela sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.
[Isa 42:12] Let them give glory unto Jehovah, and declare his praise in the islands.
[Isa 42:13] Jehovah will go forth as a mighty man; he will stir up [his] zeal like a man of war: he will cry, yea, he will shout aloud; he will do mightily against his enemies.
[Isa 42:14] I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: [now] will I cry out like a travailing woman; I will gasp and pant together.
[Isa 42:15] I will lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and will dry up the pools.
[Isa 42:16] And I will bring the blind by a way that they know not; in paths that they know not will I lead them; I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things will I do, and I will not forsake them.
[Isa 42:17] They shall be turned back, they shall be utterly put to shame, that trust in graven images, that say unto molten images, Ye are our gods.
[Isa 42:18] Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see.
[Isa 42:19] Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I send? who is blind as he that is at peace [with me], and blind as Jehovah's servant?
[Isa 42:20] Thou seest many things, but thou observest not; his ears are open, but he heareth not.
[Isa 42:21] It pleased Jehovah, for his righteousness' sake, to magnify the law, and make it honorable.
[Isa 42:22] But this is a people robbed and plundered; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison-houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.
[Isa 42:23] Who is there among you that will give ear to this? that will hearken and hear for the time to come?
[Isa 42:24] Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not Jehovah? he against whom we have sinned, and in whose ways they would not walk, neither were they obedient unto his law.
[Isa 42:25] Therefore he poured upon him the fierceness of his anger, and the strength of battle; and it set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.
[Isa 43:1] But now thus saith Jehovah that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine.
[Isa 43:2] When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
[Isa 43:3] For I am Jehovah thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour; I have given Egypt as thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in thy stead.
[Isa 43:4] Since thou hast been precious in my sight, [and] honorable, and I have loved thee; therefore will I give men in thy stead, and peoples instead of thy life.
[Isa 43:5] Fear not; for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;
[Isa 43:6] I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back; bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the end of the earth;
[Isa 43:7] every one that is called by my name, and whom I have created for my glory, whom I have formed, yea, whom I have made.
IN ISAIAH 42:1-43:7 we have one of the grand panoramic views of Messianic Times which begin with the first coming and ministry of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Hebrew Messiah, and which run throughout the great Millennial Age, when the glory of God shall encircle the earth as the waters cover the sea. In the chart above we see that this period of time naturally falls into four sections which are the personal ministry of our Lord, the Christian Dispensation, the Tribulation Period, and the great Millennial Era. This period of time is properly called messianic, because it gives the outline of Messiah's redemptive career.
VERSES 1 to 4 of this prophecy constitute an impersonation by Isaiah of the Almighty. Thus as he played the role of God the Father in this vision, he was transported by the Spirit to the first century of the Christian Era. In this view of the future he saw King Messiah after His baptism and cried out to the people, "Behold, my servant ... I have put my Spirit upon him." This was a graphic way which the prophet adopted in forecasting for Israel the beginning of Messiah's public ministrythe descent of the Holy Spirit at His baptism upon Him in the presence of the public. When this passage, especially verse 1, is read in the light of Matthew 3:13-17, it becomes evident that that event was the fulfillment of the prediction.
Messiah starts out with an objective in view, establishing justice in the earth. The old version says "judgment." While the Hebrew term does have that significance, its primary meaning is that of justice. The facts of this context demand this latter meaning. Thus the prophet declared that Messiah, when He begins His personal ministry, will have as His objective the establishment of justice and righteousness in the world.
IN VERSE 2 we see that Messiah will not be a street preacher. He will avoid all possibilities of clashing publicly with His opponents. When one reads Matthew 12:18-21, one sees that this prediction was applied by Matthew to the personal ministry of our Lord.
As Isaiah saw in the vision and as we learn from the Jewish historian Josephus, there were many political agitators in Palestine in the times of our Lord. Jesus refused to engage in a public open-air ministry lest He would be identified as one of these revolutionists and would inevitably clash with the authorities. No one is to understand by this prediction that in our Lord's refraining from open-air work He opposed street preaching. He has in a marvelous way during the centuries blessed such a public testimony to the salvation of myriads of souls.
According to verse 4, Messiah will not fail nor be discouraged until He reaches His objective. We are not to infer that He will become discouraged after He is successful. No one would do that. This prediction simply means that He will press on in His work until He reaches His objective, and then, of course, He will continue to do the great work which He alone can accomplish. The fact that He will not fail nor be discouraged implies that the work which He launches will seem outwardly, to those who do not have spiritual insight and who do not know the plans of God, to be a complete failure; but we are assured that men are not to look at circumstances and judge from appearances.
As indicated clearly by the arrows on the chart, this verse refers to the personal ministry of our Lord which at times seemed to be a failure. It also refers to the movement which He inaugurated, namely, historic Christianity. This prediction implies that to the men of the world the church will appear to be a failure. But God is emphatic and says that it shall not fail.
The success of an enterprise is to be judged by the objective in view. Before one can pass sentence upon Christianity, one must know first the methods to be adopted and the objective to be reached. Many have thought that Christianity is to convert the world. This is a sad mistake. The preaching of the cross is a testimony to the world. It is the throwing out of the lifeline to drowning, dying men. Those who wish may take hold of it and be pulled to shore. God never forces nor coerces any one but permits everyone to exercise his own volition and choice. On this point James at the Jerusalem conference stated the case this way: "Symeon hath rehearsed how first God visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name." Then Peter spoke of the gospel ministry of the present age. James said that this program of preaching the gospel is to take out of the nations a people for God's name. Let no one think that Christianity is a failure. It is not. It is a grand success and will continue to accomplish that for which it was intended. The prophet, therefore, was simply warning us against drawing an incorrect conclusion from outward appearances during the personal ministry of Christ and during the preaching of the gospel in the present age.
THIS movement (historical Christianity) launched by Christ and continued by his followers during the present dispensation, being not a failure but a success, will ultimately blossom forth into a grand consummationat the second coming of Christ when He will establish justice and righteousness in the earth. Note how this is indicated on the chart.
THE prophet hastens to inform us that Messiah, when He makes His appearance after the Spirit has come upon Him, will not give His law to the isles. On the contrary, they will have to wait for it. In this connection we shall have to make a clear distinction between law and gospel. Law is a system of statutes for the regulation of the life and conduct of a people, which threatens punishment for every infraction of its legal requirements. On the contrary, grace is a manifestation of God's goodness in offering His blessings, the greatest of which is salvation, to men upon the condition of faith. The gospel was first preached by our Lord and by His apostles after Him. We are plainly told that the isles, that is, the nations, will not receive the Law of Messiah at the time of His first coming; but that they will have to wait for it. As indicated on the chart, the period of their waiting for it is that which is known as the Christian Dispensation during which the gospel message is being proclaimed to all nations.
THE present Christian Dispensation, as we learn from many passages of Scripture, will be brought to a conclusion by the rapture of the church. By this term we mean that event which is spoken of by the Apostle Paul and which occurs when the Lord Jesus Christ descends from heaven to the air. At that time, He will raise the dead in Christ and catch up the living saints to be with Him for ever and ever. According to I Thessalonians 4 and 5, this event occurs before the period that is known as the great Tribulation. Believers, having been translated out of the kingdom of darkness, have been brought into the kingdom of the Son of God's love. They are therefore not appointed unto wraththe Tribulationbut unto the obtaining of salvation, deliverance from the period of wrath. We, therefore, place the rapture of the church before the Tribulation.
THIS Christian Dispensation, the year of Jehovah's favor, is followed by the day of vengeance of our God, the great Tribulation. From a study of Daniel 9 in connection with certain passages in Revelation, we know that the Tribulation period during which God will be pouring out His judgment upon the world will continue for seven years. During this time, God will be hurling His plagues upon the world to purge it of all wickedness and sin.
AFTER the church of God has been removed from the earth by the rapture of the saints, there will arise a mighty army of 144,000 Jewish evangelistsApostle Paulswho, according to Revelation 7, will serve God during that period of wrath. From the vision recorded in the latter part of this same chapter we see that there will be an innumerable host of saved people from every nation, tribe, people, and tongue, who come up out of the great Tribulation, having washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. We are told whence they are and who they are. They are from every nation, tribe, people, and tongue. They come up out of the great Tribulation. Thus, there must be the preaching of the gospel during that time. From a study of II Thessalonians 2 in connection with the Book of Revelation, we see that the proclamation of the gospel will occur during the first half of the Tribulation. Then multiplied millions of people will be brought to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ through the preaching of these Jewish evangelists.
In verses 10-13 of Isaiah 42, we see a prediction of this mighty revival which will sweep the world in the end-time. This forecast is put in the form of a command which God sends forth to the ends of the earth in order that all peoples may render praise and adoration to Him. They are to sing a new song, because they have a new experience.
This great revival will be brought about by the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom, the heart of which message will be the announcement of the personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ to deliver the world from the Antichrist and to establish His reign of righteousness upon the earth. Those who are to preach the gospel at that timethe 144,000 Jewish evangelistsdo not have the truth now. It must be given to them by those who have it. It is the good pleasure of God to save by "the foolishness of preaching" them that believe. God has committed unto us the Word of reconciliation. It is for us to preach the gospel to all nations but to give it to the Jew first. A high and exalted privilege which God has conferred upon us who have His truth is to proclaim it to His brethren according to the flesh in order that, after we are taken out of the world by the rapture, the seed which we sow in these Jewish hearts may germinate and spring forth in the form of this mighty army of Jewish Pauls.
As indicated on the chart, verses 10-13 of our chapter are dealing with this great revival which will take place in the first half of the Tribulation and will culminate in the conversion of Israel at the conclusion of that period of judgment.
WHEN that mighty revival sweeps the world and when Israel is eager for her long-rejected Messiah to return and calls for Him to do so, then He will answer in the words of verses 14,15: "Now will I cry out ... I will lay waste mountains," etc. This is a clear reference to our Lord's return at the end of this period of judgment. This is what we call the second coming of ChristHis return to the earth to establish His reign of righteousness.
IN VERSE 16 is the promise of God's care toward His ancient people. Christ will bring them in a way that they know not, and He will not forsake them. This is a brief way of speaking of the blessings that He will confer upon His people at that future time. This condition will exist throughout the great Millennial Age which will be of a thousand years' duration. Thus as indicated in the chart, verse 16 refers to the millennial kingdom. A full description of this is seen in many passages by the prophets.
WE KNOW that the Millennial Age will end with the judgment of the great white throne, as we see in Revelation 20:11-15. The righteous dead, as we also learn from Revelation 20, are raised before the Millennial Age. The rest of the dead, that is, the lost, are not raised until after the thousand years are finishedat the establishment of the judgment of the great white throne.
THUS in this chart we see that the prophet Isaiah laid out in panoramic form what is properly called Messianic Times. This same outline is seen in many other passages of Scripture.