Salvation in Isaiah 42 (2)
2 weeks ago we concentrated on the first 4 verses of Isaiah 42.
1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. 2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. 4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
They exalt the wonderful person of the Lord Jesus Christ 800 years before he came. Isaiah predicted what sort of person the Messiah would be.
1. Jesus is the Servant whom God upholds; 2. The chosen, elect one who is a delight to His Father; 3.The One who bring justice to the Gentiles; 4. Who will not be a noisy servant but who 5. Shall strengthen the weak, 6. Bring the truth, 7. And will succeed in His Mission – to save sinners.
These precious promises about the Messiah, the saviour the Lord Jesus Christ have much encouragement for us in His loving care for us now. Sometimes we do feel like a broken reed or a nearly extinguished candle wick. But His desires towards us are to renew us and rekindle our flames to burn brightly for Him.
The Lord God has addressed His hearers through Isaiah to contemplate Jesus His perfect Servant.
But now the Lord speaks to the Son Himself from verse 5. So tonight we continue to think about the Lord Jesus Christ in three areas between verse 5 and 16.
1. The Power of the Lord Jesus Christ.5 – 9
2. The Praise of the Lord Jesus Christ 10 – 12
3. The Predictions of the Lord Jesus Christ 13 – 16
One of the favourite ways that Isaiah uses, as a means of emphasizing the certainty of a prophecy, is to call attention to the incomparable greatness of the Lord God Jehovah. This he does in the first section –
1. The Power of the Lord Jesus Christ.5 – 9
5 Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth 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: 6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; 7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. 8I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. 9Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.
These verses declare that it is God Himself speaking – the Lord Jesus Christ who is Jehovah, is using His title ‘God the Lord’ – verse 5 – ‘I the Lord’ – verse 6 – ‘I am the Lord’ – verse 8. These titles emphasize God’s Almighty power – a power which underlies and is expressed in the creation. Jesus is the creator of the heavens, and the earth and all of its contents. He is the powerful giver of life and spirit to its inhabitants. ‘God the Lord’ speaks of His omnipotence and His eternal nature. ‘I the Lord’ or I Jehovah, is God’s personal Name to His people. We read from Exodus 3 earlier when God revealed Himself to Moses with His special name – ‘I am’ – tell them that I am has sent you! He is Jehovah the great I am – this is the sacred Name. The phrase I am is the first person singular of the verb TO BE. Jehovah means I am. And, my friends, the very name of the Lord God conveys His nature – the eternally existent One – no beginning, no ending, He always was, and always will be. The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son. He was there with God from eternity past and will go on for ever! Eternal Sonship – the wonder of it all!
How does this power that resides in the Lord Jesus Christ show itself to us?
1. Power in creation – verse 5. 2. Power to call us from darkness v 6a. 3. Power to hold our hand. 4. Power to keep us 5. Power to be a covenant for the Israelite people. 6. Power to be a light to the Gentiles – us. 7. Power to open blind eyes – v 7 to see God’s glory that cannot naturally be seen. 8. Power to bring prisoners out of the prison of their sins, in spiritual bondage, their idolatry and moral darkness.
What a text this is!
7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. 8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
There is great power in the Gospel my friends.
Are you a sinner who is yet unforgiven tonight?
You are in prison. You are locked into a lifestyle that binds you and does not let you go free. You are in a dungeon and you can’t get out. Satan, your master, makes sure that you will not be released. It is in his interest that you stay there – in the prison of your sins.
Charles Wesley felt this when he gives his testimony in the Hymn ‘And can it be?’ “Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature’s night;”
It may be that you would like to take this up with me and dispute the fact that you as a sinner are imprisoned by your sins. You may say to me that if you wanted to you could leave your sins behind you at a moment’s notice, that you can choose to stop sinning at any moment. Oh my friend be honest! Don’t lie to yourself! Think about your sins – how you have tried to leave them. You have tried to leave off blasphemy and swearing – but you can’t! You have struggled with those lies that flow easily from your heart through your mouth. You dislike yourself for being so proud and haughty but you can’t help it. Those proud thoughts about yourself so often are your companions. Your conscience has screamed at you and you know that you should stop breaking God’s holy laws. But you are weak. You have a taste for these sins – you crave for them – they are your friends and they do not want to let you go! And you are reluctant to break off with them.
Is this not being fast bound in sin and nature’s night? Are you not locked into sin? Surely you are in a prison of sin?
Old Jeremiah was literally thrown into a dungeon. He said in Lamentations 3 v 53
They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me.
But then he did something very wise. He tells us about it 2 verses on –
55 I called upon thy name, O LORD, out of the low dungeon.
This is what you need to do my friend. You need to call upon the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ from your dungeon. Why should you do this?
Because of the promise of this text of Scripture in Isaiah.
I have come says the Lord God
To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. 8 I am the LORD: that is my name:
Since the Lord Jesus Christ has come to bring prisoners out of the darkness of the prison should you not call upon Him to come for you too? From where you are in your sins call out to the Lord. Cry to Him – Oh Lord come and rescue me! I am stuck here in my sins. I have tried to escape – but I cannot. I have tried to clean my life up – but it is useless. There is no one to help me. I have no friends willing to rescue me. But you can rescue me – you can bring me out – please deliver me from the stinking dungeon of my sins and bring me into the fresh air of righteousness and cleansing and pardon.
Will you talk to the Lord like this my friend? Will you go to Him and speak to him and believe that he is able to deal with your sins through the sacrifice of Himself on the cross? He has come
To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. 8 He is the LORD: that is His name:
he is a saviour of Great power!
2. The Praise of the Lord Jesus Christ 10 – 12
10 Sing unto the LORD 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. 11 Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. 12Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands.
Psalm 98 starts like this –
O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory. 2 The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.
It is a marvellous thing when a soul is released from the prison of sin – and becomes a new creature in Christ – is converted – saved – born again.
The new relationship to the Lord, through what is called the New Covenant, calls for a new song! The blessings of salvation are now no longer restricted to God’s chosen people the Jews – but it is extended to Gentiles too. And it is through God’s perfect servant, the Lord Jesus Christ, that this has been accomplished. Wherever there has been a work of grace there is praise for the Lord Jesus Christ. The saved sinner does not praise himself and congratulate himself for becoming a Christian – that would be to rob Christ of the credit for His mighty and powerful rescue.
No the saved sinner praises Christ his saviour. We who know the Lord should not need to be encouraged to praise God – it should be as natural as breathing.
We remind ourselves of what He has done. We are out of prison – so we praise Him. We are free – made free by the Son of God – so we worship Him. We have been given a new life – so we glorify Him. We have been granted the ownership of a mansion in heaven in future glory – so we praise Him with thankful hearts! How often we take our Saviour and our salvation for granted. Isaiah reminds us to give glory unto the Lord and declare His praise wherever we are in the world – verse 12. Do we praise our Saviour as we should?
“Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, Let the earth Hear His voice, Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice! O come to the Father through Jesus the son, And give Him the glory great things He has done!”
3. The Predictions of the Lord Jesus Christ 13-16
13 The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies. 14 I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once. 15 I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools. 16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
The mood of the passage changes as we get to these verses. Instead of dwelling on the meekness and gentleness of His servant, the Lord God is seen by the prophet as a warrior charging vociferously into battle. He is also seen as a woman moaning in childbirth. He lets loose His pent up feelings against evil, and the evil and sin that is uppermost in His mind is that of idolatry.
Once the servant has provided light and justice to the Gentiles and a New covenant for a New Israel, the Church – He turns to declare war on the enemies of His spiritual cause and His people. Verse 13 – Jehovah Jesus will go forth as a mighty man – as a warrior. He is like a hero or champion amongst His armed forces. This is the cry of an all-out universal war waged by Jehovah Jesus. He will destroy idolatry. He has overlooked certain times of the world’s ignorance. We are reminded of Acts 17 and Paul’s words to the Athenians –
30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
My friends these are serious predictions about the Lord Jesus Christ. When all of His people have been gathered in and made safe in heaven he will come in mighty power to do what verse 15 says – he will lay waste mountains and hills – that is destroy the old religions and spiritual wickedness. He will dry up their herbs and their water supply (remember this is poetic language) meaning that all those who trusted in idols and false religions will perish with their spiritual masters. How awesome! How terrifying! How much better to be safe my friend – to have heard and obeyed God’s command to repent and to believe the Gospel.
How much better it will be for you if you have turned to the Lord for salvation, to turn from sin – to have received eternal life from Him.
Have you been blind up to now to the merciful provisions of the gospel? Have you looked into the gospel but not seen the truth as it is in the Lord Jesus Christ?
He has said in Isaiah 45 v 2
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
John 6 v 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Look to Christ my friend!
Have you been deaf to His gracious pleadings with your soul – when He has spoken such tender words of invitation to you? –
Isaiah 55 v 3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
John 7 v 37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
What wonderful invitations to be saved. Will you look?
Will you hear? Come tonight and be saved my friend while there is still time left to do so!