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RCCG Miracle Land Dundalk
Wednesday, August 30 2023

Contributor: Adewale Abiona

As we continue in our study of the book of Isaiah, looking at chapter 41 and 42 which bring some hope about God sending help to Israel to deliver them from their great difficulty of their exiled from their land and their exposure to all sorts of practises and false religions and false gods in those Gentile nations to which they were exiled. The nations that cared not for the true God or for His ways. So, in previous chapters, Isaiah prophesied, and he warned them of the dangers and the snares that would come their way. But the 2 chapter we are looking at today, he wrote to give them hope that someone is coming, someone who could right the wrongs and establish righteousness and justice in this earth.

Chapter 41 God's care for His people Israel in raising up Cyrus to be their deliverer.
This chapter is intended both for the conviction of idolaters and for the consolation of all God's faithful worshippers.

2 Things From This Chapter
A. God by the prophet shows the folly of those that worshipped idols. God especially challenges the idol worshipper and their idol to a contest for knowledge or power with Him either (v. 1-9; 21-24).

B. He encourages his faithful ones to trust in him, with an assurance that he would make them victorious and bring about a happy change of their affairs (v. 10-20; 25-29).

Isaiah 41:1-9
(2 Chronicles 36:1-14 Gives us catalogues of Kings after kings doing evil in the sight of the Lord (vs 14-15) and the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, but they mocked the messengers of God. Therefore, He brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew them in their numbers (vs 17-20) And them that had escaped from the sword carried away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia, (vs 21) to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.(70years)

Remember Daniel’s Prayer for His People in Daniel 9:1-3. It was the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede, the son of Ahasuerus, who became king of the Babylonians.2During the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, learned from reading the word of the LORD, as revealed to Jeremiah the prophet, that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years.[3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and fasting. I also wore rough burlap and sprinkled myself with ashes. (Jeremiah 25:11-12, 29:10) “If my people who are called by my name….”

Verses 1 - 9
This is a challenge to the worshippers and admirers of idols to "Keep silence before God because their argument is baseless and void of the truth. Let them come say what they have to say, in about their idols; let them speak freely (vs:21), let us come near together to judgment.
The enemies of God's church are permitted to say and do their best for the support of their unrighteous cause. He that seat in heaven laughs at them, and the daughter of Zion despises them, because the truth and will prevail. Similar experience is found in 1 Kings 18:24-40. . Why? The Lord that is strong and mighty… will defeat them.

The fear of the greatness both of Abraham that was a convert from idolatry, and of the people of Israel drive them to their old gods for protection, but also made new ones, Deu. 32:17. So
they gather to make war. Sinners thus animate and quicken one another in the ways of sin and make so much noise that believers do become worried and sometimes terrified but the Word of the Lord in verses 8-9 stress the fact that we have been chosen by God, we are the seed of Abraham his friend and though we may have been scattered among the heathen, but He will fetch us from the ends of the earth.

He had not yet cast them away, though they had often provoked him, and therefore he would not now abandon them. What God has done for his people, and what he has further engaged to do, should encourage them to always trust in him.
In Gods defence, He reminded them of how their fathers worshipped idols (Jos. 24:2, 3) and how Abraham the righteous man raised up from the east to become God’s friend. Gen. 12:2. He called him follow Him with an implicit faith; for he went out, not knowing whither he went, but whom he followed, Heb. 11:8.
He empowered Abraham so much that nations bowed before him Gen. 23:6.
God is the first and the last. He’s unchangeable and eternal.

  • That He has made Israel His own and in whom He will be glorified. As Elijah prayed in 1 Kings. 18:36, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel”.
  • That it is He who will raise up Cyrus from the east. It is spoken of according to the language of prophecy as a thing of the past, as if it were already done because it will surely be done in its season.

God will raise him up in righteousness (so it may be read, in chapter. 45:13), will call him to his foot, make what use of him He pleases, and make him victorious over the nations that oppose his coming to the crown, and give him success in all his wars; and he shall be a type of Christ, who is righteousness itself, the Lord our righteousness, whom God will, in the fullness of time, raise up and make victorious over the powers of darkness; so that he shall spoil them and make a show of them openly.

Verses 10-20
The scope of these verses is to silence the fears and encourage believers of God's support in challenges; that they should serve God faithfully through patience and comfort of the hope these verses bring. It is also addressed to Israel as a single person, that it might the more easily and readily be accommodated and applied by every Israelite indeed to himself.
It is against the mind of God that his people should be a fearful, so he assures us

  • That we should depend upon His presence with us as our God, and a God all-sufficient in the difficult times" Ps. 48:10.
  • That God will strengthen our hands, that is, He will help us " Ps. 73:23.
  • That He will silence our fears by Saying unto us, Fear not. He has said it again and again in his word and has there provided sovereign antidotes against fear: but he will go further; he will by his Spirit say it to our hearts, and make us to hear it, and so will help us.
  • That believers will become a terror to those who were now a terror to them, and power will change hand.

Verses 14-16
We may be little, so weak, and so defenceless, despised and trampled on by everybody, forced to creep even into the earth for safety; but we must not wonder that a believer has become a worm, Ps. 22:6. The helper of the helpless is coming to our aid.
The need of the needy shall be meet.

  • God Himself will be nigh unto them, in all that which they call upon Him for.
  • They shall have a constant supply of fresh water,
  • They shall have a pleasant shade to screen them from the scorching heat of the sun
  • They shall see and acknowledge the hand of God, His power and His favour.

Verses 21-24
The Lord, by the prophet, repeats the challenge to idolaters to prove that their idols are gods, and worthy of their adoration. To bring proofs of their knowledge and power, let us see what they can inform us of, and what they can do.
They can tell us nothing that we did not know before, so ignorant are they. They cannot declare the former things, or what shall happen.
They can do nothing that we cannot do ourselves, so impotent are they." He challenges them to do either good or evil, good to their friends or evil to their enemies: "Let them do, if they can, anything extraordinary, that people will admire and be affected with.
A servant is at liberty to choose his master, but a man is not at liberty to choose his God. He that chooses any other than the true God chooses an abomination; his choosing it makes it so.

Verses 25-29
God here produces proof that He is the true God, and that there is none besides Him

  • His irresistible power will appear shortly in the raising up of Cyrus and making him a type of Christ (v. 25): He will raise him up from the north and from the rising of the sun.

Cyrus by his father was a Mede, by his mother a Persian; and his army consisted of Medes, whose country lay north, and Persians, whose country lay east, from Babylon. God will raise him up to great power, and he shall come against Babylon with ends of his own to serve.
God has an infallible foresight. He would not only do this, but by his prophet, foretell it. None of all the false gods or idols had foretold, or could foresee, this work of wonder

2 Chronicles 36:22-23
"22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, 23 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May the LORD his God be with him and let him go up!"

We know that these verses speak of Christ, for the book of Mt. 12:17-21 tells us expressly that in him this prophecy was fulfilled.

Isaiah 42:1 "Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations."
God says 'Behold My Servant' Who is this?

'Behold' means to look intently, to fix your gaze. It also means to consider and to perceive. This is what whole Christian life is really based around this 'Beholding'. The Christian life begins with this looking unto Jesus. It's what John the Baptist said when he first saw Jesus - 'Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. But the Christian life doesn't just begin there. Every aspect of coming into what God has for us is a new beholding of His Son - the Servant, the Messiah. The New Testament says that we are changed as we behold in a mirror the glory of the Lord. So as we look at the glory of Jesus Christ through His nature and character, who He was then and who He is now and who He is in us, well that is how we are actually changed.

The world is looking for answers but unfortunately in many wrong and different directions. But only a few are following God's command to 'Behold His Servant'. Now if we were to Behold Jesus Christ we would see someone totally unique... someone who came to do the will
of God 100% of the time - twenty four seven. You know the first thing we learn in Isaiah about this one, this Messiah, is that it says 'Behold My Servant'. Jesus was a servant. He was a bond Servant of the Father. He only did and said that which came from the Father and He could not be distracted from this. He couldn't be distracted by praise, by fear or by temptation. And we see here in Isaiah that it gives God's testimony of His servant. He says: 'He is my chosen one in whom my soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him.'
What delights God's heart is when we delight in doing His will. When we make it our aim to want to be pleasing to Him... When we offer ourselves (even when we are broken and fell unworthy in many regards), when we offer into His hand all that we are, to be used and to make something of - that is what delights Him. Jesus Christ offered Himself up 100% and that delighted the heart and soul of God.

Isaiah 42:2 "He will not cry out or raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street."

Now this is not saying that He was not going to speak! We know that Jesus did. He did go around teaching, instructing, and helping people. What this is trying to bring out is that He was the ultimate non-showman! In contrast to the Pharisees, Jesus Christ did not need to be noticed, or recognised. He never put on a show!


So Matthew quoted the passage that we are looking at today - Isaiah 42:1-4. So firstly he knew that this passage was about Jesus. But he also knew that it was fulfilled in the fact that Jesus warned people to actually not say who He was! He was not there to be a showman, to whip up a crowd or anything like that. He never, ever drew attention to Himself, put on a show or tried to entertain or please the masses. He was there solely to do the will of God. Full stop! The man who comes to do the will of God doesn't have to resort to fleshly efforts to please the crowd. Jesus gave the Word that God the Father had placed on His heart and He did not ever try to please the crowd. But look at what we have got today... the surveying of non-Christians to see if the church service is right for them. It's just a load of nonsense. Let's go back to the book of Isaiah and look at verse 3.

Isaiah 42:3 "A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice.

Another reason why that this Servant was unique is the type of people that He ministered to. Verse three speaks about 'bruised reeds and smouldering wicks'. Jesus Christ did not come just looking for perfect reeds. He came looking for those who knew of their need for Him. Nor did He come looking for those that were already burning brightly. [6] What this marvellous passage in Isaiah 42 is telling us that a lot of us are like broken and bruised reeds or we are like a dimly burning wick that is just giving of a tiny bit of smoke and a little bit of light... but Jesus isn't going to extinguish us or throw us away!

This world is actually leaving more and more people battered and bruised and with little light. All of us feel this way at times. Maybe you do today? There are some problems in this life that
only Jesus can deal with. But thank the Lord that God has sent One to this world, to live, to minister, to die and to be raised again so that He can come into our hearts and grant us the hope, strength and encouragement that we need. He is not one that will ever turn His back on us.

Isaiah 42:4 "He will not be disheartened or crushed Until He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law."

This verse says that He will not be disheartened or crushed. It is the same Hebrew word that is in verse 3 where it is translated 'bruised'. It basically means, cracked, broken, bruised, crushed, or discouraged. What it is saying is that there will never, ever come a time when Jesus Christ says, 'I have had it with you, you've blown it too many times'. There will never, ever come a time when Jesus will just give up. He will not be disheartened, or crushed until He has established justice in this earth. Praise the Lord that this is His ministry as our High Priest as well. He will ever intercede for us. This is the one who has said that He will never leave or forsake us. That's God's servant, that's the One who God asks us to behold. And God is in the business of restoring damaged reeds so that we can make some pretty good music again. The Bible says that we 'have this treasure in earthen vessels so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be from God and not from us.' So yes, that means that we will be battered from time to time. We will be bruised; we will be cracked but that is actually God's will. Why? So that something of God's character, something of God's life can come forth through our life.

Chapter 41 may be summed up in those words of Elijah, "21 And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word." 1 Kings 18:21

God examined the philosophies of the nations and is presenting a case against the Gentile nations. What God was doing in this whole chapter is surveying the entire religious and spiritual thought and actions of these Gentile nations and He was seeing if there was any merit to it.

Basically, God's assessment of the best that these nations could offer - It's wind and its emptiness! And if God were to survey the Gentile nations today what would He find? He would find the New Age, He'd find atheism, He would find evolution, materialism, humanism... and He would say they are simply chasing after the wind and emptiness - and nothing to it! There is nothing that can help the soul of man in any of that... ultimately it is simply emptiness. So that's the background..
And this leads us into chapter 42 where we have God's answer to the emptiness . We have got something that does amount to something, a better promise, a better covenant, a High Priest.

Jesus Christ is God's absolute unique 100% Servant. He is unique in His commitment. He is unique in His compassion. Has wasn't attracted to people who looked like they had life working just as they had planned. He wasn't attracted to the perfect looking reeds down by the river side. What attracted Him to those that He ministered to and spent time with. They were battered reeds and smouldering wicks... many of whom society had totally given up on! But praise God that He is also unique in His endurance. Jesus Christ will not give up, He will not back down, He will not change plans, He will not be discouraged until He has established justice in this earth. And that is what He will do. That is what we long for. That is what we hope for. There is a day coming when this earth is going to be transformed by the coming again of the Messiah and the setting up of His Kingdom where justice will reign from one end of the earth to the other. That is the hope that we have and that is what we look for... but until that day we need to behold the Servant of God. We need to behold Jesus Christ. We need to behold His character. We need to turn our eyes and look into His face and to see who He is in us and through us. Amen.

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