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Notes from our Bible Study on February 10th 2021

Israel: The Proclamation Nation (Isaiah 42:5-9) 2/10/21


~ This is the first of four "Servant Songs" in Isaiah 40-55 (49:1-6; 50:4-9; 52:13-53:12). Here God formally presented the servant to an audience, although both the name of the servant and the nature of the audience remain mysteriously unclear. Holman Old Testament Commentary

We can see this two-fold

1 This pictures the Lord Jesus as servant

2 This pictures Israel as a servant

3 Some thought perhaps Cyrus because he releases the captives

~ God called Abraham to be his servant and God would start a nation through

~ Through Abraham God would start a nation that would proclaim the goodness and glory of God

~ Often as Israel was carried by God on their way to the Promised Land the other nations were afraid of Israel because they had heard about the great victories God brought them (Rahab the Harlot heard in Jericho what God had done for his people)


~ Israel in chapters 1-39 are entering into discipline because they didn’t listen to the Lord’s prophets

~ Read Isaiah 1

~ This is the context of Is 42:9, God will do a new thing when he restores them from their 70 year captivity back to Jerusalem. The new thing is they will be restored to their land and recommissioned as a light to the gentiles again

~ This is an Old Testament picture of Peter’s denial of Christ three times and restored by Jesus in John 21

~ What is the big picture? = God called Israel to be his special covenant people to tell others about him (a light to the world)

~ In v1-4 we see the servant is sent – this most accurately describes the Lord Jesus Christ. These also describe the king of ministry we should aspire to also. Jesus is our role model

~ We see Christ sent in the gospels. Israel is also a sent servant in v5-9. The disciples are sent in the book of Acts


God sets the parameters for sending Israel as a proclamation nation

V1-4 – God-like ministry qualities / God introduces the Servant to the audience/world

V5 – God has created man /

V6 – God calls and is with us

V7 – God wants to open blind eyes and free prisoners

V8 – God wants to be worshipped

V9 – God is going to do a new thing


V5 – God the Creator (Is 43:1)

V6 – God the Caller

V6,7 – God the Sender

V8 – God the Glorious/Jealous

V9 – God the New

V5 – Notice how God claims the right to send his son (the servant) in v1-4 and call Israel to be his proclamation servants

~ Having introduced the servant to the audience, God spoke directly to the servant through a prophetic oracle. He began by quoting a familiar hymn that praised him as Creator of the heavens and the earth as well as the only source for breath and life among earth's inhabitants. This confirmed the servant's power and importance for all people everywhere. Holman Old Testament Commentary

Notice who God is and what he does

1 God the Lord says this – this establishes the importance and validity of the one who is speaking and acting

2 He created the heavens

3 He stretched out those same heavens

4 He spread out the earth

5 He spread out that which comes from the earth

6 He gives breath to the people on the same earth

7 He gives spirit to the people who walk on the earth

Summary = He’s our creator and we belong to him. If we belong to him then all we do should reflect his purposes

V6 – God calls and is with us

~ God calls the servant in his righteousness to be a messenger of God’s righteousness

~ Righteousness is the power that enables the servant to restore people to God (creator and sustainer)

~ God is not sending us alone and to depend on ourselves alone

~ These are great qualities to remember when we’re discouraged, overwhelmed, and out of sorts

· He calls

· He holds our hand

· He will keep us

V6,7 – God wants to open blind eyes and free prisoners

~ Our ministry purpose/What the calling is for

· He will give us as a light to the world

· To open blind eyes (we read about blind bartimaeus). This is primarily spiritual sight

· To release spiritual prisoners from sin

· The kind of prison is clarified here as a prison of darkness

· Steven Curtis Chapman song – Remember your chains

V8 – God wants to be worshipped

~ God has already proven himself to be the true God – he therefore is the only worthy to be praised

~ He’s a jealous God. We must not think of God being a jealous God in the context of our falleness. We think of jealousy from a fallen point of view and its selfishness.

~ For God to be jealous means he desires our worship and is worthy of our worship. He’s the ONLY one worthy of our worship and praise

~ God wants himself to be glorified (v8). Our God is a jealous God. He created us and is worthy and deserves the praise of man. Man is so apt to worship everything but God and because God is a jealous God he wants men to worship him. He is worthy of men’s worship. He deserves men’s worship. While on the surface it seems petty of God to be jealous we can’t think of this term jealousy on human terms as fallen creatures. We must think of it in terms that God deserves worship, praise and glory. God knows that when men worship man is the one who is better off. A deeper dive into this shows us that behind God’s jealousy of our worship, praise and honor is that man is brought into close relationship with him when man gives him worship, praise and honor. Who wins more when men choose God first? God or man? Man wins because God is complete and sufficient without our support, worship and adoration.

V9 - God is going to do a new thing

~ God wants to do a new thing (v9). While we take this and apply it the beginning of the new year the greater context is that Israel has just been releases from captivity and it’s a new start for Israel to be the nation God intended it to be….A Proclamation Nation. All the past captivity is over and Israel need not languish in what’s happened. How she fell short and how God disciplined her but she should go forward in what God wants to do now…which is use her to proclaim the glory of the Lord

~ Israel in chapters 1-39 are entering into discipline because they didn’t listen to the Lord’s prophets

~ Read Isaiah 1

~ This is the context of Is 42:9, God will do a new thing when he restores them from their 70 year captivity back to Jerusalem. The new thing is they will be restored to their land and recommissioned as a light to the gentiles again

~ This is an Old Testament picture of Peter’s denial of Christ three times and restored by Jesus in John 21

~ Former things – leading Israel out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, the commandments, tabernacle, the Judges, Samuel, David and captivity yet the new things will be release from captivity, Messiah, still his covenant people

Israel was to be a light to the gentiles

Is 9:2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; they who dwell in the land of the shadow of death, on them the light has shined.

Is 49:6 And He said, It is but a little thing that You should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to bring back the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You for a light to the nations, to be My salvation to the end of the earth.

Is 51:4 Listen to Me, My people; and give ear to Me, O My nation; for a law shall go out from Me, and I will make My judgment to rest for a light of peoples.

Is 60:1-3 Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of Jehovah has risen on you. 2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples; but Jehovah shall rise on you, and His glory shall be seen on you. 3 And the nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawning.

Lk 1:76-79 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest, for you shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, 77 to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, 78 through the tender mercy of our God; by which the Dayspring from on high has visited us, 79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Lk 2:32 Lord, now You will let Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word. 30 For my eyes have seen Your Salvation 31 which You have prepared before the face of all the peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the nations, and the glory of Your people Israel.

Jn 8:12 Then Jesus spoke again to them, saying, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Acts 13:45-49 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy and contradicted those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. 46 But speaking boldly, Paul and Barnabas said, It was necessary for the Word of God to be spoken to you first. But since indeed you put it far from you and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the nations. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, "I have set You to be a light of the nations, for salvation to the end of the earth." 48 And hearing, the nations rejoiced and glorified the Word of the Lord. And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. 49 And the Word of the Lord was carried throughout all the country.

Acts 26:20-24 But to those first in Damascus, and Jerusalem, and to all the country of Judea, and to the nations, I made known the command to repent and to turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance 21 Because of these things, having caught me in the temple, The Jews tried to kill me. 22 Then having obtained help from God, I stand until this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said was going to happen; 23 whether the Christ was liable to suffer, whether first by a resurrection of the dead He was going to proclaim light to the people and to the nations. 24 And he defending himself with these things, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, you rave! Your many letters turn you to insanity.

Matt 5:14-16 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do men light a lamp and put it under the grain-measure, but on a lampstand. And it gives light to all who are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.


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