Isaiah 42 contains the first of five “Servant Songs” in the prophecy (42.1-9; 49.1-13; 50.4-11; 52.13-55; 61.1-9). Israel and many other individuals in the Old Testament were described with the word “servant”. Chapter 42 begins with the LORD describing His Servant and then speaking directly to His Servant.
This Servant is strengthened by God for His task. He is chosen and the LORD delights in Him. He will bring justice not only to Israel but to all the nations. He is gentle and faithful. He does not grow weak and will not be discouraged. He establishes justice on the earth. The LORD said to His Servant:
“I am the LORD. I have called you for a righteous purpose, and I will hold you by your hand. I will watch over you, and I will appoint you to be a covenant for the people and a light to the nations, in order to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon and those sitting in darkness from the prison house. I am the LORD. 1That is my name, and I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. The past events have indeed happened. Now I declare new events; I announce them to you before they occur” (Isaiah 42.6-9).
While historic figures like Cyrus may foreshadow this Servant, only Jesus fulfills the description here. As a matter of fact, The New Testament tells us that Jesus is the explicit fulfillment of this passage (Matthew 12.15-21).
The Father calls the Son for a righteous purpose. Jesus, YHWH’s Servant, is the sum total of both the Old and the New Covenants. He ended the Old by fulfilling the promises of the Messiah to come. He inaugurated the New with His death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus is God’s Servant, a light to all nations sitting in darkness. He would bring people out of bondage to sin.
I cannot say that I have been always faithful in serving the LORD. However, I can say that Jesus always does that which pleases His Father. He is the faithful Servant who is the light to the nations. He opened my blind eyes and set me free. I was sitting in a prison of darkness but now I am walking in the kingdom of light.
The LORD called His Servant. His Servant answered that call faithfully. Now the Servant calls me. While I am not always faithful, He is. He who called me is faithful; He will also do it (1 Thessalonians 5.24). Do what? He will sanctify me completely. I will be kept sound and blameless until He returns. I do not stand in my own faithfulness. I stand in the faithfulness of Christ.