Tuesday, November 17, 2009

11/17- Isaiah 42:1-4

(Baptismt of Christ Salvator Rosa 1650s)
Daiuly Devotional with Calvin on his 500th anniversary year.

Isaiah 42:1-4

1 "Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. 2 He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. 3 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; 4 he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth.
In his teaching the islands will put their hope."

Calvin abridged: Isaiah changes his subject abruptly to speak of the Messiah. The prophecy that seems impossible, is often fulfilled in Christ whom Paul said was the yes and the amen (2 Cor. 1:20). For how can we have a relationship with God unless a mediator comes between us? We undoubtedly are so alienated from his majesty, and so could not enjoy his salvation or any other blessing without the kindness of Christ. In this passage the Prophet speaks of Christ as the First-born and the Head, because there is no other person to whom these statements can apply, and the Evangelists confirm this (Mt. 12:17-21). He calls Christ “servant”, but this name is shared by all the godly who seek to obey Him. Godly teachers who work in the church are especially called servants. This name also belongs to our very human nature. When Christ took on our flesh, he submitted to the obedience of the Father (Phil. 2:6). This was a voluntary act and so it did not detract from his rank or glory.

Thoughts: This passage has similarities to the baptism passage of Jesus in Matthew 3:13-17- when a voice came from heaven and said, “This is my Son with whom I am well-pleased” (my servant in whom I delight); and he saw the Spirit descending upon him (I will put my Spirit on him). Jesus is the servant who pleases the Father, and sets us an example. He is the One filled with the Spirit who will bring justice and hope in a meek and humble manner. Surely Christ has done that. If you compare the barbarism of the ancient world with Christ, you find a tremendous change. When it says, “The islands will put their hope”- I think specifically about the New Hebrides Islands. Before Christ there was cannibalism, constant warfare, gross sexual immorality, and much fear, hatred, and superstition. At the cost of the lives of several missionaries the islands became a place of refuge and hope for sailors for centuries. Even Darwin said to those who were criticizing missionaries, that if they were ever stranded on an island in the Pacific they had beeter hope that a missionary had gotten there first. There is no doubt that many Christians have done and said some pretty wrong and stupid things, but there also is no doubt that Christ was not leading them to do so. The life of Christ, the spirit-led servant. Is a check on our greed, our corruption, and our evil. I know without Him I would be much worse off, and so would the world.

Prayer: Lord, you set an example of servanthood and yet you changed the world. Help us to follow in your footsteps of humility, and use us for your glory.

No comments:

Post a Comment