Isaiah 42 v10-25

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Isaiah 42:10-17 “Creation Shouts; the Lord Shouts”

42:10-12 Describe the appropriate response for a believer after hearing about what God’s chosen servant will do. Note who is called to action.

  • All people everywhere in all creation are called to praise the Lord with a new song.
  • He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. -Mk 16:15
  • Sela and Kedar and people living in the wilderness.  Kedar includes descendants of Ishmael who were not worshipping the Lord, but evidently will be included as the gospel goes out.

42:10-12 How is the song Isaiah calls for a new song?

  • To sing a new song, not about the past rescue from Egypt, but the rescue now accomplished in Christ.
  • “new song” comes up only a few times in Scripture. The Psalms (6x), once here in Isaiah, and 2x in Revelation.
  • It centers on the gospel and the promises fulfilled in Christ.  See Revelation 5:9 and 14:3.
  • This song is not just for Israel, it is for all to sing, the song of creation taken up in praise.

42:10-12. Explain how this verse is fulfilled … today.  Describe its ultimate fulfillment. (See Rev 14:2-3)

  • In the lives and praise of all believers today.
  • Note the response in the historic Christian liturgy. After the confession and absolution there is a response of praise, the “Glory to God.”  It echoes the angel’s praise in Luke 2.
  • At the end of time by all believers.

42:13 Examine some other times the Lord is pictured as a hero and warrior. (Psalm 78:65, Zephaniah 3:17; Zechariah 14:3, John 16:33)

  • He fought for Israel, giving them victory over the godless nations of Egypt and Canaan.
  • He showed his power over the devil and all demons; After the demon was driven out, the mute man spoke. The crowds were amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel!” -Mt 9:33
  • He defeated sin, death, and the devil and all the evils of this world by his victory on the cross.

Describe how he wages war today. (Cf Eph 6:12-17; Rev 2:16)

  • He does “wage war” by literally causing people to fall and nations to crumble even today.
  • But the real battle is against the spiritual forces of evil.
  • He continues to bring us the victory by the sword, his holy Word.
  • He continues to rule over all things until he comes again in glory.

42:13 Describe the time when the Lord set out like a hero and acted most heroically.

  • He crushed the devil and all his works. (Gen 3:15)

42:14-16 The people in Isaiah’s time no doubt felt as if God was taking too long to act and save them from their enemies (Is 40:27). Here the Lord is shouting out after holding back his shout for a long time. Explain how it might feel like God is “holding back” from acting on his promises.  Discuss his “long” timing in light of what we read in 2 Peter 3:8-9.

  • But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: For the Lord, one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. 9The Lord is not slow to do what he promised, as some consider slowness. Instead, he is patient for your sakes, not wanting anyone to perish, but all to come to repentance. -2 Pe 3:8–9.

42:16 Identify what God does for us in order to fulfill these wonderful promises.

  • He opens our eyes to see the gospel.  He guides us with his Word and by his Spirit.  He never leaves us.

Review Isaiah 42:10-17

List three ways that believers shout a new song.

List three ways that God carries out his promise to shout and set out like a hero and warrior.

Find at least two connections between this section and the work of Christ.

 Isaiah 42:18-25 “God’s People Refused to Serve Him”

42:18-20 Who is called a servant now?  How is this servant different from the one previously mentioned? 

  • Israel is now termed servant.
  • They are a sinful people facing God’s punishment/discipline. (see closing verses of this chapter).  At the start of the chapter, it is the Messiah, he is one in whom God delights.

In what way is this servant blind and deaf?

  • The description is of Israel being spiritually blind and deaf.  Trapped in a pit of sin Israel suffers under the hand of God.  Void of righteousness.  Israel is not one in whom God delights.
  • It goes on in the next verses to describe the glorious gifts God gave them, but they rejected his gifts.

42:21 Describe how God made his law great and glorious among his people. 

  • He gave them the revealed law with the Ten Commandments. 
  • He instructed them in temple worship and the importance of honoring his Word.
  • He has given us his Word too.  We can also end up losing the benefits when we shut our hearts to his Word.

42:22-25 Recall how God was “pouring out his anger” on Israel during Isaiah’s time. List some of the aspects of their suffering highlighted in this section.

  • Under their enemies (Assyria) they were looted, plundered, imprisoned, kidnapped, trapped in holes…

42:22-25 Israel had great gifts because God was working in his own righteousness on their behalf and gave them his holy Word (42:21).  Share some of the examples from Bible history when they acted “unwilling” to walk in God’s ways or listen to him.

  • Various possible answers over 700 years from Sinai to Isaiah’s time. E.g. Rebellion right at Sinai, failure to trust over and over, time of the judges each doing their own thing, asking for an earthly king, kings following godless practices and idol worship.

Israel’s blatant sinning makes them appear “blind” and “deaf.”  Not even their suffering caused them to repent and turn back to the Lord.  What does that impress on you?

  • Israel didn’t sober up and return to the Lord even after all the troubles God sent them as punishment. Over and over they didn’t listen. In Isaiah’s time this suffering still occurred under the Assyrian attacks. 
  • We need to recognize the danger of turning aside from the Lord.  Our spiritual blindness makes us incapable of returning on our own to our God.
  • The sinful mind is hostile to God!
  • Thanks to God for his great patience for all sinners and for us!

Note how Isaiah includes himself in the call to repentance “We have sinned.”  Explain why every preacher must always make room for himself in his own preaching.

  • All have sinned. All need to repent.  All live by faith in God’s mercy, not by works.

42:25 Share some examples of times when people face the fire of God’s wrath but don’t understand what it means or take it to heart. (Compare Luke 13:1-5)

  • Anytime we face any setback it should lead us to take to heart our mortality and turn to the Lord for his mercy and grace for sinners.
  • The man who has cancer and gets well doesn’t take to heart that his life is short and he needs God’s mercy for when he dies.
  • The man who suffers under substance abuse refuses to see that sin has a price.
  • The sexually immoral suffer sexually transmitted diseases but act as if it is only a natural part of life instead of a consequence of their sin.
  • A nation or people can be financially bankrupt or at war with another nation but still remain spiritually bankrupt or at war with God.
  • A pandemic can lead people only to suffer as they trust in their own wisdom without repentance and faith in the Lord.

Review 42:18-25

Israel could have the glory of God’s law yet be totally blind to what it said. Discuss the implications today for Christian churches.

  • Just having the truth isn’t enough to save.  It is always through faith that God brings his blessings of salvation. 
  • By nature, we are blind and enemies of God. We hear the gospel but reject it.  We hear the law, but despise it too.  Only when God pours out his Spirit can we be brought to see and hear the gospel in faith.
  • There are many who have the Word but are teaching false doctrines of work-righteousness and distortions of the truth.  Many modern scholars deny the awesome truth that the first half of this chapter points to Jesus as God’s chosen one.
  • Note the contrast is made because of faith: in those who “put their hope” in the Christ and those who “trust in idols.”