As we enter the third and final major section of Isaiah, one of the things you will notice are repeated references to the “Servant” of the Lord. In the first two sections (chapters 1 – 39), God calls Israel his servant once. Eliakim and David are each called “servant.” But in the final twenty chapters, the Lord will refer to His servant over twenty times.
In fact, Isaiah 42 contains the first of what will eventually be five songs about the “servant of the Lord.”
Who is this servant?
For the most part, it is Israel. However, particularly as you read through chapter 42, you will no doubt remember that the New Testament applies these texts to Jesus.
There is something about this servant. He fills God with delight, is quiet, gentle, faithful and persevering. He does not become discouraged. On the other hand he is complaining, fearful, dismayed, blind, deaf and disobedient.
How can he be all these?
Through the prophet, God is speaking of an ideal, which w2ill be found in Jesus. He is also speaking of the reality of his people. He wishes they will one day be as He envisions them – as we see Jesus. In speaking this way, God is also speaking to us, comparing what we are with what He wants us to be.