February 09, 2015
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
The Servant of Jehovah
Behold My Servant Whom I uphold … in Whom My soul delighteth
There are four Servant Songs which have been given to us from the pen of Isaiah under the control of the Spirit of God: Isaiah 42, 49, 50, 53. Each is a delightful hymn of praise to the coming Servant-Messiah. Yet each highlights some different aspect of His person and work. Some of the features of each can be seen by a careful reading of the Songs.
In Isaiah 42 it is His Fitness; Isaiah 49 His Faith; Isaiah 50 His Fidelity; and in Isaiah 53 it is His Fruitfulness. Tracing just His tongue in each of the four songs, you will see that in Isaiah 42 it is a Tongue that is Selfless; in Isaiah 49 it is Skillful; in Isaiah 50 is it Sympathetic; and in Isaiah 53 it is Silent.
The chart will help to locate us as we go through some of these beautiful Songs. Since Isaiah 53 has been dealt with in past meditations, it is ground we need not cover again. That is not to say that there are not still rich un-mined truths to be enjoyed; but if they are appreciated through personal digging, they will tend to remain with you longer and be sweeter.
It is helpful as well to appreciate that God brings His Servant forth to be viewed by men against the backdrop of other servants, be they Cyrus or Israel. In His Son-Servant, God found One Who alone brought Him infinite delight as a result of His intelligent and wiling service.
There were servants such as Cyrus who fulfilled God’s will without being conscious of it. The service of Israel, in contrast, was marked by a knowledge of what God willed, but rebellion against that will. This perfect Servant both knew and accomplished the will of His Master. There was neither reluctance to obey nor rebellion after promising to obey.
- While these are mainly devotional Songs, each contains practical lessons bearing upon our service for God. Find some of them in just Isaiah 42.
- The final section of Isaiah, chapters 40-66, comprise 27 books, similar to our New Testament. You will notice that Isaiah 53 is the central book. If you add the final three verses of Isaiah 52 to the Song of Isaiah 53, the middle verse is verse 5. While the division of chapters and verses is not inspired, yet this centrality of Isaiah 53:5 is significant.