March 02, 2015
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
The Separated Servant of Jehovah
He shall not fail nor be discouraged. Isaiah 42:4
These words, as they stand, draw worship, admiration and adoration from our hearts. The stability and success of this Servant bow our hearts in worship. No discouragement and no failure – no other servant was ever marked by this. No other servant ever dare boast of having reached this standard.
But the words actually mean something different in the original text. Giving their original meaning will not dampen our appreciation or lessen our adoration. Truth always leads to greater insight and appreciation.
The words for “fail” and “discouraged” have already been encountered in the chapter. These are the words for the “bruised” reed and “smoking” flax of verse 3. He would not become like those to whom He ministered. He Himself never became a bruised reed in need of straightening or restoration. He was never a dimly burning testimony which needed the dressing of the wick so that impurity might be removed and His testimony for His Master might be brighter.
There was never a moment when He needed the ministry of another servant to “improve” His service; never a day when He faltered in shining for God in a dark world. Constant exposure to the need around Him never changed Him; He was never discouraged in the way. There were no occasions when the darkness surrounding Him affected, in even the smallest measure, the light of His service for God. He served without taking character from those He served. He moved through this defiling world like a pure stream in a desert scene; as a fruitful tree in a barren land. He was pure gold, the most fine gold, amidst the coarseness of earth.
The separated Servant of Jehovah came to our world to serve His Master. Earth, the silent planet of which C. S. Lewis wrote, was barren and without fruit or joy. Romans 8 depicts it as a scene of groaning. But as a result of the service rendered by God’s faithful Servant, there is a Song raised to Jehovah from the very world that had no song to raise (v 10). Verses 10-12 are marked by a new song, new singers, and a new subject. The song that we now raise is only a prelude to that which will fill planet earth with a Hallelujah Chorus that will dwarf Handel’s. It will make the collected voices of earthly choirs which sing that lovely anthem of Handel sound like a few old men singing in the shower. The groans of a blighted creation will be replaced by an innumerable company of redeemed and ransomed souls swelling a rapturous song from overflowing hearts to God and to the Lamb.
This will be the fruit of His work at Calvary, of His service faithfully and fully executed for His Master. Perhaps only then will the Servant of Jehovah look on the travail or His soul and find total satisfaction: when every heart is occupied with the grace, goodness, and glory of His Master!
- How did the Lord Jesus balance availability to sinners with separation from sinners?
- Look at the structure of Isaiah and notice how the three sections of the first part of Isaiah (ch 1-35) each end with a song (ch 12, 27, 35). What does this tell us about singing and the God-given ability to sing?