14th December 2018

Light to the Nations 

“…a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.”
Isaiah 42:3 (ESV)

Having exposed the deadness of idols by saying, “Behold, you are nothing” (Isaiah 41:24) and “Behold, they are all a delusion” (verse 29), Isaiah now for the third time issues a dramatic summons, “Behold my servant” (Isaiah 42:1). It is as if he is saying, you can see that idols are nothing, you can see that they are but a delusion; now take a look at my Servant. As this third call to look rings out we see that this Servant led by God’s spirit, will bring justice to the nations (verses 1, 3, 4). This justice Isaiah has previously referred to in Isaiah 1:17: “learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” 

This Servant will achieve this kind of justice by not being self-assertive. Isaiah 42:2 (NIV) says, “He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.” This suggests that he will not drown out another’s voice, seek to dominate or shout others down in public; rather “a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench” as in the header scripture. He will not be dismissive of others however beyond repair, however near extinction they may seem. These negative statements imply their positive equivalents: he can mend the broken reed and fan into flame the smouldering wick. The reed has been internally damaged and the wick lacks the external provision of oil. This Servant is competent both to cure and to supply.

Who is this Servant of whom Isaiah speaks? The New Testament identifies him as Jesus (Matthew 12:15-21). He is attracted to hopeless cases. He loves the fragile people who are beaten, battered, and bruised. He knows what to do with them: He binds up the brokenhearted, and he heals their wounds.

What does it mean for you and me to follow this Servant? Well, it can mean nothing less than, as individuals and collectively as the community of faith, we are to be loving and kind to the most bruised and beaten. We should not look down on those who are hurting or be an elitist church; rather we are to be concerned about oppression, the orphans and widows. This was the heart and desire of the Spirit-led Servant; may it be the heart and desire of the Spirit-led church and the Spirit-led Christian. In this way we can emulate the Lord’s Servant and be a light to the nations (Isaiah 42:6; cf. John 8:12, Matthew 5:14-15).

Father, thank you for giving us a Servant who brings justice and who cares for the most bruised and battered. Lord, as we struggle to follow in his footsteps lead us by your Spirit to be vehicles for his salvation in this world.

Study by Barry Robinson


 About the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder and part of the National Ministry Team directing Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. He is also a pastoral worker in the Greater London area, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of the Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion International Camberwell
The Salvation Army Hall
105 Lomond Grove

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11 am

Local Congregational Contact:
Barry Robinson
Email: camberwell@gracecom.church

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Print This Article


Got something to say?