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(Part 91)


January 10, 2016
Today’s reading: Isaiah 42:1-7

Isaiah speaks about the servant of the Lord. Jesus of course is the ultimate servant, but we too are all called to be servants of Jesus and servants to the Church. Now what does God do for an authentic servant that he has chosen? “Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased. Upon him I have put my spirit” (v.1a). God chooses His servant, empowers him with His Spirit, and then upholds, supports, sustains, defends and backs him up.

In turn, what is the servant to do? “He shall bring forth justice to the nations.” (v.1b). What is justice? It is to give to a person what is his due. To God is due awe and worship; to our fellowmen is due respect as a child of God; to the poor is due an equitable share of the world’s goods. And so on. Thus an authentic servant of God is one who will act in God’s place as His instrument, to be able to bring upon the world what God intended from the very beginning, according to His very plan.

For example, with regard to the poor, the servant is “to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.” (v.7). God did not intend for people to be blind, whether physically or spiritually; rather, they are to see the beauty of what God has created, and see things with spiritual vision. God did not intend people to be in physical prisons; rather, they ought to be free to enjoy life. Neither did God intend people to be in dungeons, in spiritual darkness, captive to unruly and sinful desires and actions; rather, God intends for them to be free of the dominion of the evil one, to live lives according to His ways.

How does the authentic servant go about his work? One, he is faithful. “He will faithfully bring forth justice.” (v.3b). He works with zeal and determination to do his work. Two, he will endure and persevere to accomplish his task. “He will not grow dim or be bruised until he establishes justice on the earth” (v.4a). He will not give up in the face of certain difficulties, challenges, disappointments, oppression, persecution, suffering and pain.

How can we ever accomplish the very work of God? Well, precisely, God wants us as His instrument. We are mere instruments. But the all-powerful God, for whom nothing is impossible, “who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and its produce,” is the one “who gives breath to its people and spirit to those who walk on it” (v.5). God provides what is needed! God does want to accomplish His purpose, to bring justice to the earth He has created, and He does this in and through His servants.

If God has truly chosen us, if we respond the faithfulness and perseverance, if we remain true and loyal to God, if we allow Him to lead and guide us, if we continue to grow in His ways, then He assures us that He will use us to bring His light into a darkened world, and His justice to the ends of the earth. “I, the Lord, have called you for justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations” (v.6).

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