Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, December 2nd, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 42

Hawker's Poor Man's CommentaryPoor Man's Commentary

Verse 1


The Prophet prosecutes the same glorious subject through this Chapter, as in the former. We have a blessed sermon indeed; God the Father is the preacher; Christ, the Mediator, is both text and sermon; and God the Holy Ghost is opening and making application of the blessed contents to the Church in Christ.

Verses 1-4

Had we any doubt whether the Prophet were speaking of himself, as God's servant, or of some other man, the Evangelist would decide the inquiry; for in the account he gives of the Person and ministry of the adorable Jesus, he expressly saith, that this was done that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken by the Prophet; and he then quotes, the very words contained in these verses; see Matthew 12:17-21 . But, Reader, I pray you attend to the gracious manner in which God the Father introduceth his beloved Son, as well as to the matter which he speaks concerning him. He first calls to the church to behold him, both as his servant and as his elect, in whom his soul delighted.

Christ, as Mediator, is Jehovah's servant; for, as such he took upon him the form of a servant; Philippians 2:6-8 . And Jesus is not only God's dear Son, and his only begotten Son, and as such, one with the Father in the essence of the Godhead; but he is also God's elect in his office as Mediator, and for which he is truly God's delight. Therefore, saith Jesus, doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. Oh! how much must the redemption of our nature have been upon the heart of Jehovah from everlasting, when he that from all eternity lay in the bosom of the Father, is chosen to come forth for the salvation of his people; and God the Father speaks of him as loving him with his whole soul, for this great undertaking; John 10:17-18 . And, Reader; do observe, in these verses, how blessedly the Father speaks of him: his love and delight in him: the blessedness he hath put upon him: the spirit he hath put in him: the meek and tender qualities he shall be known by: and the success of his mission. Do not fail to remark all these blessed things, which in these few verses, God the Father speaks of Christ, and then turn to the gospel, and behold how the original corresponds with the portrait here drawn of him.

Verses 5-8

In the former verses, Jehovah was speaking of Christ; here we find him speaking to Christ: and a most blessed discourse it is. The Lord opens it with a sublime preface, in asserting his own divine authority, as the fountain of all being, giving existence to all his creatures, and incessantly supporting the life he hath given. Reader, is it not most blessed to your mind, to behold the source of the believer's hope in Christ? Oh, what a divine warrant and authority is here for faith to act upon, in the accepting, receiving, and resting the whole of our salvation upon Christ, when we behold how God the Father's hand is in the whole appointment! Having prepared the Church for the cordial reception of Christ, by asserting his own supremacy in the ordination of Christ to the office of Mediator; Jehovah goeth on to address Christ, his chosen, by opening the great mystery of redemption in the covenant, and giving Christ his commission. The Lord begins with calling him; I the Lord have called thee in righteousness. Christ came forth voluntarily to the service, but did not come uncalled; see Hebrews 5:4-6 ; Psalms 40:7-8 . Next, the promises come in: I will hold thine hand, and will keep thee. The human nature of Christ needed support in the vast work of redemption; and it was a grand part of the covenant, that the Father should give it to him Psalms 89:19-23 . Next come in the glorious object of this call of Jehovah, and his support of Christ in his services: I will give thee for a covenant of the people. Here is the momentous cause of the whole; that Jesus should be the representative of his people, and the whole of the covenant for them, acting in their name and stead, in all he did and suffered. This is at the bottom of all our hopes and assurances of redemption by Christ's blood. Then follow the blessed and gracious effects upon his people, by virtue of his undertaking and accomplishment: To open the eyes of the blind, and to bring forth the prisoners out of the prison-house; to be a light to lighten the Gentiles, and to be the glory of his people. Israel. And oh, how truly blessed is it, not only to see, but feel, the gracious effects wrought in our own hearts by the Holy Ghost, in confirmation of this most precious doctrine! Isaiah 35:4-6 , compared with Matthew 9:35 . And, Reader, do not overlook the blessed verse with which this passage is closed: Jehovah, who declares his . jealousy of his own name and glory to be such as that he will not give his glory to another; yet, as if to show his oneness in nature and in glory with his dear Son, here gives him the whole glory of the covenant. He is to open blind eyes: and who less, than a God could do this, and have the glory of it what a decided testimony doth this become, and from God the Father himself, that Christ is God? Indeed, none but God could be competent to the work, or to the honour of redemption. Reader, I pray you cherish the blessed thought (for it is most blessed) which this verse fully gives, as an unanswerable evidence in the soul, by the Spirit's confirmation, against all the heresies of the present day; 2 Peter 2:1 .

Verses 9-14

Here are the joyful consequences induced by the Redeemer's acts of grace and mercy, as before described. Surely all must sing the new song, which God puts into their mouths, when their souls are new-strung with chords of grace in Jesus! And when the Lord goeth forth conquering and to conquer, souls will be born to Christ, to be the travail of Jesus's labouring pains, in bringing forth to his satisfaction; Isaiah 53:11 .

Verses 15-16

Nothing can be more blessed than these promises, when we behold them as our own, from a conscious oneness with Christ, and when we live upon them, from living upon him. Then we see that he who thus undertakes to be everything to his people, doth and will fulfil; and though we cool and tire in our love, the Lord never falters in his; Zephaniah 3:14-17 .

Verses 17-25

Here, as in the former chapters, the contrast is drawn between the Lord Jehovah, and the idols of the nations around; and the striking difference which marks the several worshippers is made between them that serve the Lord, and them that serve him not. And in the midst, a beautiful allusion is also made to the person of Christ. And who that reads the Prophet's account, and compares it with the Evangelist's, but must be struck with the wonderful agreement? Isaiah 50:4-6 ; Matthew 27:28-31 . The chapter closeth with tracing up the desolations of our ruined nature to the source and origin of that ruin in man's own apostacy and rebellion. The Lord is justified in all the righteous acts of his government. By the entrance of sin, misery followeth: and what can rescue and redeem from present and everlasting woe, but his righteousness, who hath thereby magnified the law, and made it honourable?

Verse 25


Lord! help both him that writes, and him that reads, to attend to thy call; and while Jehovah is proclaiming concerning his dear Son; and describing him as a most blessed Saviour; O for grace to answer with hosannas, blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord! Yea, Lord, on our bended knees, in transports of rejoicing, we would pray for grace to receive the ever blessed Jesus as the Father's first, and best, and most comprehensive of all blessings: and to make use of Christ, as the Father hath intended, to our salvation; and his glory!

We bless thee, O Lord, for thus holding forth Jesus to the Church. He is, indeed, everything that is lovely in himself, and everything that is gracious for his people. He is meek, and having salvation; a full and all sufficient Saviour; an able and well-qualified Saviour; a kind and tender-hearted Saviour. Yea, precious Jesus, thy people know thee, and have proved thee, that thou art all this, and more; for never hast thou, in any one instance, broken the bruised reed, or quenched the smoking flax.

But while we praise thee, almighty Father, for what thou hast said to us, concerning our glorious Head, and for our encouragement to come to him, we still find cause to bless thee yet more, for what thou hast said to him for us, and as our covenant Head; that he is thine elect, in whom, as the Church's Surety and Mediator, thy soul delighteth. Oh, the blessed assurance, that Jehovah is well pleased for his righteousness sake! O the unspeakable felicity, that

Christ, in our own nature, hath magnified the law, and made it honourable! And O the well-grounded hope, that as Christ is given of our God and Father, as a covenant of the people, and accepted as such; all his people must be found in him, be accepted in him; and be everlastingly secured in him, from all possibility of danger, in life or death, in time and to all eternity! Remember; Lord! we would humbly say, thy word, wherein thou hast caused us to hope. Look upon the face of thine Anointed, and do as thou hast said: I have said, mercy shall be built up forever, are thine own words O Lord; and therefore, as thou hast sworn unto our David, so let his seed be established forever, and do thou build up his throne unto all generations! Blessed be God for Jesus Christ! Amen.

Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 42". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/isaiah-42.html. 1828.
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