The words found in Isaiah 42:1-4 constitute a poem through which the writer introduces God’s servant. God chose him, and God delights in him. Therefore, God upholds him. Furthermore, God has placed his spirit upon him to equip him for his ministry. The servant’s mission is to bring forth justice to the nations. By peaceful means, the servant will lead the nations of the world to obey the laws and yield to the will of his God and Sovereign.
According to verse 2, the servant does “not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street.” That is, the servant is not loud and condemnatory. He is not tyrannical and fierce. He is the Prince of Peace.
Verses 3 and 4 complete the prophet’s description of the servant’s mission. He will not destroy or discourage those who strive for righteousness. Neither will he fail nor be discouraged until he has succeeded “in establishing justice in the earth.”
As we plan our celebration of the “servant’s” birth during these days of Advent, let us remember that Jesus’ mission is to establish justice in the earth. In the Bible justice is associated with righteousness. The psalmist declared, God “loves righteousness and justice…” (Psalm 33:5). Along with “hope,” “love,” “joy,” and “peace,” we must include the words “justice” and “righteousness” in our Christmas vocabulary.
Defender of the Righteous,
Companion of the Just,
I thank you for this holy season.
May all nations praise your Name, and commit themselves to righteousness and justice.