The Lord Commissions His Special Servant
42:1 “Here is my servant whom I support,
my chosen one in whom I take pleasure.
I have placed my spirit on him;
he will make just decrees for the nations.
42:2 He will not cry out or shout;
he will not publicize himself in the streets.
42:3 A crushed reed he will not break,
a dim wick he will not extinguish;
he will faithfully make just decrees.
42:4 He will not grow dim or be crushed
before establishing justice on the earth;
the coastlands will wait in anticipation for his decrees.”
42:5 This is what the true God, the LORD, says –
the one who created the sky and stretched it out,
the one who fashioned the earth and everything that lives on it,
the one who gives breath to the people on it,
and life to those who live on it:
42:6 “I, the LORD, officially commission you;
I take hold of your hand.
I protect you and make you a covenant mediator for people,
and a light to the nations,
42:7 to open blind eyes,
to release prisoners from dungeons,
those who live in darkness from prisons.
The Lord Intervenes
42:8 I am the LORD! That is my name!
I will not share my glory with anyone else,
or the praise due me with idols.
42:9 Look, my earlier predictive oracles have come to pass;
now I announce new events.
Before they begin to occur,
I reveal them to you.”
42:10 Sing to the LORD a brand new song!
Praise him from the horizon of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and everything that lives in it,
you coastlands and those who live there!
42:11 Let the desert and its cities shout out,
the towns where the nomads of Kedar live!
Let the residents of Sela shout joyfully;
let them shout loudly from the mountaintops.
42:12 Let them give the LORD the honor he deserves;
let them praise his deeds in the coastlands.
42:13 The LORD emerges like a hero,
like a warrior he inspires himself for battle;
he shouts, yes, he yells,
he shows his enemies his power.
42:14 “I have been inactive for a long time;
I kept quiet and held back.
Like a woman in labor I groan;
I pant and gasp.
42:15 I will make the trees on the mountains and hills wither up;
I will dry up all their vegetation.
I will turn streams into islands,
and dry up pools of water.
42:16 I will lead the blind along an unfamiliar way;
I will guide them down paths they have never traveled.
I will turn the darkness in front of them into light,
and level out the rough ground.
This is what I will do for them.
I will not abandon them.
42:17 Those who trust in idols
will turn back and be utterly humiliated,
those who say to metal images, ‘You are our gods.’”
The Lord Reasons with His People
42:18 “Listen, you deaf ones!
Take notice, you blind ones!
42:19 My servant is truly blind,
my messenger is truly deaf.
My covenant partner, the servant of the LORD, is truly blind.
42:20 You see many things, but don’t comprehend;
their ears are open, but do not hear.”
42:21 The LORD wanted to exhibit his justice
by magnifying his law and displaying it.
42:22 But these people are looted and plundered;
all of them are trapped in pits
and held captive in prisons.
They were carried away as loot with no one to rescue them;
they were carried away as plunder, and no one says, “Bring that back!”
42:23 Who among you will pay attention to this?
Who will listen attentively in the future?
42:24 Who handed Jacob over to the robber?
Who handed Israel over to the looters?
Was it not the LORD, against whom we sinned?
They refused to follow his commands;
they disobeyed his law.
42:25 So he poured out his fierce anger on them,
along with the devastation of war.
Its flames encircled them, but they did not realize it;
it burned against them, but they did notice.