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The Lord's Servant

42 (A)The Lord says,

“Here is my servant, whom I strengthen—
    the one I have chosen, with whom I am pleased.
I have filled him with my Spirit,
    and he will bring justice to every nation.
He will not shout or raise his voice
    or make loud speeches in the streets.
He will not break off a bent reed
    nor put out a flickering lamp.
He will bring lasting justice to all.
He will not lose hope or courage;
    he will establish justice on the earth.
    Distant lands eagerly wait for his teaching.”

(B)God created the heavens and stretched them out;
    he fashioned the earth and all that lives there;
    he gave life and breath to all its people.
And now the Lord God says to his servant,
(C)“I, the Lord, have called you and given you power
    to see that justice is done on earth.
Through you I will make a covenant with all peoples;
    through you I will bring light to the nations.
You will open the eyes of the blind
    and set free those who sit in dark prisons.

“I alone am the Lord your God.
    No other god may share my glory;
    I will not let idols share my praise.
The things I predicted have now come true.
Now I will tell you of new things
    even before they begin to happen.”

A Song of Praise

10 Sing a new song to the Lord;
    sing his praise, all the world!
Praise him, you that sail the sea;
    praise him, all creatures of the sea!
Sing, distant lands and all who live there!
11 Let the desert and its towns praise God;
    let the people of Kedar praise him!
Let those who live in the city of Sela
    shout for joy from the tops of the mountains!
12 Let those who live in distant lands
    give praise and glory to the Lord!
13 The Lord goes out to fight like a warrior;
    he is ready and eager for battle.
    He gives a war cry, a battle shout;
    he shows his power against his enemies.

God Promises to Help His People

14 God says,

“For a long time I kept silent;
    I did not answer my people.
But now the time to act has come;
    I cry out like a woman in labor.
15 I will destroy the hills and mountains
    and dry up the grass and trees.
I will turn the river valleys into deserts[a]
    and dry up the pools of water.

16 “I will lead my blind people
    by roads they have never traveled.
I will turn their darkness into light
    and make rough country smooth before them.
These are my promises,
    and I will keep them without fail.
17 All who trust in idols,
    who call images their gods,
    will be humiliated and disgraced.”

Israel's Failure to Learn

18 The Lord says,

“Listen, you deaf people!
    Look closely, you that are blind!
19 Is anyone more blind than my servant,
    more deaf than the messenger I send?
20 Israel, you have seen so much,
    but what has it meant to you?
You have ears to hear with,
    but what have you really heard?”

21 The Lord is a God who is eager to save,
    so he exalted his laws and teachings,
    and he wanted his people to honor them.
22 But now his people have been plundered;
    they are locked up in dungeons
    and hidden away in prisons.
They were robbed and plundered,
    with no one to come to their rescue.

23 Will any of you listen to this?
    From now on will you listen with care?
24 Who gave Israel up to the looters?
    It was the Lord himself, against whom we sinned!
We would not live as he wanted us to live
    or obey the teachings he gave us.
25 So he made us feel the force of his anger
    and suffer the violence of war.
Like fire his anger burned throughout Israel,
    but we never knew what was happening;
    we learned nothing at all from it.


  1. Isaiah 42:15 Probable text deserts; Hebrew coastlands.