Lesson 3: Isaiah 42 (A Song of Justice)

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Isaiah: Lesson 3 Audio File – Part 1

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Last week we discovered that it was impossible for God’s people to keep her worship rightly-ordered around the King. God’s people kept dethroning her king and crowning impotent, powerless gods on the throne of her heart. The life of Israel played out like a broken record. Due to her idolatrous heart, she kept falling back into the same pit of sin.

So, instead of her life reflecting God’s glory, the song of Israel’s life kept skipping back to the same pit, the same grove. It was as if the needle of a record player was locked into the grove of idolatry; Israel’s song played like a broken record.

And despite time and geography and culture, Israel’s song is our song too.

Today, nearly 2,700 years after the book of Isaiah was written, the songs of our lives keep skipping back to that same grove, pit of sin. It is difficult to keep our worship rightly ordered. It’s difficult because we have been made to worship, yet we all have a worship disorder called sin. We are constantly dethroning the Creator-King and crowning other our desires in his place (James 4:1-3). It is a cosmic struggle that pervades all times, all cultures, all races – all people.

But as we open up the book of Isaiah today, we will discover that things are about to change for the entire world. In Is. 42, Isaiah prophecies about one to come who will give the world a New Song – a record free of scratches and chips and cracks. Our New Song, found in this one person, will no longer skip backwards to that grove of sin, because this one person will put an end to our worship disorder – permanently and perfectly.

This person is called the Servant. And Isaiah tells us in this chapter that this Servant is so special and unique that a better descriptor of him would be “the Ideal Servant.” Because in Is. 42, God presents this individual to his people as an example of a true servanthood – what a servant looks like and what a servant does.

Historically, there were four passages that have been labeled Isaiah’s Servant Songs. And although they are not “songs” in the technical sense, they stand out from rest of the passages in the book because of their tone and language – they are extremely lofty/exalted, figurative/poetic (Is. 42, 49, 50, and 52-53). Is. 42:1-9 is the first of these songs.

But I also want to remind you that we have been examining the big picture of Isaiah – the larger motif that Isaiah is painting for us in his book. Because Isaiah doesn’t just randomly include these four “songs” about the Servant in his oracles. Rather, the entire book of Isaiah is a mural of what God is doing in the world and history through his people. And at the center of this mural is a portrait of this Ideal Servant.

I. GOD PRESENTS HIS ‘IDEAL SERVANT’ (IS. 42:1-4)

Read Is. 42:1-4

In the first four verses of this chapter, Isaiah tells us that there is a coming Servant who is unique – unlike any who had come before him. And to convey his point, Isaiah is using the language of presentation[1] – much like the language that is used in the presentation of special leaders and kings in Israel’s history – Abraham, Moses, Saul, David.  Similar things are said of these individuals at the time they are presented for leadership/kingship. Keep that in mind as we look at some of these descriptors of this coming leader and Servant that Isaiah is going to sketch out for us.

A. Submits to the Father’s will (Is. 42:1a)

First, the Servant is submissive to the Father. Vs. 1 says: “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold…” This means the Servant acts in the Father’s strength to do the Father’s will.[2] He doesn’t seek out his own agenda, but He is acting in accordance with the Father. This is very important – because this is the very opposite spirit demonstrated by the people of Israel. Remember, worship disorder? The desires of their heart constantly battled within them to act in accordance with their own agendas, their own strength. This is why they had difficulty fulfilling the role of servant of God. The Servant in this passage, however, has no other agenda than His Father’s. The Ideal Servant submits to the Father’s will.

B. Seeks the Father’s delight (Is. 42:1b)

Second, the Servant seeks out the Father’s delight. The text says: “My Elect One in whom My soul delights!” One scholar said this means “God found his deepest satisfaction” in presenting this Servant to Israel and the world.[3] God is the most satisfied when his creation is fulfilling the purpose for which He created it. Israel was to be a nation of servants/priests/lights to other nations of God’s glory. And even though their lives repeated the same song of selfishness and failure, God would still see his good plan succeed through them. It is for this purpose that the Ideal Servant comes – to enable God’s servants to fulfill their purpose of worship and service. This is God’s ultimate delight; he is satisfied when the Ideal Servant succeeds in his task.

C. Spirit-filled by the Father (1c)

Third, the Ideal Servant is filled by the Father’s Spirit. The text says: “I have put My Spirit upon Him.” This is special language. We know the Holy Spirit would not be given in his full measure until Pentecost. Yet, in the Old Testament the Spirit is very much present – working in subtler, quieter ways. And where we see the Spirit in the Old Testament, we see the Father laying his Spirit upon his servants for special tasks (building the temple) or for special leaders (Moses, David, the prophets uttering God’s very Words). The same sense is intended here – we see a special servant bearing the Spirit of God for a special task.

D. Sets up the Father’s justice (Is. 42:1d)

Let’s look at his task, because next we see that the Servant sets up the Father’s justice.

The text says: “He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.” The Servant’s task is to establish justice, and not merely justice for Israel, but for the Gentiles, all the nations. This term justice is very important to the book of Isaiah. In fact, Isaiah will use it over and over again in his mural of God’s activity in the world.

Typically we think of justice with respect to God’s judgment against sin or righting the wrongs of oppression, right? We consider God as a divine judge sitting on a cosmic bench doling out sentences and making everyone pay for the crimes they’ve committed. And that certainly plays a big role in God establishing his justice. But the word ‘justice’ conveys much more than judgment. It is a reference to a cosmic social order that is just. And God’s justice involves establishing that societal order among all nations – all people. And not merely for righting specific wrongs, but for establishing His just rule – the justice of his kingdom.

We know that sin is a cosmic problem (to reaches beyond time, geography, culture to all people). So because sin is a cosmic problem, the answer to sin must be cosmic as well. The answer to the world’s sin is God’s justice.

So, if justice is about re-establishing God’s order in the world, then justice involves eradicating sin so that we might be restored to the King. And this Servant of which Isaiah speaks is going to the vehicle for God’s justice.[5]

He will be the one:

  • to right wrongs
  • to eradicate sin for all men – for the Gentiles as well as the Jews it says in vs. 1
  • and to establish God’s rule/kingdom.

John Oswalt says the term ‘justice’ in Is. 42 does not merely refer to the salvation of individual people from sin, nor a system of social order like Marxism, communism or “whatever social paradise men could possible come up with. Rather, justice is creation operating the way it is supposed to!” Oswalt says God’s justice isthe life-giving order which exists when the creation is functioning in accordance with the design of the Lord.”[6]

So, the Servant’s role to establish God’s justice goes beyond physical help – doing away with oppression or the physical aspects of sin. God’s justice is fixing the world so that it works again in the way he designed it. So, Isaiah is telling us that the Servant is establishing God’s justice in the world – and the justice that must begin with salvation.

i. STYLE in which justice is established (Is. 42:2-3)

And look at the style in which is justice is established. Verse 2 says: “He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.” There is a graciousness to the Servant’s activity. He will not enter onto stage left with a heavy hand and heavy foot – he will be gracious.

We see this same thought in verse 3: “A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth.” This is highly figurative language. He will not come to destroy those who are already bruised or broken. We aren’t sure who or what symbolizes the bruised reed or smoking flax, but the point is greater than that. The point is the Servant is the agent of justice, and His justice is established in a gracious style. This is very different from style of conquering kings of the past.

ii. SPIRIT in which justice is established (Is. 42:4)

Now look at the spirit in which the Servant establishes justice. Verse 4 says: “He will not fail nor be discouraged, Till He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands shall wait for His law.” He will not grow weary in his task. He will persevere until he has succeeded. And he will not fail, the verse says. There is a surety to his activity – a guarantee.

Now, can you see the difference between the Servant Israel and the Ideal Servant? That is why I believe the Servant of the Servant Songs in the portrait Isaiah is painting for us cannot be merely the corporate nation of Israel. This is why:

  • We know that this Servant is special because there is unique language of presentation being used here to invoke imagery of kingship (v. 1)
  • We know this Servant is special because he has a unique relationship to God and acts in the power of God and in the will of God (something Israel failed at). (v. 1)
  • We know this Servant is special because he uniquely satisfies and delights God (again, another difference between Israel as a nation with its deep-rooted worship disorder). (v. 1)
  • We know this Servant is special because he is going to uniquely establish justice – a new world order that is cosmic in its reach – to all nations (vs. 2-3).

This Servant is unlike anyone who has ever come before him – more unique than all the great leaders of Israel’s past.  So, Isaiah is telling the people that there is a unique individual on his way to help them with their worship disorder. And the style and spirit in which this individual accomplishes this help is going to be unique as well.

The people were to anticipate this Unique Servant. And this anticipation of this Unique Servant builds until it reaches a fevered pitch at the dawn of the New Testament. Matthew opens the New Testament as the first of the four gospel writers. His goal in writing was to confirm that the person of Jesus Christ was in fact the fulfillment of all the Old Testament promises concerning the Messiah, the Servant. And the book of Isaiah is all over the book of Matthew. Matthew is immersed in the language and the message of Isaiah. So even when he isn’t directly quoting from Isaiah, Matthew is intertwining imagery and language from this great prophetic book into his biography of the life of Christ. Let’s look at a couple of examples.

Read Matt. 3:13-17

In Matt. 3 we see:

  • The Son goes about the Father’s will by submitting to baptism – just as the Servant in Isaiah 42:1 submits to the Father’s will. (Matt. 3:13-15)
  • The Son receives the Spirit from the Father – just as the Spirit rests on the Servant of Isaiah. (Matt. 3:16)
  • The Son delights/pleases the Father just as the Father is pleased/delights in the Servant. (Matt. 3:17).

So, Matthew is making a case here – that the person of Jesus Christ is the Ideal Servant prophesized by Isaiah 700 years earlier. And as proof of this claim, Matthew is directing the reader’s attention back to the imagery of Isaiah that prophesized about the coming Servant.

Read Matt. 12:14-21

In Matt. 12, we see Jesus acting in the same style and spirit of the Ideal Servant in Is. 42. He is not going to call attention to himself, but rather direct attention to the Father. He is not (at this time) going to wage war on his skeptics by raising his voice in the streets or bruising broken reeds like a conqueror, but rather his demeanor is one of graciousness.

So, in Matthew 12, Matthew is quoting directly from Is. 42:1-4, and he is applying it directly to the person of Jesus Christ. And while Isaiah did not know the exact identity of the Ideal Servant, Isaiah knew the Servant would be the anointed Messiah, the Son of God, who is the Ideal Servant. Consequently, Isaiah and all the people are then called to faith – faith that their salvation was founded on and through this servant – the one that will restore God’s justice.

So, we see that our salvation to God is only made possible through the servanthood of the Ideal Servant in Is. 42.

Now, to whom does the Servant affect justice and salvation? Was it merely to the nation of Israel? No, the justice and salvation obtained by the Servant is extended to all nations (v. 2, 4). Verse 4 says: “And the coastlands shall wait for His law.” ‘Coastlands’ is a synonymous term for the nations – but it carries with it the idea of nations on the fringe of the world. And so even those nations that are the farthest from God will be brought under God’s order, God’s law.

The word ‘Law’ is the Hebrew word Torah – which literally means instruction. This is important to consider because God had already given His Law to the people right? But now that Law will be given to the Gentiles. Isaiah tells us the Servant is uniquely qualified to offer a new Law/instruction to the people.

And so God presents his Servant to his people. We see this in Isaiah 42 with great clarity, and we see it confirmed in the gospel of Matthew – both authors present the Servant to the world.

II. GOD COMISSIONS HIS ‘IDEAL SERVANT’ (IS. 42:5-10)

And now, in verses 5-10, Isaiah is going to tell us how the Servant will establish justice and offer salvation. God is going to commission this Ideal Servant in specific ways.

Read Is. 42:5-10

A. Servant called to renew God’s creative design (Is. 42:5)

The first way we see God commissioning His Servant is by calling him to renew God’s creative design. In verse 5, Isaiah returns to the theme of God as Creator. At first, this sort of gives us whiplash, because it appears as though Isaiah has changed courses us. We were talking about the Servant and now all the sudden we’re talking about the Creator. But Isaiah is making a point. God is commissioning his Servant to renew God’s creative design.[7]

By its very nature, the order of creation before sin was very good.[8] It was perfect. Man and woman lacked nothing – there were in perfect harmony with God, with each other, and with the earth. That was God’s perfect creative design. But with the entrance of sin into the world, those three foundational relationships became fractured and distorted. Genesis 3 outlines the impact of sin on these three relationships:  Man was separated from God, man and woman experienced disharmony in their relationship, and even man’s relationship to the earth is fractured with thorns and thistles and hard work.

So, in conquering sin and establishing justice, God is doing more than merely saving you from your sins. God has purposed to save us AND restore us. In our salvation, God is at work to restore the design of life that existed in the Garden of Eden. It is the ultimate renovation project. He’s not just throwing his good design out the window with the entrance of sin into the world, He is sticking to His original design because His design was perfect in the first place.

And that restoration begins with salvation and justice. Remember we defined justice as the “order that God seeks to re-establish in His creation where all people receive the benefits of life with Him.”[9] God is restoring his creative design (the harmony of those three relationships) and he does so through the Servant. The Servant is commissioned by the Creator of the Universe.

B. Servant called in accordance with God’s righteousness (Is. 42:6)

But we also see that the Servant is commissioned by the God of righteousness. Verse 6 tells us that God calls the Servant in accordance with His own righteousness: “I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness…”

In the coming weeks we’re going to unpack the meaning of righteousness, but suffice it to say here that the Servant is enabled by God’s righteousness. This is the Lord’s righteous work (hence the language in vs. 6a: “I will take you by the hand and I will keep you.”) And look at what this work involves – vs. 6b says: “I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the Gentiles.” The Servant (in accordance with God’s righteousness) will be the agent of a relationship with God and agent of revelation from God.

i. The promise of relationship (“covenant”) (Is. 42:6b)

Let’s look at that idea of becoming an agent of relationship with God. Verse 6b says the Ideal Servant will be made to BE a covenant. We know that a covenant is the means by which the people of Israel had any hope of ever having a relationship with the One True Holy God. Yet the people constantly failed in their loyalty to their relationship with God (remember, worship disorder?). But here the Servant is actually BECOMING the covenant – the means by which the people have a relationship with God.

Now some scholars believe the “people” referenced in verse 6 only refers to the nation of Israel. If so, Isaiah would be saying that the Servant is the covenant for Israel. [10] But other scholars believe Isaiah had a wider scope in mind – so the “covenant of the people” would apply to both Israel and the nations. They bolster support for their position by stating that Isaiah must be referencing the new covenant – the “blessings of which were later spelled out in Jer. 31:31-34.[11] I tend to agree with the wider scope view – that Isaiah, in Is. 42, is widening the scope of the term “people of God” to include believing Jews and Gentiles.[12] I believe this because Isaiah is speaking of the PROMISE OF A NEW RELATIONSHIP – a new relationship that is only possible through a NEW Servant.

ii. The promise of revelation (“light”) (Is. 42:6c)

And notice the sequence of the work of the Servant. First, the Servant will restore the relationship between God and His people by becoming a covenant himself. Then second, The Servant becomes a Light to all nations. The people will see the Light and then be able to live in the Light. In what way? The Servant will enable God’s people to become a light to the nations who live in darkness.

God’s people will be restored back to God (promise of a relationship) and restored to their task of revealing to the nations what life in God’s kingdom should look like (promise of revelation – light). So, we see the Ideal Servant as the Light enabling the people to be his Light.

C. Servant called to deliver God’s people from self-idolatry (Is. 42:7)

And look at what this Light reveals– it reveals God’s salvation. Verse 7 says: “To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the prison, Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.” God takes men and women who are blind and opens their eyes. He takes men and women who are sitting in the darkness of rank prisons and frees them from darkness and bondage.

Isaiah is talking about more than just freeing Israel from physical bondage here or exile in Babylon. How do we know that? Because up until this point, Isaiah has been illustrating the dangers and darkness of idol worship and the blackness of the human soul in self-idolatry. Is. 42:7 tells us that the Servant is commissioned as the agent of deliverance – delivering men and women from the self-imposed bondage of the soul.

D. Servant called to glorify God’s name (Is. 42:8-9)

But the Servant’s activity is not only directed toward mankind – saving them from sin and restoring the justice of God’s good creative design. There is more to the Servant’s calling than that.  Re-read vs. 8: “I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images.” Scripture tells us that God’s plans always center around his glory (Is. 48:9-11).[13] Not because he is self-righteous, but primarily because He is righteousness. (Remember his name is Holy One from Is. 40).

And so, we aren’t surprised to find the issue of God’s glory central to the commissioning of the Servant. We see this several ways:

i. God’s glory lies in his transcendence (set apart from idols in nature) (Is. 42:8)

Verse 8 tells us that God’s glory lies in his transcendence. In lesson 2 we discovered that one of the reasons why God is worthy to be worshipped above all other gods is because of his nature a transcendent God. God stands above and apart from creation (and all the idols). So, God’s glory lies in his nature as transcendent.

We see God’s glory reflected in vs 8 when he says: “I am the LORD, that is My name…The name God is revealing is the name Yahweh – it is the covenant name of God. This was the very same name God revealed to Moses on Mt. Sinai when God commissioned Moses to free the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt. Ex. 3:13-15 says:  13 Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ 15 Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’

God tells Moses at his commissioning: My name is I AM. And here in Is. 42, God uses the same name to describe himself (I AM) with reference to the Servant’s comissioning. This is what Oswalt says of the name I AM: “It epitomizes the personal, unchanging, inescapable reality for the sole God who came to Israel through the covenant. Now his honor depends on the fulfillment of his covenant obligations” (emphasis added).[14] And in the work of the Servant, the honor of God’s name is at stake. He has tied himself to a specific people. And if they are left to bondage and darkness (whether physical or spiritual) then his name will be profaned.

So the Servant is called to glorify God’s name in accordance with his nature as the “I AM.” The God who is set apart from the idols in glory because of his nature as transcendent.

ii. God’s glory lies in his power to deliver (set apart from idols in deed) (Is. 42:9-10)

But we see that God’s glory is not just revealed in who he is (the I AM) but what he does. Vs. 9 tells us God’s glory also likes in his power to deliver: “Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them.”

God promises His people that because of the glory of his name, he will demonstrate his toward them. In fact, when God acts toward his people it will be so glorious that the people will never have seen anything like it before. It will be a NEW THING! (“new things I declare.”)

This is another demonstration of the difference between God and all the other gods. God’s nature as transcendent means he stands outside of creation and is therefore free to act within history on behalf of his people. The implication is that other gods are part of the created order and therefore NOT free to act. As we read in lesson 2, these gods are unable to explain the past and unable to predict the future. But God’s glory lies in the fact that he can do both, and he promises to demonstrate his glory toward his people in that He will deliver them through the Servant. He will work in a new way in which they’ve never seen before.

In fact, in verse 10, the Servant Song reverts back to the words of Isaiah and he declares that the people should “sing to the Lord a new song.”

This  New Song is the New Work of deliverance. God promises to do a new work in world (Is. 48:6-11). So what is this new work?

God is going to work through this Ideal Servant to establish justice on the earth (42:1-4), offer God’s grace on the earth (42:6-7), and do it all in a new way the people have not seen nor heard before (42:9).[15]

The significance of the Servant, then, is much deeper than the one-time event of the forgiveness of sin. Because that is often how we view salvation – as our ticket into heaven. But when we isolate salvation from the rest of the big picture, we minimize God’s New Work in our lives and in the world. God has a plan for history and it begins with salvation. Remember God, through His Servant, is:

  • Restoring his good, creative design and purposes for us.
  • He is establishing his rule of justice.
  • And it is under his just rule that God intends for us to serve Him – free of sin, without worship disorders.

And we can only do that through the Servant. So, not only is our salvation to God made possible through the servanthood of the Ideal Servant, but also our service to God is only made possible through the servanthood of the Ideal Servant.

It is never too late for God to do a New Work in your life through His Servant. In fact, that is what he desires to do in your life – he desire to give you a New Song to sing.

One person who took great joy in receiving a New Song from the Lord was David. I would like to end our lesson today – our song of Justice – on Ps. 40. It is a Psalm of David, and it is almost as if it prepares us for what Isaiah is going to write in Isaiah 42.

Read Ps. 40 (and look for similarities with the message of Is. 42.)

  • God desires to save us (Ps. 40:1)
  • God is able to save us (Ps. 40:2)
  • God gives us a New Song for his glory (Ps. 40:3)
  • God works in the lives of those who trust in Him and order their worship around him (Ps. 40:4)
  • God is after our hearts, not the trappings of religion (Ps. 40:5)
  • God enables us to serve him by opening our ears (Ps. 40:6)
  • God desires his servants to delight in his Law (Ps. 40:7-8)
  • God desires to share his righteousness (Ps. 40:9-10)
  • God desires we seek him (Ps. 40:16)
  • God desires that we depend on him for help and deliverance (Ps. 40:17)

David recognized that he needed help in Ps. 40. So, this is David’s New Song – God Helps. And through the Servant we find salvation (help from sin) and help to fulfill our call to serve the King.

Could you benefit from a New Song? Does your life sound like a broken record – bills, bondage, pain, anger, resentment.  It is not God’s desire for you to live your life and faith like a broken, chipped, cracked record – a record that continually skips back to the same mistakes, the same consequences of sin, over and over and over. God desires to give you a New Song, through his Servant. He desires to work something new in your life and breathe new life into you. And this is the significance of the New Song – we are no longer in bondage to the broken record of sin.


[1] John Oswalt, The Book of Isaiah: Chapters 40-66 in The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1998), pg 109. See 1 Sam. 9:17; Gen. 26:24 (Abraham); Ex. 14:31 (Moses); 2 Sam. 3:18 (David).

[2] Oswalt, 110.

[3] Oswalt, 110.

[4] Brand, Chad, Charles Draper, and Archie England, eds., Holman Illustrated BibleDictionary (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003) pg. 968.

[5] This wouldn’t have been too foreign to the Israelites – because they knew that the agent of God’s justice was usually the king or the ruler. In theory, the king would receive God’s word for justice and extend it to his subjects (Ps. 72:1; Rom. 13:1-4). Today, this task of administering justice (right living) falls on all believers today. We know that we all bear the Spirit of God and the mark of God’s justice on our lives. And so, our lives are set apart.

[6] Oswalt, 110.

[7] Oswalt, 116-117.

[8] See Gen. 1. Count the number of time God declares his creation is “good” and “very good.”

[9] Brand, 968.

[10] Oswalt believes the Hebrew word for people (‘am) refers solely to Israel due to the fact that God’s plan for justice (at this point in history) still centered on Israel being enabled to be the light to the nations. See Oswalt, 118.

[11] Grogan, Geoffrey W., “D. The Lord’s Servant—the Perfect and the Defective (42:1-25)” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Vol. 6 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986), pg 255.

[12] And we see the model for this already set up in the Abrahamic covenant, that very first covenant relationship in which all nations were to be blessed (Gen. 12:1-3).

[13] For a complete look at the glory of God in Scripture see John Piper’s book Let the Nations Be Glad: The Supremacy of God in Missions (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2003), see pgs. 22-28.

[14] Oswalt, 119.

[15] Specifically we see that this new work entails two things: 1) God is going to carry the people out of exile. Never before had a nation escaped the terrible clutches of Babylon or Assyria. Once taken into exile, this nation either obliterated their conquests or absorbed them. Yet God preserves will preserve his people because (a) He’s the Transcendent Creator and has the power to save them and (b) He desires to save them. So the new work, in part, will be deliverance from Babylonian exile. 2) God is going to carry the people out of sin. This is a cosmic promise – it extends beyond Israel into the coastlands. See Oswalt, 123.

About the Author

Melissa Deming is a freelance writer transplanted from Texas to Pennsylvania with her husband of ten years, Jonathan, and two-year-old identical twins, Zacharias and Jonah. The family serves at a Southern Baptist church plant in Pittsburgh - Living Faith Community Church. Melissa is a regular correspondent for The Southern Baptist TEXAN newspaper and Crossroads magazine of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. She is also the creator and author of HiveResources.com - a site designed to sweeten a woman's walk with Christ through devotional articles, book reviews, and giveaways. Melissa holds a Masters of Divinity in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC, and a B.A. in Journalism from Texas A&M University.