2 Servants of Isaiah
One succeeds where the other failed.
While Jews consider Israel as Isaiah’s servant, Christians consider the Messiah as the servant.
Both are described in Isaiah.
Israel as Servant # 1
Isaiah 41, 42, 44
Isaiah 41 – chosen
8 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.
9 Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called you from the chief men thereof, and said unto you, Thou art my servant; I have chosen you, and not cast you away.
10 Fear thou not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen you; yea, I will help you; yea, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.
11 Behold, all they that were incensed against you shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with you shall perish.
12 Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with you: they that war against you shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nothing.
13 For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto you, Fear not; I will help you.
14 Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help you, says the Lord, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
Israel – chosen but is blind
42 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
5 Thus says God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that gives breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
6 I the Lord have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
19 Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the Lord’s servant?
20 Seeing many things, but you observe not; opening the ears, but he hears not.
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Isaiah 44 – failing due to idol worship
44 Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen:
2 Thus says the Lord that made you, and formed you from the womb, which will help you; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.
3 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon your offspring:
4 And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.
5 One shall say, I am the Lord’s; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel.
6 Thus says the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
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9 They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.
21 Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed you; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me.
22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed you.
23 Sing, O ye heavens; for the Lord hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.
Cyrus – chosen for just one task, not the full mission
28 That says of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.
Messiah as Servant # 2 – Israel has failed, the Messiah is the perfect servant
12 For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your reward.
13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.
14 As many were astonished at him; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
53 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
**note The Bible is clear, and it is consistent: one person cannot die for the sins of another. In other words, the sins committed by one person cannot be wiped out by the punishment given to another.
In Exodus 32:30-35, Moses asks Gd to punish him for the sin committed by the people in regards to the Golden Calf. Gd tells Moses that the person who committed the sin is the one who must receive the punishment.
Then, in Deuteronomy 24:16, Gd simply states this as a basic principle, ‘Every man shall be put to death for his own sin.’ This concept is repeated in the Prophets, in Ezekiel 18: ‘The soul that sins, it shall die… the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.’
This is because no one is a sacrifice without blemish.
But here we see an exception to the rule. This indicates, then, exceptional circumstances with an exceptional servant.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opens not his mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
*** note Daniel 9: 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Israel, like the rest of us, was chosen to bring YHVH G-d’s light, Word and kingdom to the world.
It failed many times, although it has made some progress.
Same holds true for Christians.
Both groups have been faced with their own limitations, weakness, and failings. They have to concede their lack of total success as desired by the Creator G-d.
Now it is time for the Perfect Servant to come forth and bring the kingdom of heaven to earth.