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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

2018.07.10 Hopewell @Home ▫ Isaiah 42:1-4

Questions for Littles: Whom are we to behold (v1)? Whom does God uphold? What does the Lord’s soul do in His chosen One? What has the Lord put upon Him? What will He bring forth to the Gentiles? What three things does v2 say that the servant will not do? What will the Servant not do to a bruise reed (v3)? What will He not do to a smoldering wick? What will He faithfully bring forth? What two things does v4 say that He will not do? For what will the coastlands wait?
This week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, and Confession of Sin came from Isaiah 42. Oh, how we need both the strength and gentleness of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Here is true manliness from the great and true Man Himself: not brash harshness or rudeness excusing its gruffness on the grounds of not belonging to the fairer sex. No, true manliness is found in this combination of gentleness and strength.

First, gentleness. It is amazing that the Lord says of the Christ that He will not cry out or raise His voice—that He won’t case His voice to be heard in the street. For, the Christ is the forever-King, the great and last Prophet. He has every right to be heard. But He is not a pusher of His rights. Instead, He is meek and gentle.

Rather than pushing His rights, He focuses upon reviving His people. There is the person who is like a bruised reed—bent, almost broken… just the lightest further mis-touch would end him. And behold the gentleness and skill of Jesus, who handles the reed without breaking it—able to faithfully bring forth righteousness out of such an one as this.

And there is the person who is like the smoldering wick—not enough fuel drawn up into it, drying out of its own accord, about to lose the last spark of life in him. But here comes Jesus, who is so gentle with us that in adding new fuel He does not snuff us out. Dear foundering Christian, behold your gentle Savior!

But behold also His strength. He will not fail. He will not be discouraged. He always presses on and continues with a work that will surely be done. He has counted the cost and now lays it out.

His success in faithfully bringing forth righteousness with the weakest individual in v3 is a microcosm of His work, bringing for that righteousness, that justice, until it has covered the whole earth. He who patiently works through the story of the believer’s life also works persistently through the history of His church in the world, until He has accomplished all His holy will.

Even the furthest reaches—here, the coastlands—are pictured as patiently waiting for the sure success of the Savior. What glorious strength to go with His gentleness!
In what current failing do you need Jesus gentle with you? How does it also comfort you to know that His strength will surely finish and accomplish His work?
Suggested songs: ARP32B “Instruction I Will Give to You” or TPH243 “How Firm a Foundation”

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