These daily online studies are adapted from our Quiet Time Bible Guide. The studies go through the Old and New Testaments in just over two years. The approach taken by our quiet time Bible studies does not include answers. The goal of the study is to help you dig into Scripture for yourself. You can go deeper using a commentary, Bible background guide or Bible handbook.

Isaiah 42: God's Servant: Image and Reality

For more context before you begin studying, read this introduction to the book of Isaiah.

One of Jesus' most memorable sayings is found in Mark 10:45: "The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." One of Jesus' most memorable actions took place in the upper room where he was having his last meal with his disciples. He washed the disciples' feet. Afterward he said, "You call me `Teacher' and `Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. . . . I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you" (Jn 13:13, 15). The roots of these memorable words and deeds of our Lord are in this chapter of Isaiah, in which God reveals, in gradually increasing detail, the character of the Deliverer whom he is going to provide for Israel, a mighty Deliverer who will yet be a lowly servant.

Warming Up to God

How do you feel when you picture Christ as a servant?

Read Isaiah 42

Discovering the Word

  • How would you summarize the servant's functions or duties according to verses 1-9?
  • What is the scope of the servant's ministry (vv. 4, 6)?
  • In what ways does the description of the servant and his ministry foreshadow our Lord's person and work?
  • What vivid similies do verses 10-17 use to describe the Lord at work?
  • How do verses 18-25 describe the state of the people of Israel?

Applying the Word

  • In what respect or respects does this passage challenge you—your character, your service?
  • Promises are needed because people are so often liars. But every word of God is a promise—what he says, he will do. Look in this chapter at the verbs which God is the subject of. Which one or ones can you take as a personal promise of God to you now?

Responding in Prayer

Praise God for what he has done for you in Jesus Christ.