One of literature’s most memorable miscarriages of justice occurs in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel The Brothers Karamazov. After he makes several blunders on the witness stand, Dimitry, the protagonist, is found guilty of a murder he did not commit. Evidence that could exonerate him is withdrawn and destroyed. His attorney, Fetyukovich, makes powerful cross-examinations that are certain to discredit false witnesses and clear his client. In the end, however, Dimitry is convicted and sentenced.
The Lord’s people never need to fear the divine justice system. His justice on the earth rests in His character of holiness, and He has the power to enact His righteousness over creation.
Our text today continues the section of Isaiah often called the “Servant Songs.” This Servant (41:8; 43:10) is one on whom the Lord will set His Spirit. This Servant will be full of compassion and will have strength to be untiring in His pursuit of justice for Israel. The Lord will give this Servant as His sworn promise that He will act in righteousness on behalf of His people.
The New Testament writers identify Jesus as the Servant of whom Isaiah spoke. Luke’s Gospel says He is the “light for the Gentiles” and those in the prisons of darkness (Isa. 42:6–7; Luke 1:79; 2:32). All four Gospels say that He fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy to “open eyes that are blind” (Matt. 11:5; Mark 8:25; Luke 7:22; John 9:25). He is the One who comes to serve in order to bring about the righteousness required by God (Mark 10:45; Acts 3:14; Rom. 3:22).
Complete righteousness must come from outside of us; full justice must come from above. Thankfully, Christ brings both without fail.
Janet Stiven, General Counsel at Moody has been serving the Moody family with integrity, enthusiasm, and commitment. May the Lord continue to give her strength, wisdom, and insight in lending her expertise to various projects at MBI.