God's Tender Care (Isaiah 42:3) - Radical

God’s Tender Care (Isaiah 42:3)

A bruised reed he will not break and a faintly burning wick he will not quench.
– Isaiah 42:3

Wow, what imagery! Part of me wants to just pray according to this whole chapter and even this whole passage surrounding this. This is talking about the servant of God whom he will send. It’s a picture of Jesus in the Old Testament. Isaiah 42:1 says, “I’ll put my Spirit upon him. He will bring forth justice to the nations.” That’s the picture. This is Jesus. And it says in Isaiah 42:3, “A bruised reed he will not break.” Picture a reed that is on the verge of breaking, that could break at any moment, and Jesus doesn’t let it break “A faintly burning wick he will not quench.” This flame that is struggling to stay, he will not put it out.

Isaiah 42:3 teaches us about God’s love for us.

This is a picture of God’s love for us. When we are bruised, when we are faint, when we are struggling, when our faith is struggling, think about Jesus’s words in Matthew 11, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, heavy laden. Come to me, all you who are bruised and faintly burning, and I will give you rest. You’ll find rest for your soul, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I’m guessing there are some of you listening to this right now who feel bruised in any number of different ways, just hurting or walking through challenges where you feel frail or faintly burning, maybe even struggling in your faith, struggling to trust God, struggling to go on.

I can just think of so many times when my quiet time, especially in seasons of challenge, has just begun each morning with, “God, I’m so tired, I’m so exhausted.” Some of you are there and I just want you to hear Jesus through this word about him in Isaiah 42 saying to you he will keep you from breaking, he will keep that fire in you from being quenched. He is here to help you. God is here to be your rest today, to pour out fresh new mercy on you because he loves you, he cares for you, and he wants to give you rest. He wants to give you strength and he will as you trust in him as you come to him. So let’s go to him.

Isaiah 42:3 reminds us God is our refuge when we are hurting.

God, we praise you for your Word, we praise you for your love for us, for your patience, your compassion, and your tender care for our lives. Oh God, we can’t imagine what it would be like if you the omnipotent, sovereign, Creator, Ruler of all were not caring, if you were not compassionate, if you were not tender with us. God, we praise you for sending your son Jesus. We praise you, Jesus, God in the flesh for coming to us as this servant, filled with the Spirit to save us, to give us rest for our souls.

Jesus, we praise you for dying on the cross for us, for being bruised, pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities so that we might not be crushed by the weight of our sin, the consequences of our sin, so that we could be saved from our sin and not just saved from our sin, but restored to relationship with you where you will help us in every way we need when we are bruised and faintly burning.

This verse encourages us to be sensitive to the hurting.

So God, I pray for anyone listening to this right now who feels bruised or faintly burning. Lord, in a tender way right now through your Word… Remind them. Just speak to their hearts and help them to remember and realize that you are with them. That you are for them, and that you have put your Spirit inside of us as we trust in you to give us everything we need for whatever we are facing. Oh God, we praise you for your love for us. We pray that your love would spread through us today. Help us to be sensitive to opportunities to share the good news of the gospel with other people who are hurting today…To people who have not come to faith in you.

Prayer for the Kuranko People

And God, we pray for the Kuranko people of Guinea and Sierra Leone. 600,000 of them who worship all kinds of different ethnic religions. God, we pray that they would be reached with the good news of your love for them… Of your compassion and your tender care for the Kuranko people. We praise you for your love for all peoples of the world. Help us to be a reflection of that as we pray… As we give our resources and as we spend our lives today. We pray all this according to your Word in Isaiah 42:3, which we love. In Jesus’ name, amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

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