God had been annoyed with his people, but he held it in. He chose a servant to gently talk with the people. Equipped with the Spirit, he would not become discouraged. His servant would be a light for the nations. He would open the eyes of the blind, bring prisoners out of their dark self-made dungeons. In fact, everything was going to be new. The old things would pass away.
But the people didn’t listen to the servant. They refused to come into the light. They refused to see and remained as if they were still imprisoned in dark dungeons.
Finally, it was just too much for God (Is. 42:14)
I have been silent for a long time.
I kept quiet and held myself back.
But like a woman in childbirth I will cry out.
I will gasp and pant.
In his thrashing about, mountains will be smashed to smithereens. Plants will die in the dryness. Rivers and ponds will dry up.
But with the Lord, where there is anger over sin, it is always followed by grace. He will lead the blind on the road of faith which is unfamiliar to them. He will turn their darkness into light. He will smooth the rough places.
He concludes in Isaiah 42:16, “I will never abandon them.”
That promise of never being abandoned is still with us. In this season of Lent, we make our way to the cross and the empty tomb. There we will see God explode again, not in anger, but in an explosion of grace and life which covers us from head to toe. It wipes out the old sinful past and creates us new again.