A Short Study of Isaiah 42:4

“He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.”
(Isaiah 42:4)


To you who believe the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, this is one of the most precious promises in all of scripture (2nd Peter 1:4). The Lord Jesus Christ has been appointed by Almighty God and sent in the fullness of time (Galatians 4:4) to accomplish all our salvation (John 17:4). The success of His work is guaranteed by the decree of God (Acts 2:23; Isaiah 46:9-12).

It is sad but true, every sinner has miserably failed to honour God and produce a righteousness that would satisfy Him, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). However, this gives us all the more reason to rejoice and trust our Great Saviour, Surety that cannot fail (Hebrews 7:25). Although He met with fierce opposition (John 19:15) and had great difficulties to overcome (Hebrews 4:15), He always went about doing the will and work of God with perfection and without fail (John 4:34).

This leads us to consider what work did He undertake as the Saviour and Surety of His covenant people, in which He did not fail? Think about these things!

1) He did not fail, to fulfill every type, picture, prophecy and promise recorded in the Old Testament scriptures. “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39; Luke 24:25-27, Luke 24:44-46). What God promised in the covenant of grace our Lord Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled (Romans 4:21).

2) He did not fail, to honour, magnify and exalt the holy law of God for His covenant people, (Isaiah 42:21). “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil” (Matthew 5:17). He established a perfect righteousness for His people and sovereignly and freely imputes it unto them (Romans 4:4-8; Isaiah 61:10).

3) He did not fail, to make complete and eternal atonement for the sin of His covenant people, “but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 9:26). The Good Shepherd gave His life as the sacrifice for the sin of His sheep (John 10:15; 1st Peter 3:18).

4) He shall not fail, to justify, redeem, sanctify, call and glorify all His covenant people. “Whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:30)

Our very hope of salvation and joy of eternal life is based upon the unfailing, perfect, eternal and complete work of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who cannot fail (John 17:1-5)!

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