God Gives His Glory “to no other” than his Righteous Servant

God Gives His Glory “to no other” than his Righteous Servant January 19, 2019

My last post was about the trinitarian debate between Dr. Dale Tuggy and Dr. Michael Brown, held eight days ago, on January 11th. Dr. Brown is Trinitarian. He presented the standard trinitarian arguments, supporting them with so many of the main texts Trinitarians cite. In my book, The Restitution of Jesus Christ, I usually go into depth regarding most of the scriptural texts Michael cited. One that I only did a paragraph on is Isa 42.8. Michael cited this, as some Trinitarians do, in support of his position that Jesus is God. But those who do this take it out of its context. So, Michael did not quote any preceding verses.

Isaiah 40-55 presents Yahweh’s suffering servant. Usually it refers to Messiah Jesus as the righteous servant. But sometimes the suffering is sinful Israel. Sometimes, there is a mysterious connection between the two. But Isaiah 42.1-8 is all about God speaking about his chosen one, the Messiah. It begins, “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights” (v.1). When Jesus was baptized, a voice from above quoted or alluded to this text (e.g., Matt. 3.17). Verse 2 reads, “I have put my spirit upon him.” We also read in the previous verse concerning Jesus’ baptism, “And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him” (Matt. 3.16). Thus, Isaiah 42.1-2 serve as a prophecy of Jesus’ baptism.

The Isaiah 42 text continues, telling what Messiah Jesus will do, such as bring forth justice (vv. 1, 3). God speaks to him again, saying, “I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you” (v. 6a). So, God is still speaking of his chosen one, the Messiah of Israel; thus, he is not speaking about Israel.

God says next, “I have give you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations” (Isa 42.6b). In Isa 9.1-2, Isaiah designated that this “great light” would come from “Galilee of the nations,” referring to Jesus and where he had lived.

We read next that this chosen one would “open the eyes that are blind” (Isa 42.7a). Then we read Isa 42.8, the text Michael Brown quoted in the debate. It reads, “I am the LORD, that is my name; my glory I give to no other.” Brown argued that God does not give his glory to anyone, including Jesus, which indicates Jesus must already be God. But I think that is taking Isa 42.8 out of its context. God has been speaking about his righteous, suffering servant, his chosen one, who we Christian believe is Jesus the Messiah. Therefore, God means in this text that he does not give his glory to anyone other than his righteous servant–Jesus. Here is what I wrote about it in my RJC book:

Thus, Deutero-Isaiah skips back and forth between Israel as God’s disobedient “servant” and Messiah as God’s righteous “Servant.” In Isa 42.1-8, the latter is in view. Therein, Yahweh extols the virtues of His Servant-Messiah and reveals how He will make Him a covenant to the people and a light to the nations, which clearly connects this Servant-Messiah to Isa 9.1-2. Then God proclaims, “I am the lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another” (42.8; cf. 48.11). This does not mean that Yahweh will not give His glory to anyone. Rather, it means that Yahweh will give His glory to His Servant-Messiah, but He will not give it to anyone else.[1] Nevertheless, the idea of Yahweh sharing His glory with His Servant-Messiah does not make Messiah either God or a god. For, Deutero-Isaiah is well known for its statements by Yahweh, in which He proclaims Himself as the only God (e.g., Isa 43.10-12; 44.6, 8-9; 47.8, 10).

[1] Does Yahweh make a distinction by saying that He will “give” His glory to His Servant-Messiah and none other, whereas He will only “show” His glory through His servant Israel (Isa 42.8; 49.3; cf. 60.1-2)?

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