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As the whole world is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are posting Daily Bible Readings from the International Bible Lessons for Christian Teaching, Spring 2020, for your inspiration and encouragement.

God’s Just Servant

42:1 Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my spirit upon him;
    he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry or lift up his voice,
    or make it heard in the street;
a bruised reed he will not break,
    and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
    he will faithfully bring forth justice.
He will not grow faint or be crushed
    until he has established justice in the earth;
    and the coastlands wait for his teaching.

Thus says God, the Lord,
    who created the heavens and stretched them out,
    who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people upon it
    and spirit to those who walk in it:
I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness,
    I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
I have given you as a covenant to the people,
    a light to the nations,
    to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
    from the prison those who sit in darkness.
I am the Lord, that is my name;
    my glory I give to no other,
    nor my praise to idols.
See, the former things have come to pass,
    and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth,
    I tell you of them.

For use in teaching or personal reflection:

1. Chapter 42 is the first of several “Servant Songs” in Isaiah, in which the Servant is called to uphold justice. How does God invite us to uphold justice at a time when COVID-19 is creating hardship for vast numbers of people?

2. In Isaiah, the Servant brings light to the nations. How can God’s people bring light to the darkness and chaos filling the world around us?

3. People are on social media from all over the world, sharing their reactions to the corona virus and its impact on their communities. What claims are being made about God as just (or unjust) in this situation? How do you make sense of these widely differing perspectives?

4. In the forced solitude of social distancing, rest assured, the Lord is with you. Share a photo with the IN REAL TIME (Facebook group), to depict your hope and confidence that God’s new thing will spring forth out of this present darkness.