The exiles in Babylon faced three insurmountable obstacles: the nations, their rulers and their religions. These 3 obstacles dominated and permeated every aspect of their daily lives. How could they be overcome? In 40:12-31, Isaiah contrast these three formidable adversaries with the power of God as author and creator of history. He concludes this new kingdom God is announcing is so powerful nothing will threaten it and it will stand forever because it is build by the word of the Lord.
The nation of Judah was facing exile, the destruction of their land, their community, their temple, and their religion. The critical question before them was: Have we forfeited the promises God made to Abraham and David? Into that despair and doubt, Isaiah announces the end of the exile, the birth of a new kingdom and the arrival of its King.
Isaiah wrote these prophecies of the Servant about a time when all God’s people are scattered and the Davidic throne has disappeared into the sands of Babylon. Does the exile mark the end of the history of God’s people? Have they forfeited the divine promises made to Abraham?
Isaiah gives us the fullest revelation of Christ in the Old Testament, most notably the Servant Songs. The exile raised the question: Can fail such that God will abandon us and we forfeit His God? In the Servant Songs, God demonstrates that not only will He remain committed to His people, He will willingly choose to endure suffering in order to forgive and redeem His people.