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God’s Greatness Guarantees Our Strength. Isaiah 40:12-31

05/11/2016

God’s Greatness Guarantees Our Strength

Text . Isaiah 40:12-31

Israel has been carried into exile in Babylon.  They are in despair, as they sit by the rivers of Babylon and weep, remembering the blessings of Zion.  They cannot sing the Lord’s song in a strange land.  They FELT that they were far away from God.  But, God was not far away from them! In our last study in Isaiah 40 we concluded by noting that, for his people, the powerful strong God of v9-10 is the loving tender shepherd of V11.  Now Isaiah expands on this and there are three lessons that we need to learn…

  1. A Lesson about God’s Greatness.

Isaiah begins by emphasising the greatness, the magnificence, the dignity of God.

  • The Divine Dignity. Look how great our God is…
  • He designed the universe. V12   The Babylonians were great astrologers.  They believed that history is written in the stars, and that the stars control the destiny of every man.   But here Isaiah corrects this, for he knows that the Hebrew people will have been infected by this error.  God set the universe in place.  He designed it and he made it and it is his.
  • He is the beginning of all knowledge and learning. 13-14.  In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  No one taught him how to!  He knew, for all wisdom and knowledge that exists in the world stems from him alone.
  • He controls and dominates world history and politics. Nations are like dust before Him. 16-17,
  • The Divine Distinction. With whom would we compare the LORD?
    • The idols of men? 18
    • The inhabitants of earth? 21-22.
    • Earthly rulers? 23-24.
    • The vast universe? 25-27

Are we able to appreciate the vastness, the greatness of God?  Hardly!   He is far greater than we can ever imagine or even think.    He is God and he alone.  How great is our God!  Now, when we appreciate the greatness of God, we need also to understand…

 

  1. A Lesson about God’s Closeness.

This great and majestic God is also the God who is so close to you now, is walking with you, knows you so well that not even a hair can fall from your head be he knows it and has so ordained it.  See how Isaiah tackles this subject of the closeness of the God who is great…

  • The problem stated. 27 Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the Lord, And my just claim is passed over by my God”? How can a believer state that God does not know about him or her?  Yet Israel did!   We do it too.   There is no one who lives with an unwavering faith.   So Isaiah begins his corrective teaching.  First, Isaiah states the obvious..

God is not at all like us!  28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He is eternal when we are not.   He is omnipotent when we are just frail weak finite beings.  He is omniscient when we are not.  He knows and can do anything that is within his purpose.

  • His power shared. . Now, here’s the good bit, when we are weak and weary and faint, God shares his almighty power with us! 29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.  2 Cor. 12:10

 

  1. A Lesson about Our Response to God. 31 But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

Finally, now that we have learned that God has enormous resources of strength, and that he gives that strength to us, when we are weak, how will that affect us practically?  How will we respond?  BY…

  • Waiting on the Lord. The word WAIT is key. It is a patient, confident endurance, knowing that God will always work out in our lives what is good for us, and in accordance with his will.  It is consistent waiting, in great anticipation.
  • Spiritual Renewal. Look at the extent of enabling that God gives to to those who trust him.  Isaiah draws it out in rhetorical, poetic language.   He renews our strength, spiritually, and sometimes even physically, by granting us HIS great strength.

 

We are far from being supermen.  We are not heroes.  But we are sinners with a great God. Let us learn to rest confidently in him, knowing that in such simple trust and hope, we will find His strength will bring us comfort and peace.

 

© Bob McEvoy

From → Bible Study, Isaiah

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