The Greatness of God on Display - Part 3
Today we will look at the very last section of this chapter. Yesterday we saw how God revealed Himself in detail so that the people would look to Him alone as their help and refuse to put their confidence in anything else. Now God gently, but firmly, helps his discouraged and tired people to find renewed strength and hope in Him.
Read Isaiah 40:1-31 again, but pay attention to the final verses, 27-31.
What do the people mean when they say, “my way is hidden from the LORD, and my right (justice or vindication) is disregarded by my God” (v. 27)?
The people of Israel feel that their current dire situation means that somehow God is unaware of their troubled situation. They also feel that their cause has been disregarded. They feel that they are forgotten by God or worse yet, wronged by God in their suffering. This is not just a one-time statement spoken in a moment of anger, but an ongoing feeling they had. The Hebrew makes it clear. It can read, “Why do you keep saying…” (27). Perhaps you have felt like this at times. This is a comment that we too easily make ourselves when faced with discouragement in life.
What does God say about Himself that answers these accusations against Him (look at verses 11-26 and 28-29)?
He answers these statements by again drawing attention to Himself in the remainder of the verses. God declares that He is everlasting (28) and is LORD—the covenant-keeping God (28). He is the Creator of all [pointing to His power and control] (28). In fact, so infinitely powerful is God, that He can give power to those who are powerless (29).
God now shows the greatness of His power by contrasting it with the strength of the young. Even these young who seem to have boundless energy, can be drained of strength and grow weary (30). But not so with God. He can supply fresh strength to all who need it. And with His strength people will not be weary and faint. They will in fact be renewed to endless and incredible strength.
Look through verses 11-26. Why should you believe that through God you can renew your strength when you are so weary?
God is not promising this for just anyone. He specifically states that only those who “wait for the LORD” will have this renewed strength.
What does it mean to “wait for the LORD”?
God has in mind those people who live with a confident trust and hope in God. They “wait” in the sense that they trust patiently in the Lord’s good plans. They do not rest in themselves and their own manufactured security. They do not look to anyone or anything else for their confidence and hope (like idols in verse 20). Those who look to God in faith and trust in His plan and promises and ultimately in Him are given renewed strength to soar in life and to live a life of freedom and hope.
The entire chapter has been about God displaying His greatness. We see the real-world reason for seeing this. We need to see God in order to battle our questions, doubts and discouragement. Are you facing similar questions, fears and discouragements? The answer that God provides is Himself. As we stated in Part 1 of the study, God is our help. May you find genuine hope and comfort in looking toward our everlasting God.
Main Point: When we see the greatness of our God and trust in Him, we find help to battle our concerns and discouragement.
List some specific discouragements or concerns that you are facing on a regular basis. What about the character of God, can answer each of those concerns?
Meditate on the nature of God and how He is the all-satisfying God who can meet all of your needs. Thank God that He is all that we will ever need.