WAITING UPON THE LORD
6 months ago Evangelical Ministry 2
Those who trust in the Lord will find their strength Renewed (Isaiah 40:21-31)
Focus: Experiencing the strength that comes from trusting in the Lord
Trust is a very sensitive issue. To trust is to believe in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something. When you trust God, you believe in His reliability, Word, ability, and strength. The Bible says that God cannot lie. (Joshua 21:5), that He always keeps His promises (Joshua 21:45), that He loves you and has good in store for you (1 Corinthians 2:9). Trusting in Him means believing what He says about Himself, about the world and about you is true. Moving forward the Bible in verse 31 of our anchor scripture says: 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.” (Isaiah 40:31). This means that when you put your trust in God, you shall soar in every aspects of your life in spite of the turbulent situations.
Background to the Study:
The book of Isaiah is among the books within the Tradition of non-single author but with single editor. The oracle of Prophet Isaiah (742 – 681 BC) was only attributed to Proto-Isaiah (Ch 1 – 39), but Deutero-Isaiah (Ch 40 – 55) and Triton – Isaiah ( Ch 56 – 66) are still with unnamed authors that were called Second and Third Isaiahs in and post exile period. ( Pontifical Bible Commission via the Ecclesia Pronouncement.
Deutero-Isaiah (Book of Comfort) talks on consolation for the people in Babylonian exile (605 – 536), they are not to be punished further rather their faith must be sustained and not further tried. A faith that will extend their religion towards other nations and also as an instrument for saving Israel.
The prophetic oracle of the Deutero-isaiah is making an overture (disclosure/proposal) to the post-exile israelites against their return to jerusalem. Ish 40 : 1- 11 was on commissioning of the prophet(s) by God towards their glorious procession to jerusalem; “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God1. Speak comfort to jerusalem…….. To have received double for all her sins……… the glory of the lord shall be revealed” …….. Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might …… His reward is with Him….
The second part of the chapter (vv 12 – 31) presents a disputation between God and Israel; faltering them in their faith towards Him and tempted to apostasy. The prophet challenges them, if they can measure the works of God…… if they can not, then why questioning (apostasy) the works of God in history. Since the void couldn’t stop Him in creation (Gen 1:2) nothing can prevent Him from His will. This resulted in the series of questions from the prophet: Do you not know? Were you not told long ago? Have you not heard how the world began?……21 He goes further to explain the majesty of God over the universe: He stretched out the sky like a curtain, like a tent in which to live. He brings down powerful rulers and reduces them to nothing………22-24 God Himself also asked: To whom then will you compare Me, that I should be like him? 25 . The prophet went further to give them reasons why they should trust God: Look up at the sky! Who created the stars you see? The one who leads them out like an army, he knows how many there are and calls each one by name! His power is so great…..26-27. He never grows tired or weary. No one understands his thoughts. He strengthens those who are weak and tired. Even those who are young grow weak; young people can fall exhausted. But those who trust in the LORD for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak 31.
Memory Verse is from Ish 40:31 “But those who trust in the LORD for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak”.
Key Words: There are four key words to note in this study: Trust, strength, renew, eagles. To trust is to have a firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something. Strength is the state or quality of being strong; physical power or capacity. To renew is to restore to vigour, freshness, or perfection. Eagles are birds of prey noted for their strength, size, keenness of vision, and powers of flight.
The message of today is a message of hope. The Prophet Isaiah gives the people of Israel who were in captivity in Babylon Hope. They were hopeless and even doubted the sovereignty of God but Isaiah makes the people of Israel to understand that the Lord brings down powerful rulers and reduces them to nothing (verse 23). He knows the number of stars in the sky and calls each one by name (verse 26). Verse 27 is a kind of rebuke for the people because they were convinced that God had written them off. That was their complaint. But Isaiah affirms that God is the Creator and the Preserver of all things. He will not forsake what He has made. His first point to prove this is that He does not grow tired like humans. No problems are hidden from God, or too much for Him to handle for He is an incomprehensible God. His ways are right, even though we do not know them. We will never understand Him, but He knows all about us. We are therefore called to trust God’s sovereignty and wait faithfully for Him. (Isaiah 40:31). We should not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).
Bennie Robinson recounted heard an illustration he had about how God strengthens us during times of waiting through trials thus ‘Did you know that an eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it breaks? The eagle will fly to a high spot and wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it. The eagle does not escape the storm; it simply uses the storm to lift it higher. It rises on the winds that bring the storm. Like the eagle, God in His grace will provide power, strength, and courage to the weary, weak, and downtrodden so long as they are willing to be patient and wait on Him. God will cause us to mount up on eagle’s wings.
Benefits and Lessons from the Study
a. The Lord brings down powerful rulers and reduces them to nothing. Human being is nothing but a puff of breath. High position in society means nothing to God. It is God who elevates a person to high authority and brings another down. We all die the same; we are all judged the same way. Therefore, the highest position any of us can have is to be sons and daughters of God.
b. We understand that life is but a vapour. We are here today and gone tomorrow. James 4:14 says “You don’t even know what your life tomorrow will be! You are like a puff of smoke, which appears for a moment and then disappears.” God controls our destiny (the number of our days on earth).
c. God has supremacy over all creations. The fact that He knows the number of stars in the sky and calls each one by name is an indication that He’s all powerful.
d. Understanding the greatness and glory of God opens our eyes to the fact that there is nothing in our life hidden from Him, and there is nothing neglected by God. He knows us more than we know ourselves.
e. God’s strength is reserved for those who know they are weak and put their trust in Him.
f. As we wait on the Lord, the strength that we once received when we first came to the Lord in weakness is renewed.
g. Being strengthened, First, you shall soar upward, upward towards God: you shall mount up with wings like eagles, so strongly, so swiftly, so high and heaven-ward. In the strength of divine grace, your soul shall ascend above the world, and even enter into the holiest. (Ref MHC)
h. Again, you shall press forward, forward towards heaven; you shall walk, you shall run, the way of God’s commandments, cheerfully and with alacrity (you shall not be weary), constantly and with perseverance (you shall not faint ); and therefore in due season you shall reap. (Ref MHC).