Meditations on Isaiah 40: No.21. He is there for us
Isa 40:28 “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.”
In the previous study we acknowledged that this ‘desert experience’ is a more common experience that many of us realise. In our ‘desert place’ we often lose focus or lose perspective and find ourselves coming out with things which, on a good day, we know are not true, we make excuses for silly things we say or do and we tend to grumble as we let the enemy push us around. Isaiah’s prophecy comes to help us as it confronts the reality of our situation but cries out that the Lord is coming to transform it. Never forget that! It is to counter the silly things that the enemy says to us in such times, that the word now comes, words like, “God is too busy, God needs a rest with all He has to do, God can’t be here for you at the moment.” Silly words, all untruths.
Verse 28: “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.” So, the unthinking and worn down might think that God is too tired or too busy to bother with them, that He has got caught up in His own affairs and forgotten them, but none of that is true. Why should the Creator of the world, the all-powerful, all-knowing and all-wise one be like that? You may not be able to understand His actions or His apparent inaction, but you have nothing to worry about on that score!
Verse 29: “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” This almighty all-powerful God never runs out of energy and because He is love (1 Jn 4:8,16), He delights in sharing His resources with His people. Thus when He sees our weariness and sense of weakness, He just waits to hear from us, His children turning to their Father, to give them the strength they need, the power to lift them up. It is a common need:
Verse 30: “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;” It doesn’t matter who we are, young or old, our human frailty and weakness shines through on a regular basis, our resources run low, we get run down, we feel jaded and weak and become vulnerable to the lies of the enemy and his insidious suggestions, “I should just give it all up if I were you. End it all now.” No, the wise simply turn to their loving heavenly Father and receive from Him:
Verse 31a: “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” The word ‘hope’ here can be confusing. It means to rely upon, to put your trust in, and in practical terms, wait upon, which is why a number of versions have, “they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength.” (ESV, NKJ etc) These other versions focus on the act while the NIV focuses on the reason. When we truly put our hope in the Lord we will make time to wait upon Him until He comes and makes His presence known. That is the link with earlier in the chapter, “the glory of the Lord will be revealed,” (v.5) “Here is your God!”
See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power.” (v.9,10)
Trust & reliance: When we wait upon Him, when we put our hope in Him alone, then He will come, bringing His power into our lives in a fresh way. No wonder Jeremiah chided God’s people: “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” (Jer 2:13) Instead of relying on the spring of living water, the Lord, they had tried their own methods of providing resources, (today we do it by our self-help courses) and found that didn’t work. There is a link here with the earlier instructions, “prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God,” (v.3) i.e. you take steps for the Lord to be able to come to you: “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” (Jas 4:8). It calls for heart change and then life action.
And then there is the outworking of all this, but instead of rushing through it, we will leave it to the last study in this mini-series.