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Isaiah 40:25-31

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Introduction

This is the final study in Isaiah 40. We have been looking at how God takes care of us. In our first study from verses 1-11 we examined how God is our comfort, and our second study from verses 12-22 showed us how God’s power reaches down to us. In this last study from verses 25-31 we will see how God gives us strength. God wants us to be complete in him. He offers us his care, his comfort, his power, and his strength. We have such a faithful God who is always ready to come to our aid.

Verse 25

To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One.

God give us strength when we fail him. We will fail God, but we can always come to him. To whom can we compare him? He is beyond our human understanding. He is more of a friend than our closest buddy. He shows us more love than our family can. He shows us more patience than is humanly possible. Too often, we try to comprehend God by our human standards. But he is beyond our understanding. The best, most sincere Christian on the earth is but a small shadow compared to the holy ruler of the universe.

McGee writes, "God knows about the difficulties and problems of His people. If you belong to Him, He is able to quiet the storms of life, but sometimes there are lessons for His own to learn in the storm. When you find yourself in the midst of a storm, instead of sitting and weeping and criticizing God, why don’t you look around and find out what lesson He wants you to learn? God will not let you go through trials unless He has something for you to learn."

Verse 26

Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.

God gives us strength when we feel lost. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by the pressures of life. We feel lost like a tiny speck in the universe. But God says to lift up our eyes and look at the night sky. He knows the number of the stars and calls them all by name. It is he who created all of them by the greatness of his might and not one is missing – not even one. If God can keep all the heavenly hosts from becoming lost, shouldn’t he also be able to take care of us?

Some night, look up at the sky and try to count all the stars. You will probably get weary and lose track before you can finish. In about 140 B.C. Hipparchus actually counted them all. He came up with a total of 1080 stars that can be seen with the naked eye. But in actuality there are at least 100 septillion stars. That’s 1026. And God knows each one by name. Think of the immense power and vast knowledge that resides in our Creator. We may feel lost, but God is never far from us.

The Hebrew word used here for "missing" is < rd@f(;nE> ne’dar which really means "lacking." or "fails." In other words, not one of the stars is lost. God has his hand on the heavenly host, and he has his hand on us. Not one of the stars ever fails. We never need to feel lost. He will never let us be missing.

Have you ever taken a wrong turn? I remember one time we were up in the mountains trying to find a remote camp site. It was getting dark so apparently I made a wrong turn on the rough dirt road we were on. After quite a long drive the road kept getting narrower and more difficult to travel. I realized that we were lost. There was only one solution. We had to turn around and go back the way we came. That’s what God wants us to do when we feel lost. He wants us to turn around and come back to him. In those times when we feel the farthest from God it may be that we took a wrong turn and we need to go back where God wants us to be. But the difference is that even though we may seem far from God, we really aren’t. He is right there with us to help guide us back to the right path.

Verse 27

Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, "My way is hid from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God"?

God gives us strength when we can’t face another day. The Jews were discouraged. They felt like giving up. Do you ever feel you can’t face another day? God is asking, why do you say that, why do you think that? God will give you strength no matter how dark or bleak the future appears.

I was talking to someone once, and they said they used to be outgoing and very much a people person. But over time they had been repeatedly hurt by others and so became more and more reclusive. It had become so bad that they weren’t even getting out of the house. They simply couldn’t face the pain they had experienced. Do you feel that way? Remember, God gives us strength even when we can’t face another day.

Wiersbe comments, "Instead of praising the Lord, the nation was complaining to Him that He acted as though He did not know their situation or have any concern for their problems. Instead of seeing the open door, the Jews saw only the long road before them; and they complained that they did not have strength for the journey. God was asking them to do the impossible. ... But God knows how we feel and what we fear, and He is adequate to meet our every need."

Verse 28

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting

God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary, his understanding is unsearchable.

God gives us strength when we feel he has abandoned us. The Jews felt abandoned by God in exile in a foreign land. Do you ever feel that way? God is asking you, have you not known, have you not heard? He has not abandoned you. Sometimes we don’t understand why we have to go through certain trials. We want God to do things a certain way, and when he doesn’t, we feel like he has left us. Here in verse 28, God is telling us that he doesn’t grow faint or weary from helping us. But his understanding is unsearchable. We may not fathom everything God is doing. We may feel perplexed and abandoned. But we need to learn that God’s wisdom is far above ours.

William Jennings Bryan wrote about the wonder of the watermelon., "A few weeks before, someone had planted a little watermelon seed in the ground. Under the influence of sunshine and showers that little watermelon seed had taken off its coat and gone to work; it had gathered from somewhere two hundred thousand times its own weight and forced that enormous weight through a tiny stem and built a watermelon. On the outside it had put a covering of green, within that a rind of white, and within that a core of red, and then scattered through the red little seeds, each capable of doing the same work over again.

"Where did that little watermelon seed get its tremendous strength? Where did it find its flavouring extract and its colouring matter? How did it build a watermelon?

"Until you can explain a watermelon, do not be too sure that you can set limits to the power of the Almighty or tell just how He would do it. The most learned man in the world cannot explain a watermelon, but the most ignorant man can eat a watermelon and enjoy it.

"God has given us the things that we need and He has given us the knowledge necessary to use those things, and the truth that He has revealed to us is infinitely more important for our welfare than it would be to understand the mysteries that He has seen fit to conceal from us."

Verse 29

He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.

God gives us strength when we are weak. Do you feel like this verse – faint and one who has no might. God says that he will give you power and increase your strength. No matter how weak we may feel. We may be wracked with illness, over-burdened with trouble, worried over financial matters, crippled by fear, heart-broken over family strife, or tormented by depression. God has promised that he will give us strength. Can we trust the promises contained in his word?

Wiersbe tells us, "We can never obey God in our own strength, but we can always trust Him to provide the strength we need. If we trust ourselves, we will faint and fall; but if we wait on the Lord by faith, we will receive strength for the journey."

Verse 30

Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted.

God gives us strength when we are exhausted. Everyone of us will come to times when we fall exhausted. This verse tells us even the youth shall faint and be weary, and even the young men shall fall exhausted. The Hebrew word used here for "fall" is < l#$akf2 > kashal which means to stumble, to stagger, to totter. Is that the way you feel? Are you stumbling, staggering, and tottering? Have you lost your strength? Are you faint and weary and feel like falling down exhausted? Sometimes we feel the road is too rough. But God will give us strength even when we are exhausted.

Olga J. Weiss wrote this poem The Road Is too Rough

"The road is too rough," I said,
"Dear Lord, there are stones that hurt me so."
And He said, "Dear child, I understand,
I walked it long ago."
"But there's a cool green path," I said;
"Let me walk there for a time."
"No child," He gently answered me,
"The green path does not climb."
"My burden," I said, "Is far too great,
How can I bear it so?"
"My child," He said, "I remember the weight;
I carried My cross, you know."
But I said, "I wish there were friends with me
Who would make my way their own."
"Oh, yes," He said, "Gethsemane
Was hard to bear alone."
And so I climb the stony path,
Content at last to know
That where my Master had not gone,
I would not need to go.
And strangely then I found new friends,
The burden grew less sore;
And I remember – long ago
He went that way before.

Verse 31

But they who wait for 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.

God gives us strength when we can’t go on. When we are powerless to continue, then the Lord says to wait. We need to be patient. We need to learn to wait before God. I think this is the one thing we hate more than anything else – to wait on God. We don’t like waiting in lines at the Post Office, we don’t like waiting for our doctor’s appointment, and we don’t like waiting for something important to arrive in the mail. We are an impatient people. But God says we must learn to wait. It is only then that we will be renewed.

Ray Stedman commented, "How many thousands through the centuries have taken those promises literally and found that to ‘wait upon the Lord’ does this very thing. It all hinges on that one word, wait. Wait! The hardest word to learn in the language for some, especially young people. Wait. Let God work."

Notice what happens when we wait on the Lord. God says he will renew our strength. We will begin to take flight like the eagle. We will run and not be weary. We will walk and not faint.

As God renews us, we will be able to fly over our problems. We will have a new burst of energy and be able to out run our pursuers, our tormentors, our problems. But most importantly, we will have strength to continue the Christian walk and not faint. So no matter how you feel, remember that as you wait on him, God will give you strength.

Footnotes:

This study on Isaiah 40:25-31 1998 by David Humpal. All Rights Reserved.
All scriptures unless otherwise noted are from the Revised Standard Version 1971, A. J. Holman Company

Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, vol. 3, pg. 286 1982, Thomas Nelson Publishers

Wiersbe: Be Comforted, A Study of Isaiah, electronic version 1992, Victor Books

Wiersbe: Be Comforted, A Study of Isaiah, electronic version 1992, Victor Books

Stedman: Isaiah, A Short Series, electronic version 1995, Discovery Publishing

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