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Have you not heard? Isaiah 40 Speaks Comfort…

July 25, 2010

ISAIAH 40

It is difficult for me to overstate how much this chapter means to me and my family.  It lies midway through the book of Isaiah, a turning point in spirit and tone; and it is planted firmly in my memory as a milestone and testament of God’s abundant power.  God stands in these 31 verses as an unmovable, impenetrable, frightening force, sovereign and saving.  He lays mountains low (vs 4), measures the seas with His hand (vs12), balances ranges as vast as the Himalayas, weighing them and finding them wanting. (12)  He lays Princes down and raises them up to lead nations as significant as dirt.  The greatest rulers and kings, conquerors and realms wither in His light and scatter like dust in the wind of His nostrils. We are insects to be flicked by fingers who stretch the heavens out like a curtain.  What part do we have in all this?  None.  Are we to give Him, the one who sits above the circle of the earth, counsel?  What good is it for us to strive to rule, reign and run when we will be mere dust in the in the tempest of history’s storm?  These truths could make one despondent even depressed, but that is not their purpose.

From the first verse the grand purpose of this tome of God is revealed.  Comfort.  “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.  Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned…”(vs1)  Comfort comes from the fact that our warring is done for the Lord of Hosts who commands creation and contrives kings will do our battle for us.  He, unlike men, does not grow weary or faint, for in Him is the power to raise up, lay down and pardon the iniquity of those who sin.  Man may convict, and man may judge by the wisdom of his own counsel, but He who takes no counsel shall judge with wisdom and understanding that is unsearchable.

This is whom we trust, in whom we rest.  When will realize that our King endures forever; and our peace lies in waiting on Him?  The lives of those who wait on the Lord are marked with a silent comfort that rages in the face of injustice and rests in arms of the Judge.

I have seen the face of those who passed from this sphere into the next, clutching in their hands the hope of strength.   Earthly legs as limp as dirt but a heart running to Jesus, eyes closed and cold yet fixed like an eagles on the King.  One day our bodies will become weary and faint into permanent peace; but He who spoke into the tomb shall increase strength and we shall mount up to eternal Glory, our joy to be found in waiting on the Lord forever.  Find peace and wait on Him now, rest knowing that we will rise never to be weary or faint again.  Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the Everlasting God.  The creator of heavens and earth. (vs28)  Who could not rest in knowing that?

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