The Secret to Personal Renewal: Isaiah 40
““1) Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God. 2) “Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed, That she has received of the Lord’s hand Double for all her sins.”” Isaiah‬ ‭40:1-2‬ ‭
Isaiah chapter 40 stands out as a special chapter in the book of Isaiah. After much discipline, affliction and judgement for their sinful ways and stubborn heart, God wants Isaiah to comfort His people. They had turned away from God to serve other gods and idols and had been sorely disappointed. As Isaiah writes, they were returning to God but had endured very difficult times.
The chapter opened with God telling Isaiah to comfort His people. How does he accomplish that feat? He reviews the greatness of God and reminds Israel that God is for them and not against them. I will not ruin the chapter for you, but I will review some highlights to look for as you read this amazing chapter.
He starts in verses 3-11 by pointing to the coming of the Messiah. These verses are often sited as referring to the ministry of John the Baptist who prepared the way for Jesus. (See John 1:23) The Bible consistently points to Jesus Christ as the only solution for humanities problems.
Then in verses 12-17 He describes the greatness of God by contrasting Him to the earth He created. He knows it down to the smallest spec of dust on its surface. He concludes that the raging of the nations are as nothing compared to God. He is completely in control.
Then in verses 18-26, Isaiah briefly describes the futility of idolatry and compares man made idols to the magnificence of God. He concludes that God created the heavens and knows every star by name. I like verse 23, “He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, who makes judges of the earth meaningless.” God fears no earthly ruler or leader. He blows on them and they whither. The point is that God does not want His people to faint or fret because of ungodly human rulers. Instead they need to sharpen their focus on God.
The chapter concludes with one of the most moving promises of Gods ability to care for His people found in the whole Bible. Rather than becoming exasperated and fainting because of all the drama in this life, God wants His people to look to Him and be renewed like an Eagle. Let me conclude by quoting the final four verses in this chapter.
“28) Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. 29) He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. 30) Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, 31) Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah‬ ‭40:28-31‬
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global