We are in the Prophetic Stream continuing in the book of Isaiah. We are reading from the New International Reader’s Version this week.
picture this: a family has just escaped an embattled and battered country. Some of their family members did not make it out in time. Possessions have been lost. The “earth” they have known has been burned. Their extended family in near by towns have been exterminated – none of them escaped…not one. Once in a safe zone, the family huddles apprehensively. The leader of that area falls deathly ill, though he prays and recovers. Then for some strange reason that same leader decides to entertain enemies; let’s call them future enemies to be exact. Your immediately family then gathers up and asks you, “what is going on? what will happen next? Does anyone know?” Isa. 40 is written precisely in that atmosphere. The suffering is over, praises are to flow again, a Savior is on His way to us, His Word is eternal for He is eternal. All nations who are against Him are folly at best. But those who come and abide with the LORD; the true God will never be in need. The fear you have known is nothing to be anxious about; nothing in comparison to the wonders of the Redeemer who is coming to save.
41 – The matters that Isaiah speaks of in this chapter are about 150 years away. He speaks of Cyrus, though that name is mentioned later, it is Cyrus [for certain] who will ransack this area in the 580 B.C. decade. But oddly enough, between prophecies of this nature, God promises to shield His children (vv. 8-20). The gods of those coming marauders are worthless altogether. Ironically those who are going to be invading 150 years later will be accomplishing God’s work of cleansing Israel, Judah, Jerusalem. [ more about this in Isaiah 44-45 next week ] But when their robust work is done, it won’t be long until they themselves are going to be thrown upon the dustbin of history.
42 – This is another wondrous passage of the coming Redeemer of Israel and the whole world. Some of the most endearing prophecies of Jesus are within this chapter. The first 17 verses tell of his goodness, and deeds, His tender care that comes from His heart for His people. The 18th verse to the end has a “here we go again- ” type of theme. Israel is blind, it cannot hear, it doesn’t listen and it won’t obey. These factors go back and forth as Isaiah addresses us: God is good, we are not. God is faithful, we are unfaithful. God is attentive and caring, we are the opposite. When will we change? Has this changed yet today?
“Lord Jesus, we pray and thank you for being the everlasting God who is true and right and good. May we not be dismayed that our hearts are naturally the opposite of you, but may your faithfulness against our unfaithfulness cause us to run to you with all the more abandon. Amen.”