In Isaiah 40 we enter a new section of this important book. While God would continue to correct His people, His Word from this point forward was filled with much comfort.
God commanded that His messengers speak tenderly to Jerusalem, announcing the end of her warfare and the completion of the Lord’s dealing with her sins. The city would still face great difficulties over the decades to come after Isaiah. When would the good news that Isaiah wrote about actually come for the people of God? It would first be announced by a future prophet who would be a voice crying out, telling the people to prepare the way of the Lord. The Lord Himself would eventually be revealed, but before that great day, John the Baptist would point others to the coming Messiah.
How could the eternal and everlasting God actually enter into space and time and speak to man face to face? The children of the eternal God lived in the world of the perishing. Like the grass of the field, their lives would be over in the blinking of an eye. How could God visit them in a way that would have a lasting impact?
God would come in the flesh. He would guard His children as a mighty protector. He knew the wonders of creation, for He had spoken over the tumultuous waters in the beginning. He would not be intimidated by the great nations of the world. He would win for His chosen ones a new world that would never fade away.
What would God be like when He came? He was nothing like the idols of men which could not accomplish anything. He would be a powerful Lord and a tender Shepherd. He who knew all the stars by name would never forget His people.
The Jesus who would one day experience in person the trials of this world would also humble Himself to the point of the lowest weakness. After dying for our sins, He would then be exalted far above the heavens. From that position of full authority, He would give strength to the most weary worshiper who would call upon His Name. Through Him, even very weak followers would “mount up with wings like eagles.” They would “run and not be weary.” They would “walk and not faint.”
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Lord God, bring to us ministers who comfort Your people with words of good news from on high. Speak forth Your glory so that all flesh shall hear of Your greatness. We are like grass that withers and fades. Your Word will stand forever. In that Word we behold You, Your Son, and Your Holy Spirit. There is no one like You. You are before all things and You reign over all that You have created. All the nations are as nothing before You. How could we display You with some image that we have created? You are the everlasting God. You bring the greatest powers of the earth low and they die like men. You rule over the stars in the heavens, and You know Your children. You do not faint or grow weary. Give us power and strength as we wait for You. Teach us to fly, to run, to walk, to stand, and to wait.