The Messiah in Isaiah Bible Study
Chapter 40: Behold... Here is your God!
by I Gordon
 ↩ Especially in regards to the behind the scenes relationship between God the Father and Jesus His Son. Isaiah presents conversations between the Father and the Son that are remarkable.
 ↩ It is called the 'silent years' because there were no inspired writings by the prophets during this time. The prophecies and writings of Malachi in 435 BC were the last before the New Testament era. This doesn't of course mean that God didn't speak at all during these times! Even at the birth of Jesus there was Anna who was said to be a 'prophetess' (Luke 2:36). But during this time there are no prophets who were called to speak to the whole nation as Isaiah, Jeremiah and others did. And obviously there were no divinely inspired writings during this time.
 ↩ In scripture, God is called the 'God of all comfort'. Here it is: 'Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. And we to are called to preach words of comfort to people. Someone once said ' Preach to broken hearts and you will never lack an audience.'
 ↩ FYI: All four gospels quote this verse and apply it to John the Baptist. See Mat 3:1-3; Mark 1:2-5; Luke 3:2-6; John 1:23.
Spurgeon has a note on this verse in his 'Morning and Evening'
devotional which shows its spiritual/figurative meaning.
'The four directions in the text must have my serious attention. Every valley must be exalted. Low and grovelling thoughts of God must be given up; doubting and despairing must be removed; and self-seeking and carnal delights must be forsaken. Across these deep valleys a glorious causeway of grace must be raised. Every mountain and hill shall be laid low. Proud creature- sufficiency, and boastful self-righteousness, must be levelled, to make a highway for the King of kings. Divine fellowship is never vouchsafed to haughty, highminded sinners. The Lord hath respect unto the lowly, and visits the contrite in heart, but the lofty are an abomination unto Him. My soul, beseech the Holy Spirit to set thee right in this respect. The crooked shall be made straight. The wavering heart must have a straight path of decision for God and holiness marked out for it. Double-minded men are strangers to the God of truth. My soul, take heed that thou be in all things honest and true, as in the sight of the heart-searching God.
The rough places shall be made smooth. Stumbling-blocks of sin must be removed, and thorns and briers of rebellion must be uprooted. So great a visitor must not find miry ways and stony places when He comes to honour His favoured ones with His company. Oh that this evening the Lord may find in my heart a highway made ready by His grace, that He may make a triumphal progress through the utmost bounds of my soul, from the beginning of this year even to the end of it.'
 ↩ Now, I'm not sure about you, but I have issues with remembering names! And I don't have to remember all that many! Do you know how many stars there are? Let's not complicate issues by moving out of our galaxy but in our Milky Way galaxy alone there are 200-400 billion (with only around 8000 visible to the naked eye.) Alright, let's complicate the issue by now saying that there are up to 500 billion galaxies (apparently!). So do the maths and you'll come to the conclusion that there are, argh, um, carry the one, um, well, that's obviously oodles of stars. And God knows them all by name. Beat that!
 ↩ Even Job (as amazing as he was!) eventually fell into this because of the longevity and depth of his problems (and also thanks largely in part because of the not so great advise that he received from his 'friends'!) If you want to run off and do a little study for yourself then notice the downward progression that occurred by examining the following scriptures:
Firstly, an amazing attitude: Job 1:20-21, 2:9-10
Then trying to maintain integrity: 6:8-10
Then starting the blame God: 10:1-3
Then wanting to argue with God: 13:3
Then the claim that there is no justice (like Israel in our passage above!): 19:6-7
Finally read God's reply!: 40:1-2, 6-9, 42:1-6
Other versions speak of the 'Weak' and the 'Weary'. 'Weak' means
'failure through loss of inherent strength'. 'Weary' means
'exhaustion because of the hardness of life.' Our world and this
age are turning out many that are weak and weary. So in many ways
this promise of God through in Isaiah 40:30-31 is one that many
should trust and claim.
J Vernon McGee writes on this passage:
There are three degrees of power here, and several expositors have likened them to the three stages of Christian growth that you have in 1Jn_2:12-14. These three stages of growth are: (1) the young Christian shall mount up as an eagle; (2) the adult Christian shall run; and (3) the mature Christian shall walk.
This reminds me of the black preacher down in my southland who preached a very wonderful sermon, in which he said, "Brethren, this church, it needs to walk." And one of the deacons said, "Amen." He continued, "Brethren, this church needs to run." And the deacon said, "Hallelujah." Then he said, "Brethren, this church needs to fly." And this deacon said, "Amen and hallelujah." Then the minister said, "Well, it's going to cost money to make this church fly." To this the deacon replied, "Let her walk, brother, let her walk."
My friend, regardless of who you are, if you are going to move with God through this earth, it will cost you something. But God will furnish you strength whatever your condition. If you need strength to walk, He will give it to you. If you need strength to fly, He has that for you also. This is a wonderful chapter revealing the comfort of God as our Creator, as our Savior, and as our Sustainer.