Sunday Sermon 12.26.20
The fourth and final part of a series from Isaiah 40
As we wrap up our look at Isaiah chapter 40 and the comfort it brings, let’s review.
Isaiah is writing to a nation in deep do do, who’s decisions had turned them away from God and toward certain judgment and doom. He had been warning them of their pending judgment and attempting to rally them back to God. News of oppression, doom and gloom just kept mounting until chapter 40 brings a dramatic shift to the book’s focus.
Like a shaft of light and hope piercing the skies, comes the declaration of chapter 40 and it’s opening first two words – COMFORT, COMFORT.
Resounding through the dark days rings crisp and clear hope, consoling comfort and encouraging vision. In the previous weeks, we looked at these comforting messages – “Comfort in Doom”, “Comfort in Obstacles” and last week, “Comfort and Good News”.
As we close this series, we end with a powerful picture of God’s great and amazing power. The section (verses 12-14) begins peppering us with 10 questions – check some of them out –
- who has measured the waters in the hallow of his hand?
- or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
- who has held the dust of the earth in a basket?
- who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord?
- who can instruct the Lord or be his counselor?
- who taught Him the right way?
- whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him?
Each of these, gives us the perspective of a mighty, powerful Creator God. His hand holds and measures the oceans of the world. The extension of his fingers, from thumb to pinky measures the length of the heavens. He needs no counselor, advisor or teacher, for within the Spirit of the Lord we find all wisdom, insight, and knowledge.
We can and should find great comfort in the power of the living God. But by choice, we must focus on his power and his abilities, for if we don’t, we too can become discouraged and weary, just like Israel did, in the midst of national upheaval.
His power is over the nations, too. Isaiah reminds us in verses 15-17 that the nations are but a drop in the bucket, regarded as dust, so small they are to our amazing God. Every national crisis, government and situation is within his firm control and grasp. There is no nation or national crisis that he is not involved with. We must be reminded of this.
Our comfort and security come from seeing him, powerful and mighty “sitting on the circle of the earth” v. 22 From knowing that he is in control and there is nothing hidden from him or outside of his power and care.
Read these verses –
“Do you not know? Have you nor heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and his people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them like a tent to live in”Isaiah 40:21-22
” He brings princes to naught and reduces rulers to nothing.”Isaiah 40:23
It has always been a puzzling mystery why “God allows” certain things; that I will not argue. In fact, at a recent family gathering, we had just that conversation. We can develop our responses, answers and theories, or we can flounder for a meaningful response. But what I hope we will do, regardless of the outcome of our “why God allows” questions, I hope we fall back on HE IS IN CONTROL whether or not we see or feel it.
He is in control and in the blink of an eye or snap of his fingers he can change things, fix things, heal things, or judge things. He can show up in his power at any time, in any place, in any form that he wants and do the impossible right before our eyes.
In God’s power, I find comfort. True, therein lies a fair amount of fear and respect, but mostly comfort, that regardless of what my eyes see, he is at work!
Isaiah asks the nation of Israel –
“Why do you complain? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; and my cause is disregarded by my God?”Isaiah 40:27
Are we foolish enough to think that our God doesn’t hear our complaints, whining, cries, requests? Do we really think he isn’t aware of our every situation and bent to hear our every prayer?
Isaiah encourages us to remember, that the Lord “will not grow tired or weary”. Isaiah 40:28
God is not like a man who wears out and grows weary. He never tires of hearing from us, responding to us and working all things in our life for good. He delights in bringing from our rubble and ruins hope, and building again within our heart a safe, strong place of trust in his ways and ability to get it done.
From Isaiah chapter 40, the message of Comfort in God’s power thunders from the heavens and resonates through every human heart on the planet.
We are reminded that even young people will get tired and weary (geesh, what does that say about us “older people”?) BUT –
“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar… like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”Isaiah 40:30-31
In these days of national crisis, in the midst of waves of discouragement, let us remember to look up. Look to the power of the Almighty God to “lift us up where we belong”, to see things from his perspective, the eagle overview, and to draw from his power in our fatigue and discouragement.
His power is our comfort and his promise is to increase the power of the weak. (v. 29) So what do we have to loose?
Next time you’re needing a lift, remember God’s power is over all. Look to him, talk to him, allow him to lift and empower you.
Allow him to bring you comfort in his power.
Go with God.