Our God is: Aware, Able and Available
"Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: 'My way is
hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God?'
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. There is no searching of His understanding. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength: they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."
The 40th chapter of Isaiah begins a section of the book that deals primarily with preparing the people of Judah for their Captivity in Babylon. Back in chapter 39, and verse 6, the prophet said to King Hezekiah: "Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left, says the Lord."
Under the impact of this crushing prophecy of doom, those Jews who were still trying to serve the Lord needed encouragement, comfort and assurance. The faithful remnant needed hope, not only when the prophecy was given, in the days of Hezekiah, but also, those who actually endured the calamities of the Captivity; they would need the teaching of these chapters in Isaiah, that they might be consoled by the promises of God. In the dark moments of despair in Babylon; when met by disappointments and face to face with temptations -- the faithful remnant would need the hope and comfort these chapters afforded. Thus it is often observed that the second part of the book of Isaiah begins here in chapter 40, and it was intended to give this assurance to the faithful, in view of the approach of 70 years of captivity in Babylon.
In these verses - Isa. 40:27-31 - the man of God teaches some of the great truths about God; truths that would bring healing to the wounded souls of those who would endure the distress and sorrow of Captivity. I believe this passage is full of practical truth the faithful people of God can depend upon, under any circumstance of suffering, loss and grief.
The text tells us THREE FUNDAMENTAL THINGS ABOUT THE GOD WITH WHOM WE DEAL:
1] GOD IS AWARE! To a people tempted to be impatient, forgetful and of little faith Isaiah said: WHY DO YOU SAY, "My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God?" Why do you think that way? Why make such a reckless charge?
"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. There is no searching of His understanding."
God is aware! He is aware of that which befalls His people from day to day. We may be surrounded by all manner of unsympathizing hostility. And we may find ourselves tempted to indulge the fretful, distrustful spirit. We may be apt to think, "God has forgotten me ... He has passed me by!"
But whatever our inadequate emotions and reactions may tell us, GOD IS THERE, AND AWARE. "The Lord knows the way of the righteous," (Psa. 1:6).
As those Jews went through the dark moments of their Captivity in Babylon and when we go through our times of turmoil, pain and frustration, WE NEED TO HAVE OUR REMEMBRANCE MOVED AND OUR CONSCIENCE PRICKED. Our way is not hidden from the Lord!
God is aware.
2] GOD IS ABLE. "Have you not known? Have you not heard?" Isaiah inquires of us. "THE EVERLASTING GOD, THE LORD, THE CREATOR OF THE ENDS OF THE EARTH, NEITHER FAINTS NOR IS WEARY. THERE IS NO SEARCHING OF HIS UNDERSTANDING!"
One manifestation of the frailty of man is the futile, humanistic practice OF PROJECTING UPON GOD the weariness and weakness common to us. We get tired and want to quit, so we figure God gets tired and wants to quit. WE FIGURE WRONG!
Jehovah neither faints, nor is weary! There is a vastness about the reach and depth of His power that's overwhelming. It is simply unthinkable, with reference to
Him, that he should "faint or grow weary," especially in regard to covenant promises!
Nor, for that matter, is there lack of insight with regard to the issues that confront Him; for "His insight is unfathomable." "THERE IS NO SEARCHING OF HIS
Not only does He not lack strength! HE SUPPLIES IT. "He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall."
Even young people get tired and faint; some may even "utterly fall." But the Creator, "neither faints, nor is weary."
GOD IS AWARE; GOD IS ABLE.
3] GOD IS AVAILABLE. He is available, to renew the strength of "those who wait" on Him.
In faraway Babylon, there came the news of Cyrus' decree, that the Jews were free to return home. At this news those who had been waiting for Jehovah would soar to heights of joy, as they anticipated a happy homecoming. A rush of preparation for the journey would follow. But, before arriving home, there would be a long trip from Babylon to Jerusalem. YET, with trust in their God, they would mount up with wings like eagles, run and not be weary; walk, and not faint.
So shall it ever be. When first converted to Christ, arising from the waters of baptism, there is the joyous enthusiasm and hope of heaven. We rush to prepare for the
journey, soon to discover A LONG SOJOURN OF TRIALS AND TESTINGS; temptations, successes, failures; dark days that seem wearisome and monotonous. Yet - for those who wait on Him, God is available to renew their strength ... that they too might mount up with wings like eagles ... run and not be weary; walk, and not faint.
God is available, to renew the strength of those who wait on Him.
One might inquire, "WHAT DOES IT MEAN, TO WAIT ON HIM?" Let us understand that this is not a passive thing, where you do nothing, and ask for everything, then wait for it to be handed to you. That's not waiting for Jehovah. NO! That's pleading with Satan to devour, and take advantage.
To wait on Jehovah means SINCERE AND STEADY DEPENDENCE ON HIM, WITH AN OBEDIENT TRUST - and no misgivings about His faithfulness, in doing what He says ... NOR ABOUT OUR NEED TO OBEY HIM. Leupold - in his commentary says - "...to 'wait for the Lord,' ... is merely a synonym for faith ... It means to lean heavily on the Lord for strength." AND THIS CANNOT BE DONE, without faith and obedience.
We have only to believe on Him, with the commitment of active obedience. And the more threatening and bold the reality of tribulation, the more firmly and desperately we believe on Him.
That's what it means to WAIT ON THE LORD. And the prophet testifies: "...those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."
As the New Testament would put it --> "...be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil," (Eph. 6:10,11).
God is available, for those who wait on Him. AND - THIS AVAILABILITY was supremely manifests by THE SAVIOR. He said: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light," (Matt. 11:28-30).
So, here these people were (in Judah, in the days of Hezekiah and Isaiah), anticipating the overwhelming prospect of exile; captivity in a hostile land.
There would be the temptation to grow weary; to ascribe to God the weakness of man; to charge God with indifference to their plight.
To discourage and hopefully banish that disposition - Isaiah gave them these words (Isa. 40:27-31).
GOD IS AWARE!
GOD IS ABLE!
GOD IS AVAILABLE!
And to us, on this occasion - THIS MEANS WHAT?
It means - there is only one place you can find the healing you seek. The wounds of suffering, grief and death can reach deep into the soul. And it may seem like a
tremendous burden, at the moment. But if you have a Biblical understanding of the everlasting God, you can find the healing you seek.
And that which we have studied means: THE CASUAL, MATERIALISTIC, LAZY ATTITUDE TOWARD SPIRITUAL THINGS MUST BE UPROOTED FROM OUR LIVES ... MORTIFIED, REPENTED OF, AND TAUGHT AGAINST!
Let every day be a time when you look at your own life, consider where you are headed, resolving to make whatever changes the Word of God demands - in spite of the difficulty of repentance! Let us - if need be - re-order our priorities; fully and completely repent of sin; make the necessary confessions -- and return to the Lord, with fresh zeal and faith ...
KNOWING - that our way is not hidden from Him; that He "neither faints nor is weary." He "gives power to the weak ... and He is available to renew the strength of those who wait on Him.
You can run and not be weary; you can walk and not faint; you can mount up with wings like eagles and SOAR TOWARD THE HOME OF THE SOUL, but not without faith, coupled with initiative, self-examination, repentance and obedience.
By Warren E. Berkley
From Expository Files 1.9; September, 1994