Learning from Isaiah 40-45
40:1-31 - ‘The Lord is the everlasting God... He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak... those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength...’ (28-31). Far too often, we say, ‘I can’t’ when we really mean ‘I won’t’. ‘I can’t’ - This is an insult to the power of God. The Lord calls us to do something special for Him. We say, ‘I can’t’. What are we really saying? This is what we are saying - ‘Lord, I don’t believe Your promise - “Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength”’. Don’t say, ‘I can’t’. Don’t get so busy with other things that you fail to wait upon the Lord and renew your strength. When the Lord calls you to serve Him, say, ‘Yes, Lord, I will wait upon You. I will renew my strength. I will do Your will’.
41:1-29 - ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you... I am the Lord your God who... says to you, Do not fear; I will help you... I Myself will help you, declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel’ (10-14). When we have something important to say, we repeat ourselves. We want to make sure that our message gets across. We say, ‘Do you get the point? Do you see what I mean?’. This is what God is doing here. Three times, He says, ‘I will help you’. He wants us to get the point. He wants to leave us in no doubt. He wants us to be sure of this: ‘I will help you’. He doesn’t want us to go around thinking, ‘I wonder if God will help me?’. He really does want to help us. He says it once. He says it twice. He says it three times: ‘I will help you’.
42:1-25 - ‘Here is My Servant, whom I uphold, my Chosen One in whom I delight; I will put My Spirit on Him, and He will bring justice to the nations’ (1). These words turn our thoughts towards the Lord Jesus Christ. At His baptism, we hear the voice of the Father - ‘This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased’. At His baptism, we see ‘the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and resting on Him’. Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s Word of prophecy: ‘All mankind shall see the Saviour sent from God’. After His resurrection, we hear Jesus Himself speaking. He says, ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit...’ (Matthew 12:15-21; 3:16-17; 28:18-20; Luke 3:6). Let us bring Christ to the nations. Let us serve the Lord in the power of the Spirit.
43:1-28 - ‘I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour... I am the Lord, apart from Me there is no saviour’ (3,11). Isaiah’s words turn our thoughts towards Jesus our Saviour. The Name of Jesus is the Name of our salvation: ‘Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12). ‘How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear’; ‘There is a Name I love to hear... It tells me of a Saviour’s love, who died to set me free; it tells me of His precious blood, the sinner’s perfect plea. O how I love the Saviour’s Name, the sweetest Name on earth’; ‘Name of all majesty... See now what God has done, sending His only Son, Christ the beloved One, Jesus is Lord!’ (Church Hymnary, 376; Mission Praise, 672,481).
44:1-28 - ‘I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants’ (3). Here, Isaiah is looking forward to the mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost - ‘They were all filled with the Holy Spirit...’ (Acts 2:4). It is ‘the Spirit’ who brings ‘streams of living water’ into our lives. It is ‘the Spirit’ who sends ‘streams of living water’, flowing out from us to others (John 7:37-39). We are to ‘be filled with the Spirit’. ‘Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ’ - Let your life be full of praise to God: ‘filled with the Spirit’ (Ephesians 5:18-20).
45:1-25 - ‘I am the Lord... I will strengthen you’ (5). How does the Lord strengthen us? He strengthens us with salvation. He comes to us as our ‘God and Saviour’. He calls us to come to Him and receive salvation: ‘Turn to Me and be saved...’. Through faith in Christ, we are ‘saved by the Lord with an everlasting salvation’ (15,17,21-22). We are strengthened with ‘everlasting salvation’. We look ahead to Christ’s Return ‘in power and great glory’ (Matthew 24:30). On that Day, the glory of our Saviour will be fully revealed: ‘At the Name of Jesus every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father’. Jesus is our Saviour. His ‘Name is above every name’. Our ‘strength’ comes from Him (23-24; Philippians 2:10-11).