Words Of Truth
"That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth..." (Proverbs 22:21).
An Overview Of The Old Testament
Part 258 – Comfort Through Renewed Strength (Isaiah 40:1-31)
1. Why was it time for Jerusalem to be comforted in this prophecy?
She [Jerusalem] had received double for her sins: ŇComfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord 's hand double for all her sinsÓ (Isaiah 40:1-2).
á God wanted to comfort His people (Isaiah 49:13, Isaiah 51:3, and Isaiah 66:13) and He wants comfort for His people now (II Corinthians 1:4, II Corinthians 13:11, and I Thessalonians 5:11).
á To be His people though there had to be obedience (Jeremiah 7:23, Jeremiah 11:4, Ezekiel 11:19-20, Zechariah 8:7-8, II Corinthians 6:14-18, and Hebrews 5:8-9).
á Thus, there is a qualifier for those who had sinned (Psalms 85:8 and Isaiah 57:15).
á If they remained in wickedness, thereŐd be no peace for them (Isaiah 48:22 and Isaiah 57:21).
á GodŐs message of comfort was that JerusalemŐs suffering was over (Jeremiah 29:11-13 and Daniel 9:2; 12; 24).
á She had paid double for her sins (Jeremiah 16:18).
2. Who is the voice crying in the wilderness and what was he going to cry?
ŇThe voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for everÓ (Isaiah 40:3-8).
á John the Baptizer is the voice (Matthew 3:1-12 and John 1:19-23).
á Preparing the way of the Lord (Luke 1:12-17; cf. Malachi 3:1-6).
á Every valley exalted and mountain made low, etc. (Luke 3:1-6).
á Changing the crocked to straight means clearing the way (Isaiah 45:1-2).
á The glory of the Lord revealed (II Corinthians 4:6 and Hebrews 1:1-3).
á When the mouth of the Lord declares something it is sure to happen (Numbers 23:19, Psalms 135:6, and Isaiah 46:9-10).
á Flesh perishes like grass (Psalms 103:15), but GodŐs word does not (Psalms 119:89, Matthew 24:35, and I Peter 1:22-25).
3. What good tidings were brought to Zion?
ŇO Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with youngÓ (Isaiah 40:9-11).
á Stand up on high (Isaiah 52:7) and publish the word (Isaiah 52:8). It is a matter of being able to be seen and heard (II Chronicles 13:4).
á Be not afraid (Deuteronomy 31:8 and Isaiah 35:3-4), to a degree (Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 9:10, Ecclesiastes 8:12, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, Philippians 2:12, Hebrews 12:28-29, and I Peter 2:17).
á Behold your God (Jeremiah 33:14) has saved you (Isaiah 25:9).
á Strong hand and arm (Psalms 136:11-12 and Jeremiah 32:21).
á Who does God reward (Hebrews 11:6)?
á Feed His flock like a shepherd (Psalms 80:1 and I Peter 5:4).
á Gather and carry the lambs (Ezekiel 34:12-17 and John 10:11).
4. What points did Isaiah make in showing how God is greater than man?
ŇWho hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains. He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved. Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown:yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understandingÓ (Isaiah 40:12-28).
á Who, other than God, can measure the waters of the earth, dust, mountains, and hills in His hands, etc. (Job 38:1-39:30 and Isaiah 48:13)?
á Who can teach God (Romans 11:33-36)?
á Who is GodŐs counselor (Proverbs 21:30)?
á What are nations compared to God (Jeremiah 10:10 and Nahum 1:6-8)?
á Man is nothing in comparison (Psalms 8:1-9 and Isaiah 51:12-13).
á To whom will you liken God (I Samuel 2:2, Deuteronomy 33:26, Psalms 89:6-8, and Psalms 86:8)?
á Idols made by the hands of men (Psalms 115:1-8 and Jeremiah 10:3-7)???
á Told from the beginning (Isaiah 41:4, Isaiah 48:3, and Isaiah 48:5-7).
á Sits on the circle of the earth (Isaiah 66:1). *Note, the Lord hung the earth (Job 26:7).
á Stretch out the heavens like a curtain (Psalms 104:2).
á Brings down rulers (II Chronicles 32:21).
á Blows on them and they wither (Hosea 13:10-15).
á He is everlasting (Psalms 90:2 and Romans 16:26).
á HeŐs the Creator (Isaiah 43:15 and Isaiah 45:18).
á DonŐt think you can hide either (I Chronicles 28:9, Proverbs 5:21, Isaiah 29:15, Jeremiah 16:17, Jeremiah 17:10, and Hebrews 4:13).
á Unsearchable (Psalms 139:6 and Isaiah 55:7-9).
5. Was there hope given to those who waited upon the Lord, but had gotten weary?
Yes: ŇHe giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faintÓ (Isaiah 40:29-31).
á Empowering (Psalms 29:11, Jeremiah 31:25, and Philippians 4:13).
á Though, we should not be weary in well doing (Galatians 6:9).
á Youth or strength is always enough (Psalms 33:16 and Psalms 39:5).
á Wait on the Lord (Lamentations 3:25).
á The proper perspective, through the Lord, allows spiritual strength (II Corinthians 4:16-5:1).
á The imagery of Ňmount up with wings as eaglesÓ has to be understood as imagery rather than literally (cf. Exodus 19:1-4).
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