-This section, which are the prophet’s Word of God for comfort to His people, spans from chapter 40 through the rest of the book. These are unmistakably events that occur after the Babylonian captivity, so there is a distinct break in the action and tenure of the prophecy. The message begins with the words “Comfort, O comfort My people,” from the LORD and there are assurances that Jerusalem will be well taken care of post warfare. Sins will be removed and the corrective-punishing judgment will be completed (Isaiah 40:1-2). The beginning of this healing is the ministry of John the Baptist, which is prophesied by Isaiah here in verses 3-5. God’s Word will be confirmed by earthly circumstances and actions as the voice of the prophet will clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness (the desert region in the Jordan Valley north of the Dead Sea). Repentance, although not explicit in this passage, is the smoothing effect to get people ready for the Messianic King as the glory of the LORD is revealed, which all flesh will see together (Malachi 3:1; 4:5-6, Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:2-3, Luke 3:4-6, John 1:23). A beautiful and creative picture of the eternality of the Word of God is given next in the text as the grass withers and the flower fades, as well as people and nations, when the breath of the LORD blows upon them in comparison to His complete and authoritative Word (Isaiah 40:6-8). *Application* Preparation is key to finding spiritual success. The Holy Spirit convicts and wants to heal and comfort you, but are you willing? Just like the King’s invitation in Matthew 22, please make sure you are not guilty of paying no attention and going your own way rather than God’s (Matthew 22:5a). His voice is calling, repent (turn from wickedness) and trust in Me for wholeness and wellness.
-Verse 9 tells LORD’s people not to fear in Zion or Jerusalem in the high mountain of protection in God’s care and comfort. “Here is your God!” This refrain echoes into the future second coming of the Messiah, as so much of prophecy does. At this time God will come in might with His (the incarnate Son) arm ruling for Him (the Father). “His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him. Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, in His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes (Isaiah 40:10-11).” *Application* Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd (John 10).
-The Spirit of the LORD is uncontainable. He needs no counsel or informer. He has all understanding, justice, and knowledge. The nations hold no sway to His ultimate authority. They are like a drop in the bucket and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales. Even whole islands are lifted up by Him like fine dust. The nations are naught before His majesty and regarded as less than nothing, totally meaningless when it comes to the execution of His Divine plan. God is Sovereign; the LORD of Jacob is in control. He is omnipotent (Isaiah 40:12-17). *Application* O child of God, weary in this world, don’t worry ‘bout a thing, cause every thing’s gonna be alright (taken from Mr. Bob Marley in partJ). Trust in Your Savior.
-Idols are railed against as a prophetic theme in verses 18-26. God is incomparable to images made by man. We should know, we should listen. It has been declared from the beginning, from the foundations of the earth in creation. “It is He who sits above the circle (proof that God revealed we live on a sphere, not a flat earth, thousands of years before Columbus) of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers… (Isaiah 40:22a).” God’s power reduces the rulers of this world to nothing, and He makes the judges of this earth meaningless. There is no One like Him. He is the Creator, and there is none other. He calls the universal stars by name because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power. Not one of them is missing from His awareness. This unbelievable statement could not have even been fully comprehended until our recent human developments in telescopes and space technology.
-Because of this incredible ability Jacob, or anyone else, would be foolish to say, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and the justice due me escapes the notice of my God (Isaiah 40:27). Then one of the most comforting passages of Scripture is written for our edification:
”Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary (Isaiah 40:28-31).”
*Application* Just sit and meditate a while, as long as it takes…forget time, on the greatness of our God.
Verses to Memorize: Isaiah 40:8, 28-31