Read these words today and receive the assurance that God is with you, that God is for us who call upon His mighty name. As I read through these chapters, several songs and hymns of praise come to mind. My words are few this morning to make way for Isaiah to speak to your soul. Enjoy the time of reflection and admiration for the Creator of the Universe is on our side! That is more than amazing–it is incredibly awesome!
Isaiah 40: Comfort for God’s People
From John the Baptist to contemporary songwriters, Isaiah 40 grabs the imagination of many.
A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.
Isaiah 40:3, Matthew 3:3
One of my favorite Rich Mullins songs, Everywhere I Go, includes Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God endures forever.” When I played this (some 15 years ago!), I included a host of images that portrayed God in nature, people, good, bad and ugly — everywhere God was visible. Back and forth we declare, “Everywhere I go I see you.” As the music builds, then cuts dramatically as we declare this verse, “But your word’s alive and will be after all.” (2,3,4,5,6,7,8) “Everywhere I go I see you!” Powerful stuff. Somehow it doesn’t look so powerful in a post.
More recently, Lincoln Brewster includes this quote in Everlasting God:
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
There’s a cool story behind this song as well, especially the part where Lincoln has his son read the scripture.
The promises of God are everlasting and everywhere we go. It’s no wonder musicians used this text to encourage us as Isaiah attempts to encourage the Israelites in difficult times.
Isaiah 41: The Helper of Israel
Hear these words of assurance:
For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.
May we receive these words today as the world beats us down, as it tries its best to trip us, to cause us to stumble. Lord, help us as we do our best to do your work!
Isaiah 42:1-9: The Servant of the Lord
The beginning of Isaiah 42 is referenced in several places in the New Testament, the hope of things to come. As Jesus walked on the earth, the apostles couldn’t help but recall the words of Isaiah:
“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.
He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”
Isaiah 42:10-17: Song of Praise to the Lord
Another song of assurance for those who put their trust in the Lord.
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
There are many times when I qualify for this help, times when I’ve felt blind with no idea of where I was going. Perhaps this shouldn’t be written in past tense! Thank you, Lord, for these words of encouragement. I pray for my friends who feel they are in dark times today. Be with them Lord. If I can, let me be their encourager, their Barnabas.
Isaiah 42:18-25: Israel Blind and Deaf
Lord, may this not be said of your servant today:
You have seen many things, but you pay no attention;
your ears are open, but you do not listen.”
May we see and hear your word clearly. I’m so grateful to have the Bible so accessible, with notes and commentary at my fingertips. Open my eyes and let me soak in the wonder of your majesty.
Isaiah 43:1-13: Israel’s Only Savior
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
Isaiah 43:14-28: God’s Mercy and Israel’s Unfaithfulness
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 44:1-5: Israel the Chosen
For 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.
Isaiah 44:6-23: The Lord, Not Idols
Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”
Sing for joy, you heavens, for the Lord has done this;
shout aloud, you earth beneath.
Burst into song, you mountains,
you forests and all your trees,
for the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
he displays his glory in Israel.