Comfort and Deliverance: Isaiah 40, 41 (2)
Pray Psalm 144.1, 2.
Blessed be the LORD my Rock,
Who trains my hands for war,
And my fingers for battle—
My lovingkindness and my fortress,
My high tower and my deliverer,
My shield and the One in whom I take refuge,
Who subdues my people under me.
Read Isaiah 40.6-11.
1. God calls His people to cry out from their comfort. What message do the people of God cry?
2. Who is the Lord’s “arm” and what “rule” does He establish? Where do believers fit in that scenario?
These verses are filled with energy and anticipation! The Lord is coming! Those who trust in the arm of flesh will wither before the powerful Word of God and His Right Arm, Who rules His Kingdom for His glory! The Breath of the Lord, which blew over the armies of Sennacherib, will blow across the world, bringing Good News of the Kingdom of God, His work on behalf of His people, and His coming to shepherd and carry His flock!
Those who know the comfort of the Lord, and His presence and glory, must not simply wallow in that comfort. We are a people with a mission, and the mission is to “Cry out!” the Good News of the rule of God and His mighty Right Arm. In this we do not trust our own strength (vv. 6, 7), because our own strength will fail us every time. We trust the unfailing, never-fading Word of God. He has appointed us His witnesses and sent us, like Jesus (Jn. 20.21), to proclaim the Good News of Christ and His Kingdom.
We must not be afraid (v. 9). Rather, let us draw on the Lord’s strength and begin our witness by encouraging one another to see Jesus and draw near to Him (v. 9).
Then, resting in the shepherding care of our Good Shepherd, let us lean on the strong hand and mighty arm of the Lord to tell the world – everyone in our Personal Mission Field – that God’s work of salvation is finished, He is coming to rule, and He welcomes, as a Shepherd, all who come to Him in obedient faith. We must proclaim to the world that the comfort, forgiveness, and peace of the Lord can be theirs.
I know of few passages in the Old Testament that are more hopeful, more energizing, or more specific in their intent – and yet more routinely ignored – than these amazing verses from the pen of Isaiah. The comfort and peace and strength of the Lord are for those who receive and act on them. And they are all of a piece: you will not long know the Lord’s comfort if you choose only to indulge it for yourself, rather than to go forth from it with His Good News on your lips.
1. Does the comfort of the Lord lead to bold witness-bearing on your part? How could that become a more consistent part of your walk with Jesus?
2. We are called daily to “Behold your God!” because, unless we see Jesus, we will have little incentive to proclaim Him. Explain.
3. Verse 9 suggests that believers should encourage one another in that mission. Whom will you encourage in their witness for Christ in the week ahead?
Ascend this mountain … not with physical steps but with more exalted deeds. Follow Christ so that you might be a mountain yourself, for there are mountains surrounding him. Look in the Gospel, and you will find that only the disciples went up the mountain with the Lord. Ambrose of Milan (333-397 AD), Expositions on the Gospel of Luke 5.41
Guide me in serving You this day, O Lord, that I might obey Your every command and…
Pray Psalm 144.
Our battles as Christians are primarily spiritual, and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, is our primary weapon in banishing darkness and proclaiming the Light of the Lord. Ask the Lord to strengthen you for your battles today, and to prepare you to share the Good News of Jesus.
Sing to the Lord.
Psalm 144 (Tidings: O Zion, Haste, Your Mission High Fulfilling)
Blest be the Lord, Who trains my hands for battle;
He is my Rock, my steadfast love and strength!
He is my shield; no foe can shake or rattle;
He will subdue them all to me at length.
Refrain v. 15
Happy are they on whom blessings fall!
Blessed are the people who on Jesus’ mercy call!
Lord, who are we, that You regard and love us?
Why should You care for our poor sinful plight?
We are but breath; You dwell on high above us;
our days like shadows pass before Your light.
Bow down the heav’ns, come down and touch the mountains.
Flash forth like lightning; scatter all Your foes!
Send out Your arrows, send them out to rout them;
stretch forth Your hand and save us from all woes!
From every foe and every lie deliver!
Then will we sing new songs unto Your praise.
Rescue Your servants, who are Yours forever;
grant us deliv’rance by Your hand always.
Bless, Lord, our children, strengthen them forever.
All our provision, day by day supply.
Bless our endeavors; from distress deliver.
Keep us from harm and all distressing cries.
T. M. Moore
Where do the prophets fit with the rest of Scripture? How can I be a better student of God’s Word? Our course, Introduction to Biblical Theology, can help you gain a better approach to and understanding of the Scriptures. Watch this brief preview video, then register at The Ailbe Seminary and enroll in this free online course.
Forward today’s lesson to some friends, and challenge them to study with you through this series on Isaiah. Each week’s lessons will be available as a free PDF download at the end of the week. Get a copy for yourself and send the link for the download to your friends. Plan to meet weekly to study Isaiah’s important message.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).