Comfort and Deliverance: Isaiah 40, 41 (4)
Pray Psalm 146.1, 2.
Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD, O my soul!
While I live I will praise the LORD;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Read Isaiah 41.1-10.
1. A great power is coming against Israel from the east. But why should the people not be afraid?
2. On what basis does God look favorably upon Israel?
God calls all the nations along the coast, and by implications, all those between Babylon and the coast, to prepare for judgment (v. 1). He is raising up a powerful nation “from the east” (v. 2), and is giving him the rule of all these nations (vv. 2, 3). But it is God Who has done this, and is without beginning or end (v. 4).
How shall the coastlands prepare for this coming judgment? They become fearful (v. 5), seek alliances with neighboring nations (v. 6), polish up their golden idols (v. 7), and forge iron weapons (v. 7). But that last word, totter, suggests powerfully that all these efforts to escape judgment will avail not a whit.
What about Israel? How should Israel prepare for the coming judgment? By knowing the Lord, looking to Him, and drawing on His strength (vv. 8-10). They should not seek to escape the coming judgment, but to endure it, and grow through it (cf. Jeremiah 29.4-11), so that, when the remnant returns – as God had promised they would – they will be able to resume His work with new vigor and vision.
It’s great being friends with God (v. 8).
1. Should Christians expect to know times of judgment and suffering? Why? How can we prepare for these? How can we make sure that we grow through them?
2. In this passage, God reminds His people of His sovereign power (vv. 1-7) and of His unfathomable grace and goodness (vv. 6-10). Why is it good for us to be reminded of these?
3. How do you expect the strength and help of God to uphold you today (v. 10)? Give thanks in advance for what you anticipate God will be doing in your life.
He adds that he is to strengthen and sustain those undergoing afflictions at the hands of those [who oppose God] with the vision of the goal that awaits them. He encourages with good news of God speaking to you without deceit: “I am the Lord and God, and I strengthen your right arm,” and I say to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.” Eusebius of Caesarea (260-340 AD), Commentary on Isaiah 2.20
Lord, You have promised to be with me; help me to be with You throughout this day, so that I…
Pray Psalm 146.
Enumerate with rejoicing the many reasons you have to bless God, and not to fear. Commit yourself to seeking His eternal Kingdom more earnestly today.
Sing to the Lord.
Psalm 146 (Hallelujah! What a Savior: Man of Sorrows)
Praise the Lord, my soul, give praise! While I live, His Name I’ll raise,
and exalt Him all my days – God forever reigns in Zion!
Trust we not in prince or man – no salvation’s in their hand.
Death shall take them, breath and plans – God forever reigns in Zion!
Blessed are they whose hope resides in the Lord, Christ at His side.
By Him heav’n and earth abide – God forever reigns in Zion!
He is faithful evermore; He gives justice to the poor,
Feeds the hungry from His store – God forever reigns in Zion!
Jesus sets the pris’ner free, heals blind eyes that they may see,
lifts those burdened painfully – God forever reigns in Zion!
He the righteous loves the best; wand’rers in His grace are blessed;
Needy ones in Him find rest – God forever reigns in Zion!
But the wicked who defame His eternal blessèd Name,
Them He brings to ruin and shame – God forever reigns in Zion!
T. M. Moore
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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).