Isaiah 40:9-45:14

Isaiah 40‑45  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 8
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In spite of the fact that the revelation of the glory of the Lord brings to light, as nothing else does, the sinfulness and frailty of man, there is also brought “good tidings”, and this it is which furnishes the “comfort” for “My people”. Zion and Jerusalem are represented as lifting up the voice and saying to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”
About the sixth hour on the day of the crucifixion Pilate brought forth Jesus, and said to the crowd in Jerusalem, “Behold your King!” (John 19:1414And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! (John 19:14)). This provoked the violent cry, “Away with Him, crucify Him.” In our Scripture the prophet sees the same wonderful Person, but coming in the splendor of Deity with “strong hand”. This will be good tidings indeed, after the painful display of sin and utter weakness on the part of men.
It is the Lord Jehovah who is coming with might, but it is “His Arm” who will rule for Him. As we go through these later chapters of Isaiah we shall find the Lord Jesus presented as the Arm of Jehovah some ten or twelve times. In this character He is seen as the One who executes in power all the will and purpose of Jehovah. He is also presented as the “Servant”, who is to carry out the yet more wonderful work of sin-bearing and suffering. In the passages that speak of Him as the Servant we see predictions that view Him in His first advent in grace: in those that present Him as the “Arm” our thoughts are carried on to His second advent in glory.
It is so here in verse 10. The Arm is going to rule for Jehovah, rather than suffer for Him. He will dispense reward and recompence to others in the day of His glory; and at the same time He will be a tender Shepherd to those who are His flock, gathering even the lambs to His bosom. In other words, while ruling in power at His second advent, He will display to His own all the grace which shone forth in Him at His first advent. As we look abroad in the earth today, we see how badly needed is the ruling power of a strong hand, and men desire to grasp that power so as to rule in their own interests. The Arm of Jehovah will rule “for Him”; and what a day that will be when the will of God will be done on earth as it is in heaven!
The verses that follow present to us the greatness and glory of the Creator-God in the most exalted language. So great is He that the mighty oceans lie in the hollow of His hand like a few drops of water; the expanse of the heavens, illimitable to us, is but the span of His hand; the dust of the earth as well as the mountains and hills are but small things, weighed in His scales. As to understanding, the Spirit of the Lord is far above taking any counsel from man.
We live in a day when nations are rising up and asserting themselves, and arming to the hilt, in order to enforce their will. What are they in the presence of God? They are like a small drop which may hang on a fingertip, when taken out of a bucket of water; or like the small dust left on the scales when the substance weighed therein has been removed— so insignificant that no one pays attention to it. The nations that look so imposing and threatening to us, are counted by Him as “less than nothing, and vanity.” It is good for us to measure them by God’s standards and not by our own.
God then is great beyond all our thoughts, as verse 18 indicates, and in the presence of His glory how foolish and contemptible, as verses 19 and 20 say, are the makers of graven images that have not even the power of motion. And further, how feeble and insignificant are men, who appear but as grasshoppers, and their princes and judges but as nothing and vanity, and as stubble in the face of a whirlwind. We may also lift up our eyes and behold the mighty creation outside our little earth; all numbered and named by Him, and upheld by Him too, so that not one fails. He who created them has no equal and cannot be likened to any other. We do well to ponder this magnificent passage, for this God of ineffable power and majesty has been made known to us in Christ as our Father.
The closing verses of the chapter, while not revealing Him as Father, do make known His care and support for those who trust in Him. Where all human power fails He gives strength to those who express their trust by waiting upon Him. As they wait their strength is renewed, and granted as it is needed. Some may need the strength that elevates; others the strength that runs the errands appointed of God, and others again that which enables for the steady and continuous walk through life for the pleasure of God. As we wait on God each shall receive the needed strength. The greatness of our God, as well as His goodness, is the guarantee of it.