Dec 01, 2023 A Month in Isaiah 40? – Words of Grace Blog – December 1, 2023
We have been clipping along at a relatively fast pace through the book of Isaiah. In sixteen weeks, we have covered the first thirty-nine chapters. That’s fast for us. But the structure of Isaiah has allowed for this approach. I hope the messages have encouraged you to place your trust solely and completely in the Lord.
Now we come to Isaiah 40. A transition is happening as the tone shifts from judgment to hope and the time shifts from Isaiah’s own day to the promised days of renewal and newness.
Our plan is to spend the month of December in Isaiah 40. Really.
How can this be? Won’t we run out of things to say? Hardly. I’ve been struggling to limit the Isaiah 40 sermons to four, instead of the seven or more that I could easily preach.
This month, I encourage you to read Isaiah 40 at least weekly, if not many times a week, or even daily. The reward will be worth the effort.
Here are two tips for spending a month in Isaiah 40.
First, keep in mind where this chapter is in the whole book. It is a transition chapter giving hope to the people who were in exile in the sixth century and who long to go home. I’ll say more about this Sunday. A good study Bible will give you this context.
Second, keep in mind that what Isaiah says to these people shows us the character and ways of God in our own time and lives. He forgave them and he forgives us. He gave them strength and he will give us strength. And Isaiah’s prophecies point to a time beyond us, when all the grace and glory of this chapter will be experienced by the people of faith in Christ in the fullest measure possible. Remember, in some ways we are still waiting.
Now, let these seven realities of God in Christ encourage you this month.
- The grace of God in Christ is sufficient to forgive your sins and restore you to him (verses 1-2).
- The glory of God has been, and will be again, revealed in Christ for all to see (verses 3-5).
- The word of God stands forever and will accomplish his purposes (verses 6-8).
- The arm of God is revealed as Christ gathers the people he died for and carries them as their Shepherd (verses 9-11).
- The wisdom of God is above all others. Christ is his wisdom (verses 12-17).
- The nature of God is incomparable. The fullness of his nature dwells in Christ (verses 18-26).
- The strength of God is limitless. Christ is our strength and we wait upon him (verses 27-31).
Give yourself the Christmas present of time meditating and praying through Isaiah 40. And give the gift of Isaiah 40 to someone else.
Let’s pray for each other this weekend. See you Sunday.