What a timely and much-need message this is: “Behold your God” (Isaiah 40:9c).
Isaiah, whose prophetic ministry covered at least 40 years, lived in a time when his nation (Judah) was filled with immoral and idolatrous men. The surrounding nations—and, in reality, the whole world—was the same.
Yet, into that environment God called this great poet and prophet, whose name means “The Lord is Salvation,” to warn of God’s coming Judgment in an uncompromising, yet sincere and compassionate way. And, even though the first 39 chapters are basically a laying out of the ins-and-outs of this Judgment, the last 27 chapters declare a message of Hope after their time of suffering and repentance.
His words in chapter 40 are definitely those we need to hear—especially in this day of “I’m my own authority”. . .“It’s all about me”. . .“There are no absolutes, etc.” And, until we realize our focus on self has been too great and our focus on God has been too small, we’ll continue to live with perplexity and despair in our quagmire of complexity and confusion.
Take a look at Isaiah’s words in ch. 40 and read them with this thought foremost in your mind: “Behold your God!” In so doing, you’ll readily see the message is about God’s greatness or “majesty” and our need to bow down before Him.
First, we are reminded of the need to “prepare the way of the Lord and make straight a highway for our God” (v.3). This begins in our own hearts, not “out there” somewhere—for until we realize our need of Him (Psalm 51) nothing in this life will ever make any sense.
Second, we must realize our all-powerful (omnipotent) and all-seeing (omniscient) God will one day make all things right. Just because He allows evil to flourish, doesn’t mean He’s unaware of it or unable to do anything about it. Truly, one of these days He’ll say “Enough!” and make things right (v.4). And, in the process “the Glory of the Lord shall be revealed and everyone will know it” (v.5).
That’s why we need to remember our frailty of flesh and the brevity of life (vv.6-8). That’s why we also need to realize the error of making gods in our own image and worshipping anything or anyone other than the one true and living God (vv.19-20).
We need not fear what’s happening in the world today. . .the saber-rattling of various nations. . .the ranting and raving of nations’ leaders. . .the threat of global warming. . .collapse of the world economies, etc.
The Lord God Almighty is not dead; neither does He “slumber or sleep” (Ps. 121:3-4).
The same One Who created this world and everything that’s in it (v.12) and knows the number and names of the stars in the heavens (v.26a) is still “strong in power and not One that fails” (v.26b; Hebrews 13:5b).
As Isaiah said “Behold your God!”
To Him, all of the nations “are as a drop in the bucket” (v.15). To Him, all of the inhabitants of the earth “are as grasshoppers” (v.22), jumping around here-and-there, being tossed around by every wind that blows, nibbling on the leaves of vanity and pride as they live their lives without Him and without Hope (Ephesians 2:12).
But, do not despair; instead “Behold your God!”
See Him “high and lifted up, with His Holiness filling the Heavenly Temple” (Is. 6:1-4). When that consciousness of His Greatness leads to a conviction of your sinfulness (Is. 6:5), remember He will bring cleansing to your guilty conscience through Jesus’ death on the Cross and joy through His Resurrection Life as He comes to live within your heart (Is. 6:6-7; Romans 5:6-11; Hebrews 9:14; Revelation 3:20). And, then He’ll call you to partner with Him, giving you eternal purpose in your life (Is. 6:8; Matthew 28:18-20; I Corinthians 3:9).
Yes, dear Reader, the “Secret of Hope” in the midst of perplexity is to “Behold your God” (Ps. 73; 107:26-30; Heb. 6:17-20; 12:1-2). In so doing you’ll discover He’s a gentle Shepherd Who delights in “renewing your strength as you wait/depend upon Him” (Is. 40:11, 29-31). It’s simply a matter of trusting Him, entrusting your life to Him and resting in Who He is and what He has promised (Ps. 139; Mt. 11:28-30; Heb. 11:6).
(NOTE: If you’d like to contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily e-mail devotional, entitled “Morning Manna,” you can write him at P.O. Box 582, Coushatta, LA 71019 or e-mail him at email@example.com).