God Blesses Those Who Wait Upon Him (Isaiah 40:18-31)
1. The primary message taught in these verses is that "God blesses those who wait upon Him" -- this is especially emphasized in vs.31. 2. It is fitting for us to study these verses as we observe our 5th anniversary. 3. Let us begin our study by examining . . .
I. THE SITUATION THAT EXISTED WHEN ISAIAH WROTE THESE WORDS
A. (1:1-2) The people of Judah had rebelled against God. B. (39:5-7) Isaiah informed King Hezekiah that his treasures and his descendants would be taken to Babylon. C. (44:28) Isaiah prophesied that Cyrus would eventually give the command for Jerusalem and the temple to be rebuilt. D. According to Jeremiah 29:10, the captivity in Babylon would last 70 years. E. As the Jews waited in captivity, they would have to avoid 2 practices. 1. They would have to avoid developing an improper concept of God. 2. They would have to avoid thinking that God did not care for them.
II. (vs.18-24) WHILE WAITING IN CAPTIVITY, THE JEWS WOULD HAVE TO AVOID DEVELOPING AN IMPROPER CONCEPT OF GOD
A. (vs.18-20) Some people have the idea that God can be compared to images made of various materials. 1. Some images are made of silver and gold, and others are made of wood. 2. Can God be compared to any image made by man? B. (vs.21-24) Isaiah pointed out the folly of comparing God to graven images. 1. Of all people the Jews had known, they had heard, they had been told, and they understood certain things about God. a. He sits upon "the circle of the earth" -- He reigns in heaven. b. The inhabitants of the earth are as grasshoppers before God. c. God stretches out the heavens as a curtain and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in. d. God rules over the princes and judges of the earth. 2. Remember: The Jews would be in Babylon while they waited upon God. a. The Babylonians worshipped idols and images. b. The Jews would have to guard against this influence.
III. (vs.25-31) WHILE WAITING IN CAPTIVITY, THE JEWS WOULD HAVE TO AVOID THINKING THAT HE DID NOT CARE FOR THEM
A. (vs.25-26) The Jews could be reminded of God's power by observing the objects in the heavens He created. 1. However, if they were not careful they might think that God was so distant that He did not care for them. 2. See vs.27. B. (vs.28-31) Isaiah pointed out the folly of thinking that God did not care for His people. 1. God does not faint or become weary (Psalm 121:4 - "Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep"). 2. There is no searching of God's understanding. a. (Psalm 147:5) God's "understanding is infinite." b. He knows the needs of His people, and He cares. 3. (vs.29) God gives power to the faint, and He increases strength to the weak. a. (vs.30) Eventually, even the young will faint, grow weary, and fall; however, . . . b. See vs.31. C. God cannot be compared to any image because He reigns in heaven over everything. D. Even though God reigns in heaven, He cares for and wants to bless His people.
IV. SOMETIMES WE FIND OURSELVES IN SITUATIONS THAT REQUIRE US TO WAIT
A. It is up to us whether we will "wait upon God." B. When we find ourselves in situations that require us to wait,: 1. we must not lose sight of God's true identity -- He is Lord of heaven and earth, and He is in control 2. we must not think that God does not care for us (1 Peter 5:7). C. Additional instructions from the Psalms to follow when we are in situations that require us to wait: 1. We must allow God to lead us in His truth and teach us (Psalm 25:5). 2. We must be of good courage (Psalm 27:14). 3. We must wait patiently (Psalm 37:7a). 4. We must hope in God's Word (Psalm 130:5).
1. Sooner or later we will find ourselves in situations that will require waiting. 2. We have to decide whether we will "wait upon God." 3. If we will follow these instructions we will remain faithful to God, and He will bless us in return -- He will renew our strength, we will mount up with wings as eagles, we shall run and not be weary, and we shall walk and not faint.