TEXT: Isaiah 40:27-31
You know you’re too weary if…
- You got so tired by just sitting down.
- You say the same sentence over and over, not realizing you have said it before.
- You cannot differentiate hot or cold in a water dispenser.
- You make a list of things you’ve already done.
- You use your Office ID to withdraw money from the ATM
- You explore the possibility of setting up an IV drip solution of espresso.
- You can actually hear mimes.
- You drive without really having a clear direction of where you are heading.
- You have an irresistible urge to bite the noses of the people you are talking to.
- You say the same sentence over and over, not realizing you have said it before.
In 1965 U.S. Senate commissioned a Study that predicted a bright future for America and even the whole world. The study concluded that because of the advent of the Computer—by 1985 Americans/countries using computers, would work 22 hours/week and retire at age 38.
How many know that did not happen?
- Today leisure in our country has declined by 37% since 1965.
- The Work Week has increased from 41 to 48 hours/week.
People had gone so weary today; worrying a lot of things in their lives. Look around you or simply look at yourself, we are weary people and we always would like to find a solution, THE MUCH NEEDED PRESCRIPTION, an answer to all our weariness in life. I do believe that the answer we all have been looking for is not found in magazines, some positive living books, or on some talk-shows, the answer is found in God’s Word, Amen! And that’s exactly what we are going to do tonight, to look deep on God’s Word. I have entitled the message this morning: God’s Answer to our Weariness.
This particular chapter begins with command from God to Isaiah in verse 1 “Comfort, yes, Comfort My People.”
- In fact, the whole chapter is filled with words of comfort & promise from God.
- That encouragement came at time when they need it very much.
- These people were going through some hard times.
- They were processing some major disappointments.
- Life had not gone the way they expected it to go.
Since they were God’s people they expected success not failure. They expected to be the head not the tail. They expected to prevail over their enemies. Instead the ungodly nations around them rose to prominence and power. The northern ten tribes of Israel had gone into captivity to the Assyrians. The rest of Israel was about to be defeated by the Babylonians.
It did not make sense to them. They were God’s people. These Babylonians didn’t even know God. Their future did not look good. And as you look at it, they were extremely discouraged.
That is the historical Context of Isaiah 40
Isa. 40:27-31 “Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my just claim is passed over by my God”? 28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. 29He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. 30Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, 31But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” NKJV
In this passage of Scripture I find:
1. The QUESTION GOD ASKED HIS PEOPLE
We can see that God asked His people in verse 27
“Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel (God speaking to His People) my way is hidden from the Lord, and my just clam is passed over by God?” The Living Bible says “O Jacob, O Israel, how can you say that the Lord doesn’t see your troubles and isn’t being fair?” How many of you know that we don’t have to actually speak those words for God to know that kind of struggle is going on in our hearts?
These people felt God had let them down. They felt God had not answered their prayers. They wondered why God had not protected them more from trouble. In fact, they looked at the world (people who didn’t even know God) and wondered why in some ways they seemed to be doing better than them.
Have you ever felt like God let you down?
- You asked God to save your parents—and your parents rejected the message of Christ.
- You asked God to lead your children in paths of righteousness, and your children got rebellious.
- You asked God to prosper you and your car broke down the same day plumbing sprang a leak.
These people were baffled by what was going on in their lives. Lest we be too hard on them, consider others in Bible who had similar thoughts.
- Elijah was great prophet of God (greatly used by God). He had prayed earnestly for revival in Israel. He had courageously confronted prophets of Baal and called Israel to repentance. He had given it his best shot! Yet in I Kings 19 we find him so Despondent (so discouraged) he is praying to die. He is lonely, disillusioned—wondering what in the world is going on. In effect he is saying, “…my just claim is passed over by my God.”
- In Ps 73 Asaph has similar feelings. He talks about the prosperity of the wicked compared to all his troubles. In verse 13 he says, “Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain and washed by hands in innocence. For all day long I have been plagued & chastened every morning.” Everything seemed to be working backwards. Then God opened his eyes to the big picture. Then God let him see how light his afflictions were compared to the eternal destruction of wicked. Then God let him see how good and merciful God had been to him. He concludes in Ps 73:28 “But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all Your works.”
- Look with me at Malachi 2:17 and we will see another example. “You have wearied the LORD with your words; Yet you say “In what way have we wearied Him?” In that you say, “Everyone who does evil Is good in the sight of the LORD, And He delights in them,” Or, “Where is the God of justice?” NKJV
That’s just another way of saying, “God, that’s not fair.” I have been guilty of thinking that far more than saying it. But whether we’re saying it or thinking it—God wants to address our struggle.
Jesus and the Disciples were on the sea after a hard day of ministry. Jesus was asleep on boat when terrible, dangerous Storm arose. Since some of the disciples were professional fishermen, they tried to deal with the problem without Jesus. But problem got worse instead of better. It was more than they could handle.
In Mk 4:38 cried out to Jesus “Don’t you care that we perish?” Of course, Jesus cared. Jesus rebuked the storm and brought them to shore safely.
When we feel like “Life isn’t fair” (which is a nice way of saying “God isn’t fair”), we need to be reminded that He knows what’s happening in our lives and that He’s working out things for our good.
In Isaiah 40, God raises the Question not to intimidate them but to answer their anxieties and bring comfort.
2. THE REMINDER GOD BRINGS TO HIS PEOPLE (v.28)
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.” NKJV
THIS IS A REMINDER OF WHO GOD IS!
a. He reminds them that He is the Everlasting God.
He is Alpha & Omega, the Beginning & the End, the great I AM, the Eternal One. He is not here today, and gone tomorrow. He is forever God. Has always been and will always be. As the Eternal One He DOES NOT CHANGE. “In Him no variableness, nor shadow of turning,” as James says in his epistle.
HIS ABILITY NEVER CHANGES…HIS LOVE NEVER CHANGES…HIS DIVINE NATURE NEVER CHANGES. That is very good news for you and me.
Listen to what God says to His people in Malachi 3:6 “For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.” NKJV
Did you catch the “therefore” in that verse? God’s people were saying “It’s vain to serve the Lord”—“My way is hidden from the Lord”—“God’s not being fair with me”—“God’s not taking care of me.”
They had lost their perspective on life. They had tried to short change God and in the process simply shortchanged themselves. They deserved to be consumed. They had substituted religious activities and ritual for vital relationship with God. They had missed the boat. They had drawn back when they should have pressed in. They had robbed God when they should have honored Him.
Their situation could have turned out terribly bad except for one thing: the eternal nature of God. “God is love.” “His mercy endures forever.” “He is not willing that any should perish but that all come to repentance.” “He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” (EH DI LALO NA SA MGA ANAK NIYA…)
God does not change—“therefore” we are not consumed. Our sins testify against us. We deserve judgment but have received mercy. Rather than murmuring and complaining about injustice—we should all be rejoicing that God’s mercy has prevailed over justice. (4) Justice demands our punishment. Mercy and grace has brought us into the family of God and into a loving relationship with our Heavenly Father.
When we are tempted to say in our hearts, “My way is hidden from the Lord…” it is a good time to be reminded of who God is—He is the everlasting God, full of mercy—the covenant-keeping God, Jehovah.
In Isaiah 40:28 we are also reminded that He is
b. “The Creator of the ends of the earth…”
Nothing escapes His gaze. NO ONE IS OVERLOOKED BY GOD. Nothing is beyond His domain. He “sits on the circle of the earth. He stretches the heavens like a curtain. Isa 40:15 “Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket, And are counted as the small dust on the scales; Look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing.” NKJV
In the verse just prior to our text God asks the question, “To whom will you liken me or to whom shall I be equal…” IT SPEAKS OF HIS OMNIPOTENCE! This is the One Who measures the heavens with a span—a span is the width of a hand. We must not limit the Holy One of Israel in our thoughts.
Again in verse 28 there is this reminder:
c. He “…neither faints, nor is weary.”
He didn’t get tired and give up on His people. (KAYA TIGILAN MO YANG DRAMA MO NA, “NAKU NAKAKAHIYA NANG LUMAPIT SA PANGINOON, KASI LAGI NA LANG AKO LUMALAPIT SA KANYA, BAKA NAGSASAWA NA SI LORD…” PWEDE YAN SA TAO, PERO SA PANGINOON, HINDI KAILANMAN SIYA NAPAGOD, NAINES, NAGSAWA NG PAG-ABOT SA BAWAT PANGANGAILANGAN NATIN!) YOU CAN NEVER WEAR OUT GOD! What He starts He is well able to finish. Our weariness is not a reflection of His weariness. His strength is eternal. His strength is inexhaustible. If He doesn’t do it, it’s not because He can’t do it. Amen?
d. “His understanding is unsearchable…”
There is the essential answer to our struggle. How can a puny human being evaluate the justice of God—the wisdom of God or the ways of God? His understanding is unsearchable. Is any human being in a position to say to God, “What do You think You’re doing?”
There was Job, the greatest man on earth in his day. He began with some strong opinions about what God was doing in his life. He and his companions had extensive conversations about the whole situation. Was God being fair with him? Then toward the end of the book God showed up. How did Job respond to that? God asked the questions, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” God is very good at asking the right questions. Job’s answer was “I lay my hand over my mouth.” The “unsearchable” wisdom of God is ultimately the answer to our questions about life’s perceived injustices. Here are a few more questions that help us remember Who God is: Isa 40:13-14 “Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or as His counselor has taught Him? 14With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him, And taught Him in the path of justice? Who taught Him knowledge, And showed Him the way of understanding?” NKJV
On the surface a reading of Isaiah 40 could be terrifying. To think that such an omnipotent God might be against us is an alarming thought. But when we understand that all of this is an assurance from God to His people—an assurance that God has not overlooked us. “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is loyal toward him…” (2 Chron 16:9)NKJV Isaiah 40 is an assurance that God understands our deepest struggles and is ultimately the answer to all our questions.
I don’t just say He has all the answers. I say HE IS ALL THE ANSWERS. Everything begins and culminates in Him. When we have a problem He doesn’t go to some filing cabinet in the sky and pull out a folder with the solution in it. HE GIVES US HIMSELF. All the riches of wisdom and understanding are hidden in Him. To know God is to know! To not know God is to not really know anything, as we ought to know it.
He comforts us by reminding us Who He is.
3. THE PROMISE TO HIS PEOPLE.
Verse 29: “He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.”
Not only is God omnipotent, not only does God Himself never get weary—but He graciously shares His strength with us. How easy it would be for God to break us like a bruised reed or snuff us out like a smoldering wick. But He does not do that. When we are confused and discouraged He does not chide us or lecture us—HE REVEALS HIMSELF TO US…HE SUSTAINS US, WHEN WE ARE ABOUT TO QUIT TO GIVE UP, HE SUPPLIES THE STRENGTH THAT WE NEED, IT HAS NEVER CHANGED OUR SITUATION, BUT IT MADE US ENDURE AND TO CARRY ON…TO HOPE FOR THE GREATER THINGS THAT HE WILL DO IN OUR LIVES…He is truly filled with grace and truth.
We get upset. We question God’s fairness. His response is to comfort us. Can’t you just hear him saying, “If you only really knew Me, if you only knew My heart toward you–see the nail prints in my hands, see the wounds in My side—that is my answer to your questions.”
We have been praying, working hard, finding solutions and looking for answers about our situations. It is natural that we would be tired and a little weary at this point in the process. God understands that. But more than that, He has the perfect solution for our weariness.
His solution is an exchange of our weariness for His strength. Every time we come together in a worship service like this a wonderful possibility exists for each and every one of us—the possibility of a grace exchange—the possibility of refreshment and renewal in the presence of God. (ISA ITO SA MGA GINAGAMIT NG DIYOS NA PARAAN UPANG MALAYA NATING IBIGAY SA KANYA ANG ATING MGA ALALAHANIN, KABIGATAN AT SULIRANIN SA BUHAY AT PALITAN NIYA ITO NG KAGALAKAN, KAPAYAPAAN AT KASIGURADUHAN NA DI NYA TAO IIWAN NI PABABAYAAN MAN…SA TUWING IKAW AT AKO AY NASA PRESENSIYA NG DIYOS, TILA BAGA HINUHUKAY ANG KAIBUTURAN MO AT NAGAGAWA MONG SABIHIN SA DIYOS LAHAT NG KALAGAYAN MO…KAYA KAPATID SA TUWING TUTUNGO KA SA TAHANAN NG PANGINOON, WAG MONG PIGILAN ANG SARILI MO…ILAHAD MO LAHAT SA KANYA…DAHIL ANG ATING MGA KAHINAAN AT PINAGDADAANAN AY PAGKAKATAON NIYA UPANG PATUNAYAN ANG KANYANG KALAKASAN AT KAPANGYARIHAN! HALLELUJAH!) It does not happen simply because we are physically here. It happens as we realize Who God is and open our hearts to receive from Him.
Notice the criteria in our text for receiving God’s strength and refreshing. Verse 29 “He gives power to” whom? “the weak…” Only when we realize our own weakness are we in a receptive mode for God’s strength. “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (5)
“And to those who have” what? “no might.” Self-sufficiency blocks the flow of God’s grace. It’s when we come to the place where we know we can’t do it—where we stop relying on our own sufficiency—that’s when the exchange can happen—that’s when we receive His strength. What did the Lord say to Paul? II Cor. 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
Verse 30 “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall…” Even the best of the best cannot do it without God’s grace. verse 31 “But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” NKJV
The Hebrew word for wait is “quavah” (6) It means to wait with expectation. It’s not just a state of passivity. IT’S AN ATTITUDE OF FAITH. It’s looking to the Lord for strength and expecting to receive it from Him.
That is what God is calling us to this morning: a receptivity to His strength. Acknowledging our own inadequacies we lift our spiritual eyes to Him—we open our hearts to Him—and we receive the strength we need.
– Richard Tow