Theme: He travels with us
Text: Isaiah 41:1-24
The Lord is good and His Love endures forever!! Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I greet you all in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our Annual theme, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” based on John 14:6, and the theme for the month: He leads me (Psalm 23:2).
Book of Isaiah gives a clear, and at times a frightening, picture of God’s expectations of leaders, mostly negative — performance review of the kings and other leaders of Israel and Judah. Modern workplaces differ significantly from those in ancient Israel. Leaders work in the government, military or religious spheres, corporate, entrepreneurial, scientific, and academic institutions. Yet the writing of Isaiah can be applied to today’s world to work out principles that apply to the workplace today. God promises his New Creation through promises for his people. Isaiah 41: God calls for a champion of justice (Cyrus) and makes him ruler over 49 countries. He pulverizes every enemy and tells Israel this in scripture, 150 years before it takes place. The idol makers are saying “don’t worry, this will never happen to us.”(Lewis-ref: 4thewordofgod.com)
1. He travels with us to affirms our call (Isaiah 41:2)
As a helper of Israel, the Lord travels with us all. He travels to assure the call he has fixed for all of us. Call to follow him, call to live and witness for him. God assures us about his highness, holiness, and powerful words. He travels with us to know whether we put him higher in our thoughts, planning, and execution. The Lord assures us that the path which laid and prepared for us. He travels with us to sure that the thorns and treads are allowed and permitted by God.
He called his adversaries to stand before him with their strength (Isaiah 41:1). He called kings of the east to subdue his people when they disobeyed and displeased him through all their activities. The Lord says that that king was a righteous man (Isaiah 41:2). Albert Barnes says that many scholars disagree that it refers to King Cyrus but Abraham. Jewish writers generally accepted this view. It means that God had called Abraham from the east that he conducted him to the land of Canaan, and enabled him to vanquish the people who resided there, and particularly that he vanquished the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and rescued Lot from their hands; and that the fact of God's bringing Abraham from the east was a sure and comforting sign that God would also deliver Israel from their captivity in the east.
But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend. You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth and have called from the corners of it, and said to you, You are My servant—I have chosen you and not cast you off even though you are in exile. I am with you (Isaiah 41:8-10). God assured them that he traveled with Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, forefathers in the wilderness, and now he is with them in exile, and he is going to take them back to Israel. He made them recall their origin of the humble and simple state. Abraham was from Ur of Chaldeans. The real state of Jacob was a worm. David used this word to refer to self (Isaiah 41:10 and Psalm 22:6). The Word worm means ‘state of contempt and affliction, whom all loathe and tread on, the very expression which Messiah, on the cross, applies to Himself. So completely are Jesus and His people identified and assimilated’(ref: biblestudytools.com/ Enduring Word). God's people are as 'worms' in humble thoughts of themselves, and in their enemies' haughty thoughts of them; worms, but not vipers, or of the serpent's seed." (Henry). men--The parallelism requires the word "men" here to have associated with it the idea of fewness or feebleness.
2. He travels with us to Assures our victory (Isaiah 41:3)
Refer Isaiah 43:2 – I will be with you when you pass through the waters, rivers, fire, and flames. God is traveling with us and leads us to victories over victories. The shreds of evidence given in the chronological orders in the wilderness journey are the affirmation of the travel God engaged with us. They had to go through many countries, lands, and valleys but in everything, they had experienced teachings and hardships and training for the victory. Every occasion and incident.
God raised king Cyrus from the east. God assured that he traveled through the path he never trod. His feet have not traveled before but travel with victory songs (Isaiah 41: 3,25). “The fact that God raised Cyrus and qualifies him for becoming the conqueror of the nations and deliverer of God's people, is a strong argument why they should trust in Him’ (ref:biblestudytools.com/Enduring Word).
According to Spurgeon Isaiah 41:5 & 6 calls Christians to wake up from the fight and content. He says when men fight against God and his people they get united. He says further that there is one sin that I never heard charged upon the devils namely, the sin of disunity. Of all the evil things we have heard, I have never heard that among the principalities of the pit there has ever been any division into sects and parties. The enemies of God helped everyone, his neighbor, everyone said to his brother, Be of good courage (ref:studylight.org).
God assured the victory over the debates, deliberations, and discussions because he puts the right words in their out (Isaiah 41:1). He says that he would strengthen them comfort them by his grace (Isaiah 41:11). He also assures them that those who battle against you shall be ceased (v. 12). They would become nothing in the sight of society and people. He gives the power to grind even the mountains and the hard stones to dust (Isaiah 41:15).
3. He travels with us to ascertain new life (Isaiah 41:10-20)
He travels with us to establish his kingdom, to make it a stronghold and powerful house of the Lord with great promises. No need to fear anything in life. If it is His will, purpose, and plan nothing could divest and dilute and devastate the things in life.
He assured them that they would find water resources during their thirst and parched tongues. I would create rivers, streams, water ponds, and wells (Isaiah 41:18). I will plant trees in the wilderness like cedar and the acacia tree, The myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the cypress tree and the pine And the box tree together (NKJV). He creates high-grown trees and heavy trunk trees to safeguard them and give them shade and shelter (Isaiah 41:19). "High places . . . valleys" spiritually express that in all circumstances, whether elevated or depressed, God's people will have refreshment for their souls, however little to be expected it might seem (ref:biblestudytools.com/Enduring Word).
The Targum interprets ‘pine’ as "elm", and also the Vulgate Latin version. All these are figuratively meant converted persons experience great change, instead of briers and thorns the odourful and fruitful trees come in life. The grace of God makes a goodly and beautiful person as odorous and of as sweet ascent in their graces and duties, as profitable and fruitful in grace and good works. They are evergreen, durable, and incorruptible; because of their perseverance in grace and holiness (John Gill Exposition). God ascertains to ‘silence the fears and encourage the faith, of the servants of God in their distresses. All that faithfully serve God through the patience and comfort of this scripture may have hope. A word of caution, counsel, and comfort, which is so often repeated by telling ‘Fear Not’ (Matthew Henry).
Illustration (used by Spurgeon): Martin Luther was a very cheerful man. Once he had terrible depression. Friends recommended him to go away for a change of air, to see if he could get relief. He went away returned home as miserable as ever. He went into the sitting-room, his wise wife Kate, Catherine von Bora, was sitting there, dressed in black, and her children round about her, all in black. “Oh, oh!” said Luther, “who is dead?” “Why,” said she, “doctor, have not you heard that God is dead? My husband, Martin Luther, would never be in such a state of mind if he had a living God to trust to.” Then he burst into a hearty laugh, and said, “Kate, thou art a wise woman. I have been acting as if God were dead, and I will do so no more. Go and take off thy black.” If God is alive, why are we discouraged? If we have a God to look to, why are we cast down? Let us rejoice and be glad together; for God will do all that he has promised, for this reason:?