Summary: A) The Context of Is 40ff 1) The size of God 2) The knowledge of God 3) The care of God
“Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength” Is 40:12-31
WBC 16/03/03 am
= Babylonian exile 587BC onwards (either from 8C BC or 6C)
- but still prophetic. Cyrus named
But applicable at any stage of history/life
- particularly today!
God will help you
- through the desert. Preparing the way
- valleys raised up, mountains lowered, way made straight
o because NOW is God’s moment, time, kairos
o she has paid double for her sins (40:2)
o the lesson is over. NOW is the time
God DOES have a time. After 70 years of desert/captivity
- now’s the time for freedom. They year of the Lord’s favour
- After years of being – in the spiritual doldrums
o Facing ‘captivity’ etc
- IT’S YOUR DAY/TIME
THE SIZE OF GOD (PPT)
But what about Babylon? They won’t let us go!
- it may be my time, God’s time… but something (someone!) always gets in the way
o Babylon is SO big,- surely IT will
o Nehemiah won’t be allowed to go and rebuild
Well- let’s get this in proportion, shall we? Babylon is mighty, but God is……. ALMIGHTY
- v12 “who has measured the waters…” (PPT)
o it’s a bit like God’s challenge to Job (38:4)
- >> answer: only God!
- God can deal with the whole universe, as a man deals with a trivial object
- Cf: Lagos. Does everyone get healed? “Is anything impossible for God!” (have no concept of folks not being healed= why they are. Good, evasive answer!)
God is BIG
In fact, v15 (PPT)- “the nations are like a drop in a bucket…”
- “dust on the scales” –that is ignored at purchase, or ‘swept off’
o they’re as insignificant as that
- “weighs the islands as if they were fine dust”
o could be translated ‘atoms’
Now, v16, He gets specific (PPT).
- let’s pick a nation. USA? GB? Iraq? No- Lebanon
o known for it’s Cedars and animal life
great things for Mosaic, cultic, sacrifice
o maybe there’d be enough there to impress God?
Nope! Not in SUBSTANCE or SPIRITUALITY
• Because it’s ALL His, anyway- and what He wants is 1) All 2) Obedience
V17 – (PPT) – it’s back to ALL the nations are nothing
- X= inconsequential, unimportant
o = small compared to Him
- The inference is- so is Babylon
Now, here’s the crazy thing. V18-20 (PPT)
- we all know this. They knew this. But still we/they worship other things, put their trust elsewhere
o = picture of idols. Carefully crafted and then worshipped!
= direct attack on Babylonian idolatry
• but applies to us all!
Crazy, Cray, crazy. The things we put our trust in, worship… that WE’VE done
- and then wonder why God hasn’t bailed us out
o He’s a pure, holy and jealous God! No fooling Him!
THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD (PPT)
I guess one of the reasons we’d rather trust ourselves… the work of OUR hands… dig cisterns for ourselves (Jer 2:13)…
- is we don’t understand GOD’S ways (so better do it ourselves)
V13 (PPT) “who has understood the mind of the Lord”
- like Is 55.
ISA 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.
ISA 55:9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
- His ways are SO different! He does as He wills!
Actually “MIND” (PPT) in V13 could be ‘Spirit’ (same word)
- = a bit like Jn 3: 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going
- Illustr: = why we need to use not only our minds, but also try and see what God is doing, blessing, like Jesus did (“I only do what I see the Father doing”.
o This is a bit different, maybe, to getting ‘feelings’ about things. Rather SEEING God at work, and following
o Interestingly, TBJ doesn’t pray for everyone. Maybe not their time. He says He tries to follow Jesus
“But I see Him do so little”
- well, if… like me… you have a ‘sinful unbelieving heart’ you can’t expect to!
o But people intent on being open and holy can SURELY grow in these things to -
Is 50:4 The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue,
to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
wakens my ear to listen like one being taught
“What! You mean I have to go back to naive fundamentalism”
- oh no! You go back to the rock! To Jesus! To the basics- and following Him, learning from Him, again