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Summary: A) The Context of Is 40ff 1) The size of God 2) The knowledge of God 3) The care of God

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“Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength” Is 40:12-31

WBC 16/03/03 am

THE CONTEXT

= 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.


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