Isaiah 40:28-31 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
29 He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
30 Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
31 Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
Isaiah the Prophet lived and had these prophecies throughout the reign of 4 Judean Kings. ( Isa 1:1) As we have seen in previous devotions, the southern kingdom of Judah had for a time had kings that walked in the sight of the LORD, however, by this time, the nation had fallen from God.
The book is often split into 3 sections, 1-39, 40-55, and 56-66. But this is because scholars tend to attribute separate authorship to each section. These divisions deny the prophetic nature of the book, saying that each of the authors lived in the time that the events were coming to pass, and only “predicted” what was very obvious at the time. This viewpoint denies God’s power to communicate His plan through prophets, thus rendering the messianic prophecies of Isaiah impotent.
While the main theme of Isaiah is one of salvation, (especially a Messianic Salvation with prophecies of Christ) much of the prophecy deals with how God will punish Israel and Judah for turning from Him. Each prophecy of bad tidings, however, is answered with one of salvation.
Isaiah 40 deals with the Jewish people’s salvation from Babylonian Captivity. It heralds good tidings to Zion, God’s city, where the glory of the LORD will appear when He leads His people like a Shepherd. The chapter opens with this promise. ( Isa 40:1-11 )
Then the chapter moves into encouragement to the people. ( Isa 40:12-26 ) It speaks of the immutable power of the LORD and His wisdom. Finally, the people are told in the last part of the chapter to wait on Him, and that He will renew their strength.
Seventy Long Years
The Hebrews had been in Babylonian captivity for 70 years according to prophecy. ( Jer 25:11 ). They knew the LORD would save them. This prophecy from Isaiah is what they looked to for comfort and strength.
When we are in captivity, it can feel like 70 years of oppression. Like it will never end, and we can’t go on. That captivity can be one of sin, depression, addiction, affliction or any number of things. But we can know that “He gives strength to the weary, to him that lacks might He gives power. “
We have all been there. That feeling of hopelessness, of being human and imperfect. God tells us through Isaiah to not worry, though these feelings come, (and they will come, don’t expect otherwise) that He will give you rest. We shall rise on wings like eagles. We shall run and not get weary.
We are not God. We are infinite souls which dwell in finite bodies. Our bodies grow weary, our bodies get tired. It happens. When the troubles of life have torn us down, we remember His promise, and how He does it. He calls on us to lean on His strength, for He does not become weary.
Be Encouraged and Encourage Others
Take a moment right now and think of the thing most afflicting you and making you weary.
Take hope in the fact that weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning. ( Psa 30:5 ) Remember that we are not called to suffer alone, but that is why the Church is here, to encourage and strengthen each other in times of struggle. ( Thes 5:11 )
This is another reason why we as Christians still suffer in this world. The first being to refine our faith, as fire does metal. But then, once we have gone through a struggle, we can now be there for others of The Way to help them. There is never a point in your life where no one else can understand what you are going through, that is a lie from the evil one.
If you are in a valley now, struggling with loss, addiction, affliction, or any other negative thing, find someone in the church to talk to. Find a deacon, an usher, a Sunday School teacher, an elder, or a family member. But most importantly, go to the LORD for renewing, believing His promises that He will give us strength, and we shall rise.
If you aren’t in a valley, offer your support for others, while remembering that it is the LORD who gives you strength, and holds you out of the valley for this season. Pray for wisdom in this time to do as commanded in Thessalonians 5:11, and never forget where your strength comes from.