READ: Isaiah 40:1-31
Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale? – Isaiah 40:12
God sits above the circle of the earth. – Isaiah 40:22
He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. – Isaiah 40:29
But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. – Isaiah 40:31
In the beginning of this passage, the prophet Isaiah declares that the LORD is coming, the Messiah will come, and that the people of Israel must prepare the way for him. (John the Baptist quotes the first part of Isaiah 40 when explaining who he is in God’s grand plan in John 1:22-23.) But then Isaiah shifts gears and begins to declare the power, the greatness, and the magnitude of God. I especially love verse 22, “God sits above the circle of the earth.” The reason I love this is that everyone thought the world was flat at that time. How did Isaiah know the earth was round? Only revelation from God could have brought him to that conclusion.
Bottom line – God is bigger than everything and more powerful than anything.
Then Isaiah lands this chapter with God giving us His power! This is a mind-blowing concept… that God would (vs. 29) “give power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” In their culture, the weak and powerless were that way because they were abandoned by God. But God turns that on its ear here. The God who is all powerful will come to the aid of the weak and powerless. He will lead us and provide for us like a good shepherd. If we trust in Him, we will find new strength.
Remembering the greatness of God is a great way to start your prayers. Jesus taught us to pray “Our Father who art in heaven, holy is your name.” This declaration of God’s fatherly love for us, as well as his awesome power and scope (in heaven), initiates a posture of praise while reminding us of our humble state. Notice that God gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. It is when we think we are strong (or forget how powerful God is) that we become unable to receive God’s strength (Jesus, in 2 Corinthians 12:9, says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul, in 2 Corinthians 12:10, says, “For when I am weak then I am strong.”) It really is true that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
This passage is both sobering and encouraging. Sobering in that I must always guard my heart against pride or the thought that I am something special apart from God. This is an easy trap to fall into, especially with some success under your belt. It is encouraging in that when I am at my lowest, weakest, “ready to give up” place in my heart, that the God who made it all, is over it all, who is more powerful than everything I am facing, is concerned about my situation and stands ready to strengthen me and give me His power to overcome my overwhelming situation. And all I have to do is trust in Him. The exercise of faith releases the power of God in our lives.
What area of your life do you need to trust God with? Have you been proudly leaning on your own strength and understanding and not exercising faith? Freedom comes when we surrender our pride, place our trust in Christ for whatever situation we face, and receive His provision.
Father in heaven, holy is your name!!! You are God, and I am not. Thank you for adopting me into your family and for caring about the details of my life. This day I declare my dependence on you, for I am weak in so many ways. Will you pour out your power and strength in my life, renew my strength, and help me to walk in faith. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.