His Strength will Lift Us Up to Heaven
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Isaiah is being more than a little sarcastic here. He is talking to the people of Israel and in the verses prior to this they are complaining about God and about what He hasn’t done for them. So Isaiah says, “didn’t you know that the almighty everlasting God doesn’t grow tired?” It’s sarcastic, but it’s also I really beautiful and wonderful passage
Isaiah uses two different words for tired.
The first which is translated “faints” is primarily a tiredness which comes from lack of food or water. I’m sure you know what happens when you don’t have enough water and you are working in the heat of the day.
But the Lord, he is the everlasting almighty, he doesn’t need fuel, he doesn’t need food or water. He is the source of energy. He doesn’t need to consume it. No he will never faint from lack of food or water.
Then the second word which is translated weary, this is a tiredness that comes from working hard all day, your exhausted, you just want to relax and have a beer. But again Isaiah says, this is the God that laid every corner of the Earth, that didn’t tire Him, what task do you think is going to be too much for him?
Isaiah is just pointing out the foolishness of our thoughts about God.
Whenever we think, well God isn’t going to help me out of this or that jam, I have to do that myself. Or whenever we think I can’t give money to church or to help so and so because I have to make sure I have enough for me, as if God is incapable of helping out me.
But one of the worst ways is when we think, “ I have to make sure to justify myself. I have to make sure everyone knows that I am right. I have to make sure everyone acknowledge my superiority. Etc” And this is really what is going on in the context of our text. That Israel was annoyed that “Their just cause was overlooked.” That they weren’t being honored properly among the nations.
You think God doesn’t know what is going on? You think God got tired of watching? That you have to make sure He is listening to you. Be silent and wait on the Lord’s action. Make certain that your way is right in his eyes and stop spending all your time judging others.
29 He gives power to the weak
There is that same word, weak because of lack of food or water. You have no source of energy then you have no power. But God needs no source, He is the source.
Just a couple chapters later Isaiah reminds us:
Isaiah 50:4 4 ” The Lord GOD has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary.
As Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
Strength doesn’t come from earthly food or water but from God, and He gives it through His word.
This is compared then with the next verse
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall
The first word here is probably more the young children, little kids. We all know how they have unending energy. A week of VBS every year and you want to take a whole month off. They never stop running. Well except even they eventually are weary.
And then the next word, young men. This is men in their 20s. These are warriors in the prime of the life. But even they are going to fail.
So we have the two contrasts here. The greatest strength of men. Or the power of God.
Man can indeed do great things, especially in the prime of their life. They can win wars, they can build monuments, they can achieve knowledge, amazing things. Is that going to be the goal and the hope of your life? I am going to become president; I’m going to be the greatest farmer that ever was? Is this your hope the strength of men?
Habakkuk 2:13 13 Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts That the peoples labor to feed the fire, And nations weary themselves in vain?
“They labor to feed the fire” you can cut wood after wood after wood, it will never be enough. Whatever you throw into the fire is gone. “They labor in vain” all the glories of men is vain, almost as soon as it is accomplished it is old, it is decaying, is this your hope in life? Or do you put your hope in the strength which God gives in His word like verse 29?
31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength;
Wait, this means to wait with eager expectation. Your not just sitting waiting to see what will happen. You’re hoping. You know what is coming and you are look forward to it.
Those who trust the Lord’s promise, who put their hope not in the things of men but in His word. What will happen they will “renew” their strength?
The word “renew” here actually means to change. This isn’t a strength that you had and faded away and now it is renewed. No this is something new, something different. This is a total change.
They shall “ascend on wings of an Eagle.” This is a completely new thing, to be able to ascend up into heaven, that is a type of power and strength which man does not have.
The choice the Lord is giving us here in this scripture:
- Rely on man and his power and have the things of man’s kingdom
- Put your hope in the Lord and ascend into heaven and receive the things of God’s kingdom
Man cannot ascend into the heaven, the things he builds with his strength are fleeting and short term.
But God freely gives the things of haven to those who ask. In the strength of God’s word you will ascend into heaven. You will also then run and not weary, walk and not faint. In other words God will also provide the things of this world. But the more important thing is that He will give you the things of heaven.
“seek first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added to you.”
Remember this as you go off to high school or college or begin your life in the world seeking a job.
Remember the promise God gives you here, will you rely on your strength, and will you place your hope and joy in the things of this world.
Or do you want to truly soar, by the power of His word, up to heaven? Where will you put your hope? Will you wait for the Lord?
Yet even though this is a wonderful word, and picture, and even though it is a wonderful promise here, nevertheless it is still a word of law. For it is a word of command to you.It is a command that comes with a great promise, but it is still law and a command. And in that word we find our failure
Even Abraham failed to wait on the Lord. For after many years of waiting he thought to himself I need to help the Lord, and he had a child by his maid servant. And the consequences were disaster.
Even Peter could not wait on the Lord for even a few minutes, but started to rely on his own strength and began to sink into the sea.So over and over again, we forget to “wait” on the Lord, we began to rely on our own thoughts our own strength, and we begin to sink.
But the promise remains there always, turn to me, and you will once again soar on eagles wings. And even more than that Jesus doesn’t wait for us to turn to him. But as with Peter so with us he reaches out and pull us up. He gives strength to those who are failing.