The most repeated warning in the Bible is fear not. God doesn’t want us to fear, that’s Satan’s domain. God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear, but God wants us to have His spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. It’s Satan that gives a spirit of fear, and selfishness, and of a troubled mind. Isaiah 40 is the antidote to fear that God offers to everyone. We’re invited to have our life anchored by the truth about God. He is to be a rock. He is to anchor our life to truth, that started at our salvation, but it never stops growing. We are to live each day, walking by faith and resting upon the solid foundation of trusting our changeless God. Jesus came to reveal the Father to us. Jesus is the doorway to all that God has promised and revealed. Here in Isaiah 40 are some of the most foundational, these truths about God, that make for a very sure foundation. The bottom line is God wants to put His strong arms around all of your fears. That’s the message of Isaiah 40.
If you take your Bibles with me, we’re going to start in Isaiah 40 and verses 10 and 11. You can see we’ve gotten to our 10th lesson, exploring the entire book of Isaiah. The fifth largest book in the Bible and just a monumental source of truth, as we’ll see today, about our God, His character. God who’s revealed in His word wants to put His strong arms around all of your fears. Now, God’s attributes are His strong arms. God has revealed His character in terms that we can understand. Let me show you from verses 10 and 11.
“Behold, the LORD God shall come with a strong hand, and his arm shall rule for Him. Behold, his reward is with Him, and His work before Him.” Now, some of you, as I was reading that, probably caught that’s part of the prophecies that are quoted in the book of Revelation. That’s how full of prophetic material Isaiah is.
Now look at verse 11, “He will feed His flock like a shepherd;” and look at this, “He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young.” That is God who wants to put His strong arms around us. Just like a little tender baby, weak, defenseless lamb, held close to His heart. That’s what God reveals in the book of Isaiah.
Look back at your slides. I just want you to remember this theme and we’ll see it as it’s unveiled, all the way through the book of Isaiah, especially in this 40th chapter. When we go through Isaiah, what we’re doing is, we’re surveying the majesty of God. Now, what I mean by that is, that Isaiah 40 marks a change in the outline of the book of Isaiah. The first 39 chapters are primarily woes and dooms against all these nations that God has been watching, that God sees in His justice that they will not repent, so He makes them go extinct. That’s, as we saw in past lessons, that all of those different nations, states, and groups are gone, except for one. That of course is what this juncture is. Israel is given hope. Think about this, Isaiah 40 through Isaiah 66 are addressed to the children of Israel that are going into captivity.
Now, let me just show you quickly what’s happened. Isaiah is writing, looking into the future. He wrote from 740 to 680 BC. Jerusalem falls. That means the Babylonian nation comes, Nebuchadnezzar. Actually, he starts in 605. He attacks Jerusalem BC, then he comes back again, Nebuchadnezzar does, tries again, knocks down a little more of the wall. Finally, in 586, he destroys Jerusalem. The walls, the city, the temple, and carries everyone away. Isaiah is writing and chapter 1 through 39 are all about the doom and gloom, and everything about this coming disaster. Isaiah 40 through 66 is looking forward to the kingdom, when the children of Israel will no longer be under chastening. So, what we see is this juncture. The first half of the book is gloom and doom and judgment. The second half is comfort and hope.
Now, let me read to you this survey. The prophecies of Isaiah 40 to 66 address Judah, that’s the southern kingdom. The northern kingdom was carried off by Assyria. The southern kingdom is being ruled by a succession of David’s descendants, kings. Under Hezekiah is where Isaiah is, but they are prophesied to go into captivity. We saw that in chapter 39, verses 5-7. So, right in the chapter, just before where we’re starting, God promised that they were going, their deportation. I want to say all this because, do you remember, the context is what makes the Bible, the interpretation finally understood. What is God trying to say in chapter 40?
What He’s trying to say is, you are going into captivity. The Babylonians, fierce warriors are coming. How would you like to be in your house and look out the window and see someone knocking down your fence, and being plowed in with all these military vehicles? They come and break down your door and put handcuffs on you, and put you in a truck, and they haul you away. That is what’s going on in Israel. They’re being deported. They’re becoming prisoners of war, those that survive. Most of them are going to be killed. It’s a horrific, dangerous, fearful time. Now, it hasn’t happened yet. This is over a hundred years before. The prophecy that’s going to happen, is a hundred years before it happens. God says, when it happens, when you’re in your house in Jerusalem and it’s surrounded by armies, the armies of Babylon, I want you to know that I can put my strong arms around you and I’m going to carry you through this. That’s the context of Isaiah 40 and that’s the interpretation. God was speaking to His people, His chosen people of promise before they’re carried off into captivity. But application, wow, do you know what it gives for us? No matter what we’re going through God says, I already know it’s coming because of my attributes. Because I know all things. That all knowing is omniscience. Because I am everywhere present, I don’t miss anything. I’m omniscient because of my great power, and because I’m good, and I love you.
So, Isaiah 40-48, which is the section, the first section of this final part of Isaiah, is looking at the hope and comfort of a blessed future following the judgment of the captivity. So, that’s our survey of Isaiah chapter 40.
Now in your slides, the next slide is a reminder that we’re actually in the 10th hour of 15 hours, going through the book of Isaiah. Our next hour is that exciting one I’ve mentioned over and over. We’re going to look at biblical prophecy.
The next slide is actually where we’re going to jump into Isaiah 40. I want to just show you verse by verse what the Lord is doing in this book and what He’s communicating to us. You notice that this whole section starts out with comfort, comfort, comfort, comfort. She has received all this promised correction, judgment, double for all her sins. That’s why it was so horrific. Then look what verse 3 does. Do you recognize that verse? “Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” What is that? That’s a promise about John the Baptist coming. This book of Isaiah is filled with all types of prophetic passages. Some of them going all the way to what Heaven’s going to be like. Some of them going all the way back, as we’ve seen in prior lessons, to creation as God stretched out the Heavens and right after the finish of creation, the fall of Satan. The fall of Lucifer, to become Satan. So, Isaiah is going from eternity past, creation, the fall of Satan, all the way forward to eternity future, the millennial kingdom, actually the second coming of Christ, the millennium, and Heaven. So, it just reminds me of when you give a man a TV remote he doesn’t, most women stay on one channel they find the one they want, and they stay. Not men, they’re looking, they go through all the channels and they’re always looking. You know what? That’s what Isaiah is like. You can tell it was written by a man. It just goes between channels like this and we in this class, are putting the pieces together.
Back at the slide. It says in verse 5, this starts the character of God, “The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together;” “for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” The glory of the Lord revealed of course is in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Then starting in verse 6 we find a revelation about the word of God. So, God’s word is just marvelously described. “All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, because the breath of the LORD blows upon it;” Look at verse 8, and we come to the eternality of God, that attribute of His characteristic. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” Then verse 10, it talks about His strong hand, a strong hand and arm. That’s His omnipotence. In verse 11, He gathers us in His arms. That’s His tender love. All of these you notice I wrote in my Bible, it’s all the character of God. Talks about His omniscience, He knows all about Heaven and can measure it.
In the next slide, you see His wisdom revealed. “Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD?” “With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him?” Of course, His wisdom or omniscience means that no one teaches Him. He knows all things. This 15th verse is another description of His omnipotence. Remember, He says that all the nations are like a drop in the bucket. He lifts up the islands, it’s just a very little thing.” All the nations,” verse 17, “before Him are as nothing.” That speaks of how majestic and above everything He is. Then, His uniqueness is in verse 18. ” Who can you liken to God?” Why He is saying that is, because they were making idols and they were trying to liken an object to God. Look at this, “to prepare a carved image that will not totter.”
Now look up, the problem with idolatry is that the Lord points out in this book is that they would chop down a tree, they’d cut it in half. Half of it they’d make their idol out of and try and prop it up so it would stand up. With the other half of the tree, they would cut it into firewood and cook their food on it. God said, your god has to be propped up, so it doesn’t totter and fall and the same piece of wood you made your god out of, your idol, you’re cooking your dinner on. He said you have exchanged Me, the creator, the one who delivered you from bondage in Egypt, the one who rained down all the destruction on your enemies, the one who gave you this land… you’re cutting down one of the trees I created to make your idol out of. Why don’t you just worship the one who created the tree? See, that’s the message that God keeps saying to His people as they’re in this time of foreboding, before the final destruction. He keeps giving them an opportunity to come back to Him, but they don’t.
Look back at the slide, He talks about being the creator in verse 22. He “sits above the circle of the Earth.” God sits over the Earth. All of its “inhabitants are like grasshoppers.” Look at this. He “stretches out the heavens like a curtain, He spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.” Now, do you see, I wrote in my Bible omnipotence.
Now look up for a second, let me share something with you. A lot of people, thinking, scientific minded people, say wait a minute. If the Earth was created by God relatively recently, how come there are stars that are billions of light years? I think the latest calculation is 12 to 14 billion light years. In other words, here’s the Earth and here’s the star. It’s light traveling at 186,282 miles per second, has come 12 to 14 billion years. Now, I have no doubt that that star or galaxy is 12 to 14 billion light years away, but I really think that it was created, the star and the Earth, if you believe the Bible is less than 10,000 years ago. Less. So, how can light from 12 to 14 billion miles away get to the Earth? This is us. It’s answered right there, did you see it? Look back in verse 22 and it’s the last part of verse 22. He “spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.”
Look up, I’m going camping. This round tube is my tent. It’s rolled up and I take it, and I’ve done this because I took my family camping. We, all of our children, we’d sleep outdoors and rough it and everything. I’d say, okay, let’s do the tent. I would set it on the ground, and I would start kicking. And what would I do with the tent? It was rolled up tightly to get in the car but as soon as I stepped on one end and let that roll go, it would go. Now watch, God created the universe from the Earth. It talks about, see the sun moon and stars weren’t made until the fourth day of creation. God was right here, this is ground zero of the universe, right here on Earth. We’re not waiting for the light from the stars and galaxies to get here. The biblical account is that God unrolled them from the Earth outward on the fourth day.
So, Earth did not have to wait for the light to get to us. The light, actually He flung, another prophecy description is He flung, He threw, He put out into space in every direction all of the stars and the galaxies. So, if you want to have a biblical cosmology, yes there are 12 to 14 or less billion light years away, but which direction did they go? If you believe in a creator, they went from the Earth outward. The creator was standing here, and He spread them out, like you unroll a tent.
If you don’t believe in a creator and don’t have a biblical cosmology, then you have real problems because of several things. If you don’t have the biblical account of the creation of Earth, then you can’t have a biblical redemption. Because the same one that says He created everything in six literal days, said that He came back in the fullness of time and offered Himself on the cross. How can you believe part of what He says when you don’t believe the beginning of what He says? How do you know the rest of it is true? So that’s a biblical cosmology.
Back down at your slide. “To whom then will you liken Me?” “Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created,” verse 26, all “these things, who brings out their hosts by number;” look at this, for God’s omniscience He calls them all, all the creations of the Heavenly host by name, by His strength and power. None of them is missing. He is the sustainer. Look, it gets even better starting in verse 28. It’s a series of questions trying to get the people to respond and consider what He’s saying.
“Have you not known, have you not heard that? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the Earth, neither faints nor is weary.” He’s all powerful. “His understanding is unsearchable.” See, that’s His wisdom. “He gives power to the weak.” That’s His grace. Look at the ending of this chapter, verse 31, “but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
Isn’t that a great passage of scripture? Do you know the purpose of the 40th chapter? It’s to comfort the children of Israel who were promised they were headed toward deportation. It’s to get them looking forward to their future state, that God has prophesied for them, of their return to the land and of them living under the rule of Jesus Christ. Also, while they were in this time of disintegration of their culture, while they were living closer and closer to the doors being knocked down and all the horrible things of the Babylonian army coming; God says, look what I want to do. I want to put those strong arms, this all knowing, all powerful, always with you, good God, I want to put my arms around you. All of your fears.
Looking back down at your slides, this introduces what are called the attributes of God. Now, you look at that chart and let me tell you about each one of them. These are the theological, in fact look up for just a second, remember I’ve told you about what I always take with me everywhere I go? My journal, that I write down every day, what I’m learning in the Bible, of course my study Bible, my MacArthur Study Bible. Everywhere we go, no matter where we go, always with me is my journal, my MacArthur Study Bible, and one other tool.
This is a systematic theology. It’s called Wayne Grudem Systematic Theology. It has 1,289 pages. There are 1,189 chapters and 1,289 pages. The Bible has 1,189 chapters. Grudem has 1,289 pages, but this is a systematic theology by a man I would call a friend. We’ve sat and eaten meals together. I’ve listened to him and been amazed. Wayne Grudem is one of the premier theologians of our day and he has taken all the doctrines of scripture and divided them into four parts. He says this would be what the Renewal theologians believe, that’s charismatics. This is what the Roman Catholic theologians believe. This is what the Reformed theologians believe. Then he said, this is what Baptist Dispensational evangelicals believe. He takes all four of those and then he synthesizes them and says of all these views the Charismatic, Roman Catholic, Reformed, and the rest of evangelicals. He said, this is the best treatment. What I like about it is, you don’t have to agree with him. In fact, I’ve taught through this systematic theology three times, all the way through, and each time I say; okay, page 221 is great, don’t agree with what it says on 222, don’t agree with what it says on 223. But what you can say is, even if you don’t agree with everything he says, it’s a masterful presentation of biblical doctrine in very easy to understand terms. Then what I love about it is, every chapter ends with a hymn, a memory verse, and a prayer of application. What we do in our devotional studies, that are the assignment for this class.
Back down to the slide, Grudem has divided all the theology, the doctrine of God into these attributes, that he says some are incommunicable. That means we can never be like that because they only attach themselves to God. Independence means God does not need us or the rest of creation for anything. He’s self-existent. Unchangeableness, you might’ve heard of immutability. God never changes. Eternity, God has no beginning. Now look up, think about this, this is fascinating. God does not have succession of moments like we do. God sees at the same time, the past, this present instant, and the future all at the same time. I don’t understand that, I can’t do that.
When I was little in school, they said I was naughty. Nowadays, they’d say I was ADHD or hyperactive. In fact, do you want to see me in the second grade? Let me show you what I was like in the second grade. I spent every Sunday in Sunday School with my nose in the corner. In second grade I was so bad, when I walked in the door, my teacher would say, Johnny, go stand in the corner. I just couldn’t sit still. I couldn’t keep my hands off everybody else’s desk. I couldn’t stop talking. I just was naughty. The only solution was standing in the corner. So, certainly I can’t understand the eternity of God. He has no beginning, no end, no succession of moments, His own being, He sees all time equally and vividly. Yet, He sees events in time and acts within those times. See, that’s part of His power, even though He sees everything He can be acting within this moment. In fact, right now as you’re watching this, either in east Asia in the classroom for credit sitting at a desk, or maybe you’re just on a subway somewhere. Like I heard about a professor at a university in India who speaks English is watching. He said, I’m taking the class with you. He’s riding around watching it on his phone. Did you know wherever you are this instant, God is in that instant with you acting, seeking to open your mind, and whatever your fears are today He wants to put His arms around you as you understand His attributes. Look back at the slide, eternity.
What’s the next one? Number four, omnipresence. Let me read that to you. God is present at every point of space with His whole being, yet He acts differently in different places. Now, what does that mean? God’s omnipresence does not mean that God is so big that He’s as big as the universe and He’s in the universe. And it doesn’t mean He’s so small. What it means is that He is equally present, equally, totally present in every part of the universe. Remember, I can’t fully comprehend that, but it’s true.
The next one is His unity. The unity of God may be defined as, God is not divided into parts. Yet we see different attributes of God emphasized at different times. The scriptures say God’s attributes are never singled out so that one attribute is more important than the other. So, those are the incommunicable attributes.
Look at your slides, then we have God’s communicable attributes. That means, ways that we’re like God. He is spiritual, invisible, He has knowledge, truthfulness, and faithfulness. You can look up and I’ll just go through what those are. Spirituality means that God is spirit. What does that mean? He is spirit, He is not corporeal. He doesn’t have a body. Whenever we see God represented it’s either what’s called a theophany where you see God on a throne and it’s just this blazing light, or it’s Jesus Christ. Jesus said, if you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father. You can’t see the Father cause He’s spirit. You can’t see the Spirit because the Holy Spirit is also spirit. God the Father and God the Spirit are what we would call invisible, that’s the second attribute. See that? Spirituality, what their substance is, but the invisibility is the fact that they’re invisible.
We can go on and on but look at number three of this new list. God’s knowledge or omniscience. What that means is that God fully knows all things that are possible. Now look up, you know how computers play against each other the game of chess? When they play, they both know that if one makes a move, then it recalculates because it knows every possible move. Those are two computers. Do you know what God knows? He knows everything. Actual, He knows everything that will happen, and He also knows everything that could happen. You say, how do you know that? Because Jesus said while He was preaching, during His Earthly ministry in the gospel by Mark. He looked at the people and He said, did you know if I said this in Tyre and Sidon they would have repented. Then again, He says another time, did you know if I would have done this mighty work, the people in Sodom and Gomorrah would have repented. Jesus knows everything that will happen, but He also knows what could potentially. What could have happened. That’s just part of God’s knowledge. His truthfulness, you can see on the slide, His faithfulness. Many of these you know.
His moral attributes, this is His character. Number one, God is good. That’s just a phenomenal thing to think about. God does everything that is good and worthy of approval. Number two there, His love means He eternally gives Himself to others His mercy, grace, and patience. How thankful we are for that. His holiness means, He’s separated from sin. He’s devoted to seeking His own honor. I like that next one, number five. Peace or order, that God is separate from all confusion and disorder. Now, look up for just a second. Did you know that humans are characterized by disorder and fallen humans by confusion? That’s just part of the fall and part of our humanity. God wants to bring about clarity instead of confusion. He wants to bring about peace rather than disorder. You know what? One of the forms of disorder is restlessness. Remember the second grader who had to stand in the corner? Did you know God has taken that restlessness and turned it into, for me, insatiable hunger to read the Bible.
I remember, when I really got serious about God, I began reading the Bible through once every month. It only takes 72 hours to read the whole thing. That’s two hours and about 20 minutes a day. That’s how long, as a college student, I had of spare time that formerly was spent wandering around, going to athletic events, going to the library, hanging around, trying to impress the girls or just playing games or reading whatever books, or going to library and flipping through magazines. When the Lord got ahold of my heart, I began to invest those two hours of discretionary time into reading His word. God can bring us orderliness, clarity in our lives.
Look back at the slides. Number six, His righteousness or justice; that God is the perfect judge. His jealousy, most people don’t think of that as an attribute, but it’s the idea that God continually seeks to protect His own honor, the honor of His name. Then the last one, wrath that’s one of the most frequent descriptions of God. Here’s what wrath means; God intensely hates sin. That’s why He promised He was going to destroy His people, send them off into deportation, and make them wait for a long time, until His kingdom. That’s the wrath of God.
So, God takes all of these attributes, and keep going in the slides, adds to them His purpose. That’s His will. By the way, if you want to understand that, it’s hundreds of pages in a systematic theology. His freedom, His omnipotence, you know that is His power or sovereignty. Number four, His perfections. That’s amazing. When we talk about His perfection, God completely possesses all excellent qualities and lacks no quality that would be desirable, that’s theologically speaking.
His blessedness, number five. There it means, He delights fully in Himself and all that reflects His character. Now look up, this is one of my favorite sayings. Do you know what I say very regularly? I say to people, you’re a blessing. You’re a blessing. You can even say that to an unsaved person. Why? Because whenever anyone does something that reflects God’s character, that’s a blessing. If a lost pagan person shows even a smidge, even a tiny glint of kindness, or of helpfulness, or of love, you go; oh, that’s a blessing. Why? Because those are always reflections of God. We should go through life looking for God reflected in things and that’s why whenever I see a little reflection of God, I say, you’re a blessing or that’s a blessing, or what you just said or did is a blessing.
Back down, number six is God’s beauty, in the slides. It means God has everything that’s desirable. The more we know Him, the more beautiful He gets and the more He draws us to Himself. Finally, God’s glory is the creative brightness that surrounds His revelation of Himself. If you look up, that’s a blazing light, that’s blinding. So, when most people say they want to bring glory to God, they mean they just want everything to focus on how wonderfully great He is.
Back to your slides. Now we go to the reality of Isaiah 40:28, where the Everlasting God, the Lord is. We are to have lives that reflect, listen to this, that we are trusting these changeless truths about God. Now look up and think about this, God’s attributes, those are the changeless truths about God, are His strong arms. Now, this is what the Lord wants. We are invited by God to anchor our lives to Him. How do we do that? Look at the next slide.
Psalm18:2, David said “The LORD is my rock.” What does that mean? Who was the rock? 1 Corinthians says the rock was Jesus Christ. He is the doorway to all that God offers us. On the slide, this is what it says. God offers His eternity to us, that He sees everything at once. That means He’s really great to have around. His unchangeableness, He doesn’t fluctuate. His wisdom, He has the best goals, and He knows how to get to those goals. His omniscience, He knows everything actual and possible. Then I love number five. His desire for this is the theological doctrine of prayer. God has made our personal contact with Him to be through prayer because prayer changes the way God acts. Now look up, prayer changes the way God acts. Do you think of a verse? I do. James 4:2. “You have not because you ask not.” Prayer changes the way God acts. If we don’t ask, He doesn’t give. You understand, all of these blessings and all of this power? Back down to the slides.
Let’s just take those four attributes. His eternity, His unchangeableness, His wisdom, and His omniscience.
Think about what those mean and in the next slide, how do you unleash those attributes into your daily life? Now I’m going to show you here. I’ve taken four of God’s attributes from these 25 or 26. His all powerfulness, His all knowing, His everywhere present, and then His loving and gracious and merciful, He’s good.
Now look back this slide. How do you unleash that into daily life? Let’s just go through this. I’m going to show you what God wants to do. Number one, with all of our problems and fears and difficulties. Like we’ve lost our job, or we just got in a car wreck, or got the bad news that we have cancer. How does God want us to look at Him through these difficulties?
- Number one, He wants us to know He is good.
- Number two, He is wise.
- Number three, He’s all powerful.
- Number four, He’s everywhere, present.
Now think about what that means and for just a minute let’s go back to the blackboard here. What the Lord is trying to tell us is that His attributes form something like an impenetrable safe room. When we lived in Oklahoma, there were tornadoes all the time. These people go around selling safe rooms. What they would do is they say, we’ll dig a hole in your backyard, like in Twister the movie, we’ll dig this hole and we’ll put steel and concrete, and we’ll put this heavy door on it. Or even better so you don’t have to get wet, we’ll go into your garage and we’ll cut through the floor and we’ll dig down and we’ll put steel and concrete and reinforce it and put bands around it. So, when a tornado comes, you go right in there. Safe room. That’s nice, it’s too expensive. We never had one. Do you know what the other alternative is? You get in the bathtub, and your whole family gets in the bathtub. We had eight children and you put a mattress over you. That sounded really safe. So, what we would do is we’d get in our tornado room and pray. But look at this safe room, this is the divine safe room. God says, I want to put my attributes like strong arms around you and I want you to know that whatever you’re facing, whether it’s job loss or cancer, or can’t find a wife, that you’re lonely, doesn’t matter what you’re facing; God says, I know. I knew about your job loss before it happened. I knew that you have cancer coming. I know all this, and I wouldn’t allow it into, see, God says I love you so much that it wouldn’t allow it to get in there unless I knew it was best. I’m all powerful. I could have stopped it from coming in. I knew about it way ahead of time before it happened, and guess what? Do you know what omnipresence means? God says, it means I’m in the box with you. I’m in the safe room.
Next slide. Let’s go through these. Listening to God’s voice, that’s His word, means that we are trusting His word, that He is good, wise, all powerful, and everywhere present.
So, how do we apply the 20 plus attributes of God? Look, we went through all those. Independence, unchangeableness, eternity.
Here’s how, we take four of them. His omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, and his goodness or love and we put every problem we face in life into perspective.
What does that mean? Here we go.
All of our life’s challenges, our financial hits, our accidents, unexpected loss, cancer. What does God want us to do?
He wants us to know, do you remember what we started with in the book of Isaiah? He wants us to know that we’re held by Him with His strong arms. What are His strong arms? God is good. He always loves us.
God always knows, His omniscience.
God is always with us, He’s in the safe room with us. We’re held by God.
He wants us to know that He is powerful. That nothing could get into our safe room, our box, if He didn’t allow it.
Now, listen. God is either good or bad. God is either wise or dumb. God is either all powerful or He’s weak. God is either everywhere present, including right here with us in our problems or He’s absent. Our response to the struggles we face in life, declare our belief about God. Next slide.
What does God want from us? Lives that reflect we’re trusting changeless truths about God. Now look up, how do we have lives that reflect that we trust changeless truths about God? By getting to know God’s attributes, getting to know His character, which are those strong arms and bringing every fear to Him. Realizing we can put it in this box of His strong arms around us.
What’s the practical way we can do them? Look back at your slides. We can start doing devotional studies unleashing the truth of His eternity. If you read Isaiah 40, God says, I want you to talk to me and trust Me. Now look up, what does that mean? Those that wait upon the Lord. Prayer is our contact with God. Here we are in our box with our job loss, and cancer, and loneliness. Does God want us looking downward, inward, moping, and feeling bad about everything? Or does He want us to wait on Him? How do you wait on Him? You reach up by prayer and grab His hand. See, prayer is reaching up and grabbing the hand of our Father and saying, you know what? I know that you already know about my problem right now and I know that you’re so powerful I didn’t have to even have this problem, but you love me so much, you know I need it. I need to learn to wait, and I know you’re right here with me. What do you want me to do? How do you get the answer? How does God talk? Watch, God’s voice begins when you with an open heart, inviting His Spirit to illumine His word, invite Him to speak. Look back at your slides. Talk to God. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, as it says right there in Proverbs 3:5-6. Say, Lord, I believe you. Psalm 16:11. You’ll show me the path of life.
Here’s another lesson. Unleash the truth of His unchangeableness, God has already given us the best advice, that’s what it says in Psalm 119:98-99. We need to trust God enough to obey it. You know what it says in Hebrews 5? That the truth belongs to those who are willing to exercise himself to discern good and evil.
Now what’s the third lesson? Unleashed the truth of His wisdom. What is His wisdom? Do you remember that God doesn’t learn anything, that God knows everything. He knows the end from the beginning. We learn to seek God’s perspective. What does Genesis 50 say? Look up for a second, do you remember Joseph? Joseph was mistreated by his brothers. Genesis 50 is a recounting that they throw him in the pit and sold him. They were going to kill him, but Ruben prevailed, and they didn’t kill him. They sold him and he goes off. Then he gets in trouble for serving the Lord, even in Egypt, and gets thrown in another jail. But you know what he says in Genesis 50, all of you meant it for evil, but God took all those problems, all those troubles, and all my fears. God who knew about them could have prevented all of them, and loves me so much knew I needed them, was with me through all those troubles. He says that He guided me and led me. Unleash, look at slide, the truth of His wisdom.
Here’s another one, unleash the truth of His omniscience. Ask for grace. Remember what Paul said, when I’m weak, that’s when the Lord is strong. Seek to be sanctified. Remember what Job said? You’ll turn my life into gold and issue into the final lesson. You know what that final lesson is?
Unleash the powerful truth of the doctrine of prayer. God says, pray without ceasing. “You have not, because you ask not.” Our choices matter. He says you can build either with gold and silver or with straw. Prayer is vital because it connects us to Jesus.
Here’s the last slide, a reminder. God wants to put His strong arms around all your fears. That’s our class for today. How do we apply it? I hope you have a strong desire to get to know the attributes of God. That you start mining from the book of Isaiah and see, first of all, establish. Get to verses 10 and 11, and establish that God wants to put His arms around you. Then start sharing your fears with Him in prayer. Reach up and say, I’m afraid, I think I’ll never, or what if. After you reach up and pray, then say, Lord, speak to me. Look at that, can you see that page? That’s just one page I opened to. That’s everything the Lord taught me, once when I was seeking to hear His voice, from the 119th Psalm. God wants to put His strong arms around you.
Thank you, dear Lord, for this wonderful journey we’ve taken through Isaiah 40 today. Use it by your Spirit, in the lives of each one of these students for Jesus’ sake, Amen.