These chapters were all wonderful! There is one section I want to point out that I greatly appreciated and it reminded me of something God has taught me over the years, but before I get to that I want to share one other point I noticed several times throughout the chapters.
Over and over again The Lord basis His authority to speak as He does upon Him being the almighty and sole Creator. Is it any wonder that the devil attacks The Lord as Creator maybe more than any other aspect of His divine role? Let us not join the devil in his attacks my theistic evolution friends.
Okay so now to the portion of Isaiah 40 I want to address. It is not the verses that so often are quoted and rightly so from Isaiah 40,
“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 40:30, 31
A beautiful passage but not the text I want to focus on in this post.
In this post I want to look at,
“A voice says, “Call out.”
Then he answered, “What shall I call out?”
All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades,
When the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.” -Isaiah 40: 6-8
This text is humbling for me as a person, but especially as a pastor. Why especially as a pastor? I have known many pastors that have been “wounded” when a church moves on so quickly after they are gone. I can understand this, many of us sacrifice everything for the sake of the church for sometimes years and then when it is announced the pastor is moving on the church mourns for a day or two and then almost immediately forms a new search committee, I can understand how this hurts an ego. I’ve also seen how some pastors are almost bitter at the pastor that comes after them. In the immediacy of a new pastor often times it seems like the “new” guy or gal is more loved than the previous and the excitement that the other pastor didn’t see in his/her last few years is suddenly there, that can also be wounding. What does any of this have to do with Isaiah 40:6-8?
In my ministry I’ve tried to remind myself and I’ve tried to remind my associates and I’ve tried to remind colleagues that will listen, the churches we serve in are Jesus’ they were often times here before us and if Jesus doesn’t come soon they’ll be here long after us and then I usually say, “we need to remember the movement the church is bigger than all of us! Therefore we need to always remember we are replaceable and we will be replaced when God sees fit.”
I believe Isaiah 40:6-8 endorses this thought. If Jesus doesn’t come I will wither away and no matter how great some may think I am now or how horrible some may think I am now, all of that will also wither with succeeding generations and the only thing that ultimately lasts is the Word of God. The truth of God.
Therefore if the truth of God ultimately is the only thing that remains what should I spend my time building up? Me? Or that which will remain long after me? The foundation laid through God’s truth!
Isaiah 40: 9-11 then lays out what this everlasting truth is I should preach ’till I wither away,
“Get yourself up on a high mountain,
O Zion, bearer of good news,
Lift up your voice mightily,
O Jerusalem, bearer of good news;
Lift it up, do not fear.
Say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
10 Behold, the Lord God will come with might,
With His arm ruling for Him.
Behold, His reward is with Him
And His recompense before Him.
11 Like a shepherd He will tend His flock,
In His arm He will gather the lambs
And carry them in His bosom;
He will gently lead the nursing ewes.” -Isaiah 40:9-11
Good news which encompasses:
- The coming of our Lord
- That His judgment will have already taken place.
- The mercy of the Good Shepherd
- The love and kindness of Jesus
- The way of the Good Shepherd
I will fade but this stuff will remain. The movement of our Lord is bigger than any of us therefore me must live and work to make Jesus better known and better loved through that which will last forever His Word before we wither and fade away.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Matthew 20-22