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Isaiah 40

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH CHAPTER 40

These people had lost heart and hope so the prophet laid the unction of expectation on their soul.  He tells them all that they are forgiven and had paid their debt twice over and were coming home.  First they had to build a road of hope and then build a highway across the land to reach Jerusalem.  God tells them that all the world will know that it was by his hand that they were delivered.  Their hope was like grass that had been cut and withered─their strength was as fragile as a wild flower.  He calls for them to lift up their voice and spread the good news of their return to the homeland.  He tells them that God is coming with a strong arm to help them─He will gather them from the four winds and care for them like a shepherd with a flock of sheep.  Isaiah lets them know that it is not some idol that will deliver them but the everlasting creator. After a lengthy discourse on the weakness of idols he extols the God who will give those who wait on the Lord super human strength─they will mount up with eagles wings─run and not be weary─walk and not be faint. The prophet removed dark clouds from their skies─restored hope for the future and put a new song in their repertoire.

EXPOSITION TO ISAIAH CHAPTER 40

1Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.

God says, take heart again─they needed to be consoled, so the prophet lays out the plan that will provide this comfort.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT AUTHENTICATE THE TEXT:

2Co 1:4  Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

 2Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.

Say kind words─speak soft and tender─cry unto her that her time of service has ended and her guilt is paid off─she has served her sentence─her sin is paid off─it is over and done with.  She had paid double for her sin.  At the end of 70 years of punishment God gave them amnesty, and forgave all the exiles for their sins and, returned them to their homeland.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT ESTABLISH THE CERTAINTY OF THE TEXT:

Psa 102:13  Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.

Dan 9:2  In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.  Read:  Isa 61:7; Jer 33:8-9

3The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Listen, I hear someone’s voice saying, clear out the rocks and stumbling blocks─smooth out the surface─make a highroad for God to bring his people home.  Like most prophecies, this has a primary and secondary fulfillment.  The first fulfillment was accomplished when God gave them a blanket fulfillment of forgiveness and sent them to Persia, where under Ezra and Nehemiah they made all the preparations for the return to Jerusalem.  The secondary fulfillment was under the ministry of John the Baptist.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

PRESENT OVERWHELMING PROOF OF THE TEXT:

Mat 3:1-3  In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,  And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.   Read:  Isa 62:10-11; Isa 11:16

4Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

Valleys were filled and mountains leveled and hills reshaped─God was preparing a highway from Persia to Jerusalem─in ancient times it was customary in the march of armies to send messengers ahead to proclaim their approach and remove all obstructions.  In addition to this, food and water would be provided for the marching soldiers.  Isaiah uses languages to describe the exiles returning to Judea─Matthew and Luke uses the secondary fulfillment to describe a messenger by the name of John the Baptist preparing a road to receive the Messiah through the human heart─this road runs through faith and a change in conduct.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT ATTEST TO THE TEXT:

Isa 42:11  Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.

Isa 43:19  Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

Isa 45:2  I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:

5And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

In both fulfillment of this verse the whole world became aware of the arm of God and all nations saw the salvation of our God.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT ARE CONCLUSIVE AND FINAL:

Isa 60:1  Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.

Isa 52:10  The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

Luk 2:32  A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

6The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:

These people were like grass that had been cut and withered─ their goodliness was as fragile as a wild flower.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT RATIFY THE TEXT:

Isa 37:27  Therefore their inhabitants were of small power, they were dismayed and confounded: they were as the grass of the field, and as the green herb, as the grass on the housetops, and as corn blasted before it be grown up.

Psa 90:5  Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.

7The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.

The grass is no doubt people who wither and fade like a flower beneath the breath of God.  This describes how fragile man really is.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT BEAR OUT THE TEXT:

Psa 90:6  In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.

1Pe 1:24  For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

8The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

Grass withers and wild flowers droops and fades but the word of God is firm and forever.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT SPEAK VOLUMES ABOUT THE TEXT:

Zec 1:6  But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the LORD of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us.

Mar 13:31  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

1Pe 1:25  But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

9O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!

Lift up the power of your voice on the highest mountain and spread the good good news─shout without fear and don’t be timid─tell all the cities of Judea, look your God is coming.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT SHED LIGHT ON THE TEXT:

Ezr 1:1-2  Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,  Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

  10Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

God is coming with a strong arm─men and women who had been kept captive by strong men of Babylon will be released and a reward is awaiting them.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT VERIFY THE TEXT:

Isa 49:25  But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.

Isa 62:11  Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

11He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Our God gathered Israel from among all nations like a shepherd rounding up a flock of sheep─carrying some in his arms and others wrapped in a garment and carried next to his chest.  He will take extra precaution with the young and tender.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT GIVE COUNTEREVIDENCE TO THE TEXT:

Isa 49:9-10  That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.  They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.

 12Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?

Israel had to know who it was that calculated the dimensions─measured the correct amount of water─measured the sky and atmosphere and weighed mountains and hills.  God has given an atmosphere to the earth, which, possessing a certain degree of gravity perfectly suited to the necessities of all animals, vegetables, and fluids, should be the cause, in His hands, of preserving animal and vegetable life; for by it the blood circulates in the veins of animals, and the juices in the tubes of vegetables.  Without this atmospheric pressure there could be no respiration; and the elasticity of the particles of air in animal and vegetable bodies, would rupture the vessels in which they are contained, and destroy both kinds of life.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT CONFIRM THE TEXT:

Psa 102:25-26  Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.  They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:  Read:  Job 11:7-9; Isa 48:13

13Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him?

God never went to an expert for advice on anything─never called in a consultant to advise him about creation or salvation.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

GIVE AUTHORITIVE DATA TO THE TEXT:

Job 21:22  Shall any teach God knowledge? seeing he judgeth those that are high.

1Co 2:16  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

 14With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?

No one gave him suggestions─he never consulted the experts─was not enlightened by their advice on what was best or right.  What school would God have enrolled in to learn justice─how did he learn how everything works?

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT CARRY WEIGHT REGARDING THE TEXT:

Col 2:3  In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Jas 1:17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

15Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.

A drop in a bucket of water is extremely small─dust on the scales weighs next to nothing─islands are like atoms only God has a way to measure them.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT MAKE THE CASE:

Col 2:3  In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Jer 10:10  But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.

Isa 11:11  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

  16And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering.

If we clear cut the forest of Lebanon for fuel on a sacrifice, it would be insufficient.  If we sacrificed all the animals of the world it would not be enough.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT MAKE THE CASE:

Mic 6:6-7  Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?  Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

  17All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.

Sum it up and “less than nothing” is zero with a minus sign.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT INDORSE THE TEXT:

Psa 62:9  Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.

Dan 4:35  And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

  18To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?

Some refer to God as “The man upstairs” while others compare him to an idol made of wood or metal.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT LEND EVIDENCE TO THE TEXT:

Isa 46:9  Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,

Act 17:29  Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.

  19The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains.

Mankind will buy an idol that has been carved of wood, overlaid with a thin veneer of gold and decorated with filigree of silver that resembles a chain.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT DEMONSTRATE THE TEXT:

Isa 37:19  And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.

Isa 41:7  So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the sodering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved.

Isa 46:6-7  They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship.  They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place, and he standeth; from his place shall he not remove: yea, one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble.

  20He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved.

Some poor man will cut himself a tree that doesn’t rot easily and then pays a wood carver to make him a no god that has a base that does not tip over easily.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT AUTHENTICATE THE TEXT:

Isa 44:13-15  The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house.  He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it.  Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto.

 21Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?

They hadn’t paid attention─not listening─didn’t listen to the stories told to them about creation─listened to the peddlers of the ice age and evolution─never occurred to them to read Genesis.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT ESTABLISH THE CERTAINTY OF THE TEXT:

Rom 1:19-21  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

From this verse we can easily see that believers knew that the earth was not flat.  In inclement weather the ancients expanded ropes from the house to poles and expanded a curtain like an awning to protect them from the hot sun. In a similar way God stretched out the sky and clouds of the sky to protect us from the scorching rays of the sun.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

PRESENT OVERWHELMING PROOF OF THE TEXT:

Job 38:4-9  Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.  Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?  Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;  When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?  Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?  When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,

23That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity.

God delivers dignitaries to nothing─judges, nobles, rulers, kings, presidents and potentates.  The world news gives us a glimpse of God bringing down the high and mighty.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT ATTEST TO THE TEXT:

Isa 19:13-14  The princes of Zoan are become fools, the princes of Noph are deceived; they have also seduced Egypt, even they that are the stay of the tribes thereof.  The LORD hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit.

Psa 76:12  He shall cut off the spirit of princes: he is terrible to the kings of the earth.

Jer 25:18-19  To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing, and a curse; as it is this day;  Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people;

  24Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble.

Read the history of the world and you will see that God took care of these tyrants─where are the descendants of Baasha, Ahab, Nero, Hitler, Stalin and those like them?

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT ARE CONCLUSIVE AND FINAL:

Isa 14:21-22  Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.  For I will rise up against them, saith the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the LORD.  Read:  1Ki 21:21-22

  25To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.

No one holds a candle to God.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT RATIFY THE TEXT:

Deu 4:15-18  Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire:  Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,  The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air,  The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth:

26Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.

We are told in text books that the stars are in the millions.  Anyone in their right mind could see that the heavens declare the glory of God.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT BEAR OUT THE TEXT:

Isa 51:6  Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.

Job 31:26-28  If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness;  And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand:  This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.

Psa 19:1  To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

  27Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God?

It seems that Jacob felt that judgment had been passed over and that his cause had been passed over by God.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT SPEAK VOLUMES ABOUT THE TEXT:

Isa 49:14-15  But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.  Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.

Eze 37:11  Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.

  28Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

Our God is infinite in power─this LORD of ours has fashioned everything, he is the creator of the whole wide world.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT SHED LIGHT ON THE TEXT:

Jer 4:22  For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.

Mar 8:17  And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?

Psa 147:5  Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.

29He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

This God of ours will help you, he will give you strength, he will uphold you.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT VERIFY THE TEXT:

Isa 41:10  Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Deu 33:25  Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.

Php 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

30Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

Young men stagger and even in their prime they faint and fall.  But those who wait upon the LORD─who look for and hope in him will be able to do all things.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT GIVE COUNTEREVIDENCE

TO THE TEXT:

Isa 9:17  Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

Psa 34:10  The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.

Ecc 9:11  I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

  31But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

If we expect and wait for God and hope we will win new strength.  We will soar on eagles wings─we will run and not be fatigued, we will walk without weariness.  We will march and never weaken.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT CONFIRM THE TEXT:

Exo 19:4  Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.

Psa 27:13  I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

2Co 4:16  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

Rev 2:3  And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

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