Posted April 27, 2018
 Have you not known? Have you not heard?The LORD is the everlasting God,the Creator of the ends of the earth.He does not faint or grow weary;his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint,and to him who has no might he increases strength.
If you’ve lived for any amount of time, you know that while there is overwhelming goodness in the world there is also unbearable grief. As you and those around you taste and experience the brokenness first hand, how do you respond? If you believe in God, how are your thoughts of Him affected by what you see? Do you feel abandoned, overlooked, or perhaps conclude He simply doesn’t care enough to do something about it?
In the book of Isaiah, the Jews were living in exile in Babylon, a foreign land far from their home. They were tasting a world that was broken and it was leading them to believe their way was hidden from God and disregarded by Him (Isaiah 40:27). It is to this hurting and exiled people that the great prophet Isaiah comes to and seeks to breathe life into their tired bones as he reminds them of a few things:
1) Who God is.
Isaiah doesn’t start by addressing their immediate situation. He invites them to take a step back and shift the focus from their suffering to their Savior. Who was the God of the Bible? Well, first off, Isaiah reminds us that He’s the LORD. He’s Yahweh, the God who lovingly covenanted with His people and despite what every circumstance might say, was still wholeheartedly committed to them. In the words of Sally Lloyd Jones, this God loves us with a “never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love.” We can bank on it and rest in it, even when life is wild around us. Isaiah proceeds to give us a list of descriptions of God that would give an exhausted people a charge of hope.
God, unlike Israel, is an everlasting God. Because of God, their suffering and exile would not have the final word in their story. Not only is He the everlasting God, but He is also the Creator of the ends of the earth. This is good news to a people who felt as if they were dwelling in the ends of the earth. Ray Ortlund comments, “There is not a single square inch on this earth unknown to God or lying beyond the range of his presence. Anywhere life may take us, whether Babylonian exile or a lonely hotel room or an intensive care unit, God will already be there for us. We lie in his grace and power at all times, everywhere.”
Unlike us who need sleep and rest, God is infinite in His energy. He’s always working and active around us, and amazingly He doesn’t faint or grow weary! He’s not only infinite in His energy, but He’s unsearchable in His understanding. Even when life makes zero sense to us, God’s not thrown off. While we are regularly baffled by why things are the way they are, He’s never perplexed or overwhelmed by a situation. He’s beyond us. While we might not be able to trust in our perfect grasp of everything that's going on, we can trust that God does!
Could you imagine what this reminder of God’s character did for a people who felt flooded by sorrow and despair?
2) What God does.
Verse 29 reminds us that God isn’t merely strong, but He is generous with His power. He doesn’t hold it back greedily, but rather the God of power wants to empower His people as well. To a people used to bad news, this is another dose of good news. God isn’t merely powerful but wants us to walk in power with Him. Do you feel like fainting? Draw near to God who not only will not faint but also will give you power! Notice that God not only intervenes on our behalf, but one of the ways He intervenes is by actually empowering us in whatever situation we find ourselves in. We might expect the God of power to show His might by removing us from the situation, but God often meets us with His power in the midst of the situation and helps us stand. He meets our weakness with His strength. When we have no might and are at the end of our rope, He increases strength.
Oh tired people, have you not heard the everlasting God crying out to you today? Have you not known this God who is covenantally committed to you in love? Lest you forget, hear and know again the call of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-29.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Song by Justin Cofield.
Artwork by Bruce Butler.
Devotional by Joel Limpic.