Our text comes to us from Isaiah chapter 40 verses 12 through 14. It follows the gracious and wonderful declaration of comfort and promises of redemption in the first eleven verses of this chapter in which GOD challengess His people to faith by posing several questions to them. Each question is also an assertion, and is meant to deal with two hindrances. One, their defective view of GOD; and two, their disbelief in His saving power. These were self inflicted problems, and therefore there is a note of reproof in their questions.
First of all, He reminded them that He was the Almighty, the Creator of the universe. We acknowledge this fact every time we say the blessing: Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam; Blessed art Thou O LORD our GOD, King of the Universe.
There was an element of irony in that reminder of who GOD is, because heathens were addressed this way. Israel were being reminded that they were in captivity because they had become like the heathens, and as ignorant of GOD as they. But a better day was dawning, and it was GOD who took the initiative. What He was about to do for them was in line with infinite wisdom, justice, knowledge, and understanding.
Secondly, Israel’s concept of her GOD was very limited. To this His reply was the assertion that He is the infinite GOD. Jeremiah 23, verses 23 and 24:
‘Am I a GOD near at hand,’ says the LORD, ‘and not a GOD afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places so I shall not see him?’ says the LORD. ‘Do I not fill heaven and earth?’ says the LORD. He was no local deity as their enemies believed and as they were prone to believe. On the contrary, the GOD of Israel was so great, that the nations were as a drop in the bucket, as the small dust on the balance, as nothing.
The earth with her puny resources, could not cater to Him. How sinful and ridiculous therefore were Israel’s efforts to represent Him by idols. Exodus 20, verse 4:
You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in Heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
In case anyone should plead ignorance as an excuse for violating GOD’s Commandment, He reminded them that they should have known better. Verse 21;
Have you not known, have you not heard, has it not been told you from the beginning; have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? His retribution on their leaders was swift, as with all those who worshipped idols. Verse 23;
He brings the princes to nothing. He makes the judges of the earth useless.
Lastly, having cleared away all excuses and misconceptions, GOD was now able to reveal Himself to them afresh as their Almighty Redeemer. Against their low views of Himself, He asserted His greatness and Majesty in verse 26;
Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these things; who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name by the greatness of His might, and the strength of His power. Not one is missing. GOD counted and named every single planet, every last star in the vast Universe.
Against their disbelief in His power, He asserted His omnipotence in verse 28;
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Everlasting GOD, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. There is no searching of His understanding. To those who waited on Him, He gives strength and power to run and not be weary, to walk and not faint.
There remain a couple of questions. What road is it on which they walk? The answer is, ‘the way of holiness’. Isaiah 35, verses 8 through 10;
A highway shall be there, and a road; and it shall be called a highway of holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but the redeemed shall walk there, and the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
The valleys and the mountains in the fourth verse of our chapter, represented their low views of GOD, and their disbelief in His power to deliver them. But GOD, in His power, would remove these obstacles and open a road to Zion. In the context, Zion represents not only the earthly Jerusalem, but Heaven itself. GOD’s redemption includes not only our deliverance on earth, but our everlasting salvation from sin.
This leads us to a second question. Through whom does this redemption come? To which we find the answer where we would expect it. In the same Book of Isaiah, Chapter 9, verses 6 through 7;
For unto us a child is born; unto us a Son is given; and the Government will be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty GOD, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. This Son, who is here called ‘El Gibbor’ or
‘Mighty GOD’is our Messiah, YESHUA of Nazareth.
When one of His disciples asked Him, ‘How can we know the way?’ YESHUA said to him,
I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me,John 14, verses 5 and 6.
Our problem is no different today from what it was twenty-seven hundred years ago. We think it unconscionable that there should be anyone who is called ‘the Son of GOD’. Let me leave you with a question taken from the Book of Proverbs, Chapter 30, verse 4;
Who has ascended into Heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His Name, and what is His Son’s Name, if you know?