Except Those Who Hope In The LORD
Isaiah 40:30 “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
(40:31) but (except) those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
*words in brackets are my own for clarity and emphasis
The book of Isaiah has been thought to be the work of two or three different people and not the one prophet Isaiah that many of us know. Some scholars approach the Bible as non-inspired ordinary but ancient book. Scholars note the thematic and writing style change as you read from beginning to end of the book of Isaiah. As a result they reject the fact that the entire book of Isaiah could be the work of one person, as we have always believed. Archeological findings of Dead Sea scrolls of 1947 however found the complete book of Isaiah (unlike other books that have only been found in portions and scattered remains) and a very old one for that matter, probably over a thousand years older than other dug out Hebrew book findings. These findings give credence to the faith we have that, this is the work of one person, prophet Isaiah. God spoke to sceptical scholars through this archeological finding, that this book is inspired as it is.
The main reason why some scholars think Isaiah could be the work of more than one person is the significant thematic change. Isaiah 1-39 addresses punishment for sin, a message of coming doom. Isaiah 40-66 (other scholars divide the later chapters into two as Isaiah 40-55 and Isaiah 56-66, thus the entire book is in three parts for some) addresses restoration or hope after Babylonian exile. After a message of doom, comes a message of hope!
Jeremiah 36:16-18 “When they heard all the words, they turned one to another in fear. And they said to Baruch, “We must report all these words to the king.” Then they asked Baruch, “Tell us, please, how did you write all these words? Was it at his dictation?” Baruch answered them, “He dictated all these words to me, while I wrote them with ink on the scroll.”” Jeremiah the prophet had Baruch as the writer of what he prophesied or dictated. When we read the book of Jeremiah, we see Jeremiah’s message and Baruch’s writing style. If Jeremiah had changed the writer from Baruch to someone else there would be change of style. That would easily cause some people to think that Jeremiah was not the only prophet who wrote the book. The book of Isaiah is a big book and its possible the changing writing styles could be same prophet but different writers. The thematic change is logical. After doom, God doesn’t stop there, He gives hope. With God you don’t stop at doom, you end with hope. God never stops at doom, He gives hope!
Isaiah 40 is the beginning point of the second section of the book of Isaiah, after a message of doom and punishment, this is the beginning of the message of hope. Isaiah 40:1 has the repeated call, “Comfort ye my people, comfort ye my people.” Isaiah 40 is God’s call that His people should be comforted. Comforted because of the message of doom (Isaiah 1-39) that can devastate and also comforted because of the huge impact of 70 years slavery that will come and go. After every doom that God allows our way, the same God sends everlasting hope. With God the end is the best! Job suffered but the end was the best part of his life. When wine ran out at the Cana in Galilee wedding, the wine Jesus provided at the end was better than what was available at the beginning. With God, it shall end well.
With God, this struggling business will end stable and successful. With God this shaky career will stand out beyond everyone’s expectation. With God the hopeless relationship and marriage will end up well. With God the grades acquired in honesty and best efforts will be a stepping stone to better days ahead, regardless of how low they are. With God there is hope in hopelessness. With God a dark point in life is the darkness before dawn. With God you don’t give up when it seems all is lost, you hang on, because God’s best time is coming. Victory after failure. Resurrection after death. Childbirth after barrenness. Kingdom after slavery. God urges all who are at their lowest points to be comforted! God urges us who know Him to comfort those who are at their weakest points.
Isaiah 40:30 tells us that due to the struggles of the dark point in Israelite history, even the young and energetic will grow tired and stumble and fall. Captivity will not be an easy experience even for the best among them. The best physically and mentally. At some point, the best will run out of their best. Strong personalities will fail. Optimist will defect to pessimism. Hope will fade and despondency will kick in. If this is what will happen to their best, then everyone has a reason to be very worried.
Isaiah 40:31 tells us that while everyone needs to be worried. While the best will fail. While the always hopeful will lose hope. There is an exception that will survive the onslaught of hard times. The exception are those who hope in the LORD. The young and energetic will grow tired, except those who hope in the LORD. The young and energetic will stumble and fall, except those who hope in the LORD. The best will lose their best in moments of darkness and hopelessness, except those who hope in the LORD. Tough times were coming and the best without God will fail. Those who hope in the LORD will grow stronger as others grow weaker. Those who hope in the LORD will soar higher like an eagle as others plunge down into oblivion. Hard times are hard for everybody, except those who hope in the LORD.
We live at a time when the best are going down in suicide and drug abuse, except those who hope in the LORD. We live at at time when the best are crumbling because of set ups and scandals, except those who hope in the LORD. We live at a time when people are moving from one failure to another, except those who hope in the LORD. We live at time when people are being misled within and outside the church from true faith, except those who hope in the LORD. We live at a time when nothing seems to work in relationships and parenting, except for those who hope in the LORD. We live at time when everyone seems distracted and no one can beat a deadline or even concentrate, except those who hope in the LORD. We live at a time when no one seems able to handle tough times that are upon us in all aspects of our lives, except those who hope in the LORD!
For every dark spot we find ourselves in life today, let us hope in the LORD, brighter and better days lie beyond the present difficulties. Those who hope in the LORD don’t give up even when there is no evidence and reason to remain hopeful. To give up is inconsistent with faith in God. Let us hope in the LORD and whatever darkness we find ourselves in today, will be the last step to the best times ever. In Jesus name, Amen!(c)firstname.lastname@example.org (do not delete any part of this post, including this. You are free to share these posts but do not edit the authorship and content….thank you and be blessed!)