They that Wait

Isaiah 40:31

Introduction

: Probably most of you have heard the scripture verse, ‘They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.’

YouVersion stated that it was the 5th most shared scripture verse




Wait

= Meaning: 1) to wait, look for, hope, expect 1a) (Qal) waiting (participle) 1b) (Piel) 1b1) to wait or look eagerly for 1b2) to lie in wait for 1b3) to wait for, linger for 2) to collect, bind together 2a) (Niphal) to be collected 

Origin: a primitive root; TWOT – 1994,1995; v

Usage: AV – wait 29, look 13, wait for 1, look for 1, gathered 1, misc 4; 49

Renew

= Meaning: 1) to pass on or away, pass through, pass by, go through, grow up, change, to go on from 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to pass on quickly 1a2) to pass away (vanish) 1a3) to come on anew, sprout again (of grass) 1a4) to pass through 1a5) to overstep, transgress 1b) (Piel) to cause to pass, change 1c) (Hiph) 1c1) to change, substitute, alter, change for better, renew 1c2) to show newness (of tree)

Strength

= Meaning: 1) strength, power, might 1a) human strength 1b) strength (of angels) 1c) power (of God) 1d) strength (of animals) 1e) strength, produce, wealth (of soil) 2) a small reptile, probably a kind of lizard, which is unclean 2a) perhaps an extinct animal, exact meaning is unknown

Context

: taken from 

The prophet Isaiah is writing to a despondent people. They have been in exile for some 70 years. Their relationship with the Lord is so jaded that they say things like, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God” (Isaiah 40:27 ). They feel abandoned by the Lord and they’ve given up hope that the God of justice will act.

Isaiah 40:31 is the conclusion to the Lord’s response to this bad theology. In verse 28 he reminds them that God is the everlasting God that does not grow faint and weary. Though 70 years is a lifetime to us—it is but a drop in the ocean to the everlasting God. The Lord is strong enough to rescue them—not only from the captives but also from their despondency.

Not only does the Lord have unsearchable understanding and everlasting energy he graciously gives His power to the weak and down-trodden. Those that run on their own strength—no matter how vigorous—will eventually tire (Isaiah 40:20 ). Those who wait upon the Lord and draw their strength from him will not grow tired.

All of Isaiah 40 is in the context of the call to Israel to “Behold your God!”. This entire section is a contrast between the eternal omnipotent God and the idols crafted by human hands—hands that are no bigger than that of a grasshopper (Isaiah 40:22 )

• The key statement in this text is the phrase “renew their strength”. And it’s important to remember the situation of those that first heard this promise. They aren’t merely tired because they are overworked. They are despondent because their bones have been broken by the discipline of the Lord.

They’ve been brought to a point where they have no hope in themselves. They are not like the “youth” who run on their own strength and in their own confidence. They are broken and cannot lift their legs out of bed—if they will ever move again it will come from the work of the Lord. And as they are brought to this spot of dependency upon the Lord—they find that in Him their strength is fully renewed.

So, if you are reading Isaiah 40:31 as if trust in God is like a pick me up from an energy bar, then you are not quite reading it correctly. God isn’t a jolt of energy for the self-confident. God is the source of strength for a desperate people

.

I. What are we waiting on?

Everything!

• Answers

• Direction

• Resolution

• provision

• change

II. How long should we wait?

As long as necessary!

III. How do we wait?

Problem with waiting:

• Patiently! Waiting diminishes our patience.

• Tenacity – Waiting tests our resolve.

• Grace

• Faith

• Hope

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