“Glory To The Lamb Jesus”/Isaiah 40, “Comfort For God’s People”

Christian Living

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“Love Lifted Me”

Matthew Henry’s Concise Bible Commentary – Chapter 40, This Chapter Begins The Latter Part Of The Prophecy Of This Book.  All The Mercies Of God To The Jewish Nation Bore Some Resemblance Of Those Glorious Things Performed By Our Savior For Man’s Redemption.  So While The Prophet Is Speaking Of The Redemption Of The Jews He Had In His Thoughts A More Glorious Deliverance.  We Need Not Look For Any Further Accomplishment Of These Prophecies.  For If Jesus Is He, And His Kingdom Is It, We Are To Look For No Other But The Carrying On And Completing Of The Same Blessed Work That Was Begun In The First Preaching And Planting Of Christianity In The World. 

“Comfort For God’s People,” Isaiah 40:1) Comfort ye, Comfort Ye, My People, Saith your God.  2) Speak 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.  3) The 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.  Matthew 3:3; Mark 1:3.  4) Every 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:  5) And The Glory Of The Lord Shall Be Revealed, and all flesh shall See it Together:  For The Mouth Of The Lord Hath Spoken It.  Exodus 16:7; Ezekiel 36:23; Luke 2:10.  6) The voice said, Cry.  And he said, What shall I cry?  All flesh is grass, and all the goodlines thereof is as the flower of the field:  7) The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: Because The Spirit Of The Lord Bloweth Upon It; surely the people is grass.  8) The grass withereth, the flower fadeth:  But The Word Of our God Shall Stand For Ever.  9) O 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!  10) Behold, 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.  11) He 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.  1 Peter 2:25; Revelation 7:17.

Nelson’s Compact Bible Commentary – v1, Comfort is repeated for emphasis, and is an announcement of an end to the people’s suffering.  v2, Here the word Jerusalem represents the exiles.  The Lord Would End their period of exile and Restore them to the city of Jerusalem.  v3, crying in the wilderness:  The voice is heard in the wilderness, calling the people there to ready themselves For The Coming Of The Lord.  Prepare means “clear away the obstacles” (57:14; 62:10).  Highway represents the hearts of people who must be Spiritually Prepared By Repentance For God’s Glory To Be Revealed On The Earth (Luke 3:3-20).  v4, While the highway of v. 3 was to be Prepared By The People Of The Lord, the changes required in v. 4 Could Be Accomplished Only By Divine Action.  v5, 6, The Glory Of The Lord Began To Be Revealed In The Restoration Of The Captives Of Judah From The Exile (44:23).  More Grandly, The Glory Of The Lord Would Be Displayed In The Coming Of The Lord Jesus Christ.  The Mouth Of The Lord Has Spoken:  The Importance Of This Prophecy Is Underscored By The Language Of Divine Oath.  v7, 8, But The Word Of Our God Stand Forever:  These Words Offer Full Assurance Of The Eternal Nature Of The Divine Word.  v9, Zion Is An Enduring Term For The Remnant Who Have Remained Faithful To God.  The Good Tidings Are That God Has Come To Rescue His Enslaved People.  v10, The Lord God Might Be Rephrased “The Lord, The Master.”  Reward describes The Spoils Of Victory—namely, The Delivered People.  v11, Gather The Lambs With His Arm Is A Description Of A Father’s Love For His People (Micah 5:4).

Quest Study Bible – v1, “Is there any connection between this Chapter and what came before?”  Yes.  Both touch on the coming Babylonian Captivity.  The historical account of Ch. 39 foreshadows it while the poetry of Ch. 40 offers hopeful words to contrast with the despair it would bring.  v2, “What service had Jerusalem completed?”   A bonded servant typically worked seven years to pay off a debt.  Once the service was completed, the servant was set free.  Israel had a Debt To Pay To The Lord and would work it off by being taken as captives to Babylon.  Although these words would sound like the exile had past, Isaiah penned them before the exile.  He used the past tense in a hopeful sense, looking forward to when the captivity would be over.  In a broader sense, this service could refer to all the time Until The Coming Of The Messiah.  v2, “Double for all her sins,”  Israel had paid the consequences for for all its sins.  This expression indicated that the people had been punished more than enough.  v3-5, 9, “How were These Promises Fulfilled?”  Those who heard Isaiah’s Prophecy associated it with the return of the exiles from Babylon to Jerusalem.  We can see another Fulfillment, however, because of The New Testament.  Isaiah’s Words Anticipated John The Baptist And The Good News Announcing The Coming Messiah.  v3, 6, “Whose voice was this?”   We know from The New Testament That This Prophecy Looked Ahead To The Voice Of John The Baptist (Matthew 3:3).  John, a cousin of Jesus, helped Prepare The Way For Jesus’ Ministry By Preaching About The Need For Repentance.  As people became aware of their sin, The Stage Was Set For Christ’s Saving Work.  v10, 11, “How Is God A Powerful Ruler, And At The Same Time, A Gentle Shepherd?”   There’s No Contradiction Here, For The Lord’s Strong Arm Is Used Both To Rule And To Protect His People.  The Lord Cherishes Those Who Follow Him; He Also Displays His Power And His Resolve To Effectively Lead.  Jesus Demonstrated By Strength And Gentleness—A GOOD SHEPHERD NEEDS BOTH (John 10:11).

Matthew Henry’s Concise Bible Commentary – v1-11, All Human Life Is A Warfare; The Christian Life Is The More So; But The Struggle Will Not Last Always.  Troubles Are Removed In Love, When Sin Is Pardoned.  In The Great Atonement Of The Death Of Christ, The Mercy Of God Is Exercised To The Glory Of His Justice (Righteousness).  In Christ, And His Sufferings, True Penitents (Those Who Repent Of Their Sins) Receive Of The Lord’s Hand Double (Of His Grace And Mercy) For All Their Sins; For The Satisfaction Christ Made By His Death Was Of Infinite Value.  The Prophet Had Some Reference To The Return of The Jews From Babylon.  But This Is A Small Event, Compared With That Pointed Out By The Holy Ghost In The New Testament, When John The Baptist Proclaimed The Approach Of Christ.  May The The Lord Prepare Our Hearts By The Teaching Of His Word And The Convictions Of His Spirit, That High And Proud Thoughts May Be Brought Down, Good Desires Planted, Crooked And Rugged Tempers Made Straight And Softened, And Every Hindrance Removed, That We May Be Ready For His Will On Earth, And Prepared For His Heavenly Kingdom.  What Will All The Titles And Possessions Of A Dying Sinner Avail (Benefit), When They Leave Him Under Condemnation (Punishment)!  Christ Is The Good Shepherd, He Shows Tender Care For Young Converts, Weak Believers, And Those Of A Sorrowful Spirit.  By His Word He Requires No More Service, And By His Providence (Care and Power) He Inflicts No More Trouble, Than He Will Strengthen Them For (or Than We Can Bear).  May We Know Our Shepherd’s Voice, And Follow Him, Proving Ourselves His Sheep.   Amen.  

 

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