Isaiah - Lesson 13

Gracious Deliverance

This lesson reviews the prophetic role of Isaiah, contextualized within the socio-political events of his time. The notion of predictive prophecy is thoroughly explored, alongside the discussion on the nature of God's timeless view of history, thereby providing the capacity to make specific and accurate predictions. The lecture also delves into the question of authorship of the Book of Isaiah, with evidence pointing towards Isaiah as the author, and reasons why it's important for him to be recognized as such. You will also understand the transition from Assyrian to Babylonian control and the impact this had on Judah, in the context of Isaiah’s prophecies. The lesson provides an insightful discussion of Isaiah's prophecies, their importance for Judah's future, and the powerful theological assertions they provide about God's transcendence and trustworthiness.

Lesson 13
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Gracious Deliverance

OT650-13: Gracious Deliverance

I. Introduction to Gracious Deliverance

A. Significance of Isaiah in the Old Testament

B. Understanding the term "Gracious Deliverance"

II. Context and Background of the Lesson

A. Historical and Cultural Context of Isaiah

B. Purpose and Authorship

III. Literary Features of Isaiah

A. Style and Language

B. Structure and Outline

IV. Exploration of Gracious Deliverance

A. Definition and Explanation

1. Old Testament Perspectives

2. New Testament Perspectives

B. Practical Application and Implications

V. Significance and Impact of the Lesson

A. Contribution to a Larger Understanding of the Old Testament

B. Influence on the Original Audience and Contemporary Readers

  • Through the in-depth study of Isaiah, you'll gain understanding of its purpose, authorship, key themes, structure, and its significant contributions to the Old Testament, shaping your comprehension of prophetic literature.
  • In studying this lesson, you gain an understanding of the concept of servanthood in the Book of Isaiah, exploring its societal, literary, theological, and personal implications.
  • In the lesson, you explore Isaiah's divine vision, understand his servanthood in a biblical and cultural context, and reflect on its contemporary relevance and implications for today's believers.
  • By exploring trust as the basis of servanthood in this lesson, you gain a deeper understanding of biblical teachings, the role of Isaiah, and the practical implications for modern Christian life.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the significance of trusting Yahweh, the invisible God, in difficult times and the consequences of relying on human conspiracies and seeking guidance from mediums. By choosing to trust God and follow His light, you will find hope, experience His strength, wisdom, and peace.
  • This lesson, spanning chapters 13 to 35, delves into various aspects such as oracles against the nations, God's rule of history, Judah's situation, and the repercussions of placing trust in the nations.
  • In this lesson, you learn about trusting in God even in the midst of chaos and to not rely on worldly powers. By waiting expectantly and trusting in God's sovereignty, you can find peace and security amidst a turbulent world.
  • The lesson offers deep insights into trust from a biblical perspective, drawing on case studies from Isaiah and giving you practical applications for contemporary Christianity.
  • Through this lesson, you will gain insight into the message of trust in Yahweh presented in Isaiah chapters 13 through 35, emphasizing the contrast between human power and God's sovereignty and discussing the ultimate victory of God in eschatological literature.
  • This lesson highlights the theological impact of the exile and the questions it raises about God's promises and His power. It explores the issue of trust and warns against relying on worldly solutions, using the example of seeking help from Egypt. Isaiah challenges the people to wait for the Lord and defines trust as confident expectation.
  • In this lesson, the consequences of trusting in worldly powers like Egypt and Assyria are emphasized, highlighting their limitations compared to God's power. The lesson stresses the need for repentance, rest, and trust in God for salvation and strength. It calls for addressing the present condition of the people and the land rather than being complacent. The promise of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit is mentioned, which will lead to transformation and the establishment of peace.
  • This lesson introduces Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, and his dire dilemma on whom to trust—God or humanity—in a situation rife with political and personal peril. By examining Hezekiah's predicament, you will grapple with the notion that trust is the foundation of servanthood to God. The concepts of power, authority, and faith are analyzed through the lens of Hezekiah's interactions with Sennacherib, the king of Assyria. Ultimately, this lesson presents a thought-provoking exploration of trust in divine power versus human power, faith in the midst of desperation, and the implications of such trust for leadership and servanthood.
  • You will delve into the unique prophetic style of Isaiah, understanding his future-oriented prophecies, and the challenges brought by the exiles. You will explore predictive prophecy and how God's transcendence enables accurate predictions. Further, you'll examine the book of Isaiah's authorship, its implications, and the context of Assyrian-Babylonian transition.
  • In this lesson, you will learn about the themes of grace, servitude, and the promise of God's deliverance in chapters 40 to 55. You will understand the meaning behind the denunciation of idols and God's sovereignty, in addition to the assurance that even amidst fear, God is present and will aid His people.
  • This lesson analyzes the role of a witness, God's omnipotence and His role as the sole deity, His promise of deliverance and transformation, and the continuity of faith across generations through His spirit. The key message of this lesson is that God is the Creator and Savior, the only true God, and our role as His witnesses is to testify to His reality and His power in our lives and in the world around us.
  • In this lesson, you grasp the profound concept of God's grace, witnessing how He reclaims His chosen despite their sins. You delve into the biblical view of cause and effect, discovering God's principles at work. Moreover, you gain insights into the suffering servant, embodying true Israel, fulfilling what Israel couldn't. This figure vividly portrays divine calling, struggle, and unwavering trust in God. The lesson ends by revealing the promised restoration of Israel, instilling hope in God's unwavering promises.
  • Through this lesson, you will gain knowledge and insight into the concept of grace, the anticipation of God's saving work, the revelation of His victory, and the transformative power of Jesus' servant hood.
  • Through this lesson, you'll explore the significant role of justice, righteousness, and servanthood in the Book of Isaiah, showcasing the transformative power of God's grace in redeeming and restoring His people.
  • In this lesson, you journey through spiritual growth, witnessing human virtues and flaws, Israel's struggles, and divine grace. The Divine Warrior transforms God's people into beacons, illuminating God's glory. Finally, the Warrior, as the Messiah, brings comfort, freedom, and beauty amid sorrow.
  • This lesson provides a detailed exploration of the struggles of God's people, their plea for God's intervention, and their accusation towards God for their hardships. It calls upon you to reflect on the human condition and our inherent need for divine intervention. Lastly, the lesson underscores the importance of a relationship with God, not merely seeking righteousness but seeking Him and His presence in one's life.

Diving into this course by Dr. John Oswalt, you will find yourself immersed in the study of the Book of Isaiah, particularly focusing on its purpose, authorship, major themes, structure, historical context, author, and time of writing. The major themes like redemption, restoration, and the holiness of God will be unraveled, along with an examination of the book's literary style and chapter breakdown. Additionally, you will gain insights into the concept of servanthood within the context of ancient Israel, exploring its historical, literary, and theological perspectives. Isaiah's vision and his divine calling to servanthood will be thoroughly discussed, revealing the challenges he faced in his role and the contemporary relevance of his servanthood. You will delve into the relationship between trust and servanthood, with trust being a prerequisite to becoming a servant, as demonstrated by Isaiah. The class culminates in providing you with the knowledge of the transformative potential of trust, its importance in the biblical narrative, and its role as a cornerstone for faith and community development. Lastly, you will understand the message of trust in Yahweh presented in Isaiah, learn about the contrast between trusting in human power and glory versus living by faith, and gain an understanding of the importance of trust and the dangers of relying on worldly solutions.

Recommended Books

The Holy One of Israel: Studies in the Book of Isaiah

The Holy One of Israel: Studies in the Book of Isaiah

Growing out of the work that the author did in preparing two major commentaries on Isaiah, these essays range from comprehensive to specific, and from popular to scholarly....

The Holy One of Israel: Studies in the Book of Isaiah

Dr. John Oswalt 
Gracious Deliverance 
Lesson Transcript


Well, because the last lecture we were saying that Hezekiah is not the Messiah. Hezekiah is not the child that was promised in nine. Nor is he the sprout, the seed, the shoot of Chapter 11. So the question is, who is, if not Hezekiah, then who? And in that context. Isaiah looks out into the future. I said in an earlier lecture that this is 150 years in the future from 701 700 round figures to 550. B, C, 150 years. And as I said, the unusual thing about these chapters is Isaiah is speaking to these people. He's not speaking about them. Other prophets speak about the future. Many other prophets speak about the future. I think we can say he is the only one who speaks to the future. These chapters are addressed to people out there. Why? Why would Isaiah be inspired to do that? And I think the answer is, first of all, as I've said to you before, he had seen the exile. He had seen the exile of the Northern kingdom. He had experienced what that was going to look like. He had realized the questions that that raised. God had made all these promises. God had promised a Davidic monarch on the throne forever. How are you going to do that if you're in exile? God had promised the land. They don't have the land. So. Knowing those questions, knowing the earthshaking significance of those questions, and by inspiration, knowing that the same thing was going to happen to Judah. Now, I don't think you necessarily had to be inspired to realize Judah is headed in the same direction, but to know that it was Babylon, to know that it was going to happen in certain ways. That's inspiration. And the question is, is that possible? And the answer's yes.


The entire argument for predictive prophecy is God is not part of this world. Therefore, he can look at this world in advance and see it. Now, I think it was Saint Augustine who first suggested this, that to Yahweh everything is now. And so he sees the whole scope of history as a whole. And because he has transcended, he can say this. He can see these things and he can make predictions that will be fulfilled, not generalized ones, but specific ones, because he's not part of this cosmos. So it's in that context that knowing. Where the nation was headed. Knowing what exile would mean, knowing that Hezekiah is not the Messiah that he himself had predicted. He then, it seems to me, is forced to look out into the future to see what has to happen if Judah is to be prepared to survive the exile. Somehow something has to happen. But beyond that, I want to suggest to you that had the Book of Isaiah ended at Chapter 39, the whole theological scope of the book would have been cut short. What is the significance of you? Always trustworthiness. What's that for? And. Okay. Okay. So God delivered us from the Assyrians. 150 years in the future, What are they going to be saying? He didn't deliver us from the Babylonians, did he? So that trustworthy wood worthiness was for that time, it was not for all time. The picture of your way that was given to us, that overwhelming glorious picture of the always faithfulness is trustworthiness. His transcendence. Can that view survive a different history? And the answer is, Oh, yes, it can. Yes, it can. It seems to me that Yahweh was required to inspire Isaiah in these ways, to give the full scope of what had thus far been revealed and how that was going to work out in a new situation, a new time, a new place.


So that the book had to be completed and it could not be completed in Isaiah's context. It had to be completed in Judah's context. And in that sense, he's got to speak out to the future. One of the things that is raised, though, is. Do we have to believe that Isaiah wrote this material? We talked about this a bit in the opening lecture, and I wanted to say a bit more about here. I think we do. I think we do for a couple of reasons. One is that opening call often I think there is no question but that the final editors of the book, whoever they are, and I think they're Isaiah's disciples. By putting that cough on there and not naming anybody else are saying to us, you ought to believe that this entire book is the work of one man, one mind. That's very important. A second reason why we ought to believe that Isaiah is the author of the material. Is the absence of any historic references to the situation in the exile and the return. All the other prophets, though they're not writing histories constantly, are referring to historic events and persons in their own lifetimes. So if there was an Isaiah of Babylon. Where are his references to his circumstances and his times? You have them in Ezekiel. Clearly have them in Daniel. Where are they in second Desire? They're not there. Why not? Bovard childs, famous Old Testament scholar, spent his career at Yale. In my mind, very honestly, says, Well, someone removed them in order to make it appear that the historic Isaiah wrote this material. Why not? The historic Isaiah didn't know them. So he can speak broadly of the exile and its conditions. But he doesn't know specific details except one.


One outstanding, shocking one. I know the name of the guy who's going to deliver you. Cyrus. Why? Why is he given this detail and not others? Well, I think it's precisely as a part of predictive prophecy. God says, Folks, I'm going to deliver you and I'm going to deliver you in a specific way with a specific person. I know that. And you can know it, too. What a day it must have been among those exiles when they first heard that the new Persian emperor was a guy named Cyrus. Can you imagine the thrill that went through them? Oh, my goodness. That's what I said right here in the school, but not the rest of the stuff that we surely ought to expect if this material was written during the exile. There's another issue that we must address, and that is the style of the Hebrew changes from Chapter 40 on. This this really became very clear to me as I was working on my commentaries. It's easier Hebrew. It's not as hard as the Hebrew in 1 to 39 now. It's not absolute 50 to 66. It gets a little harder again. But 40 to 55 is is very basic Hebrew, and there are also some different vocabulary. He uses one word for redemption in 1 to 39. He uses another word in 40 to 55. So this has often been used as an argument, Well, this is somebody else. I cannot solve that problem. But I think I might say two things. Number one years have passed. He's an old man. Number two. He's seeing a sweep of vision that is simply unlike anything he's seen before. I think those two things might explain it. And having said that, it's very important to say there's a lot of unique vocabulary that is found in both sections.


Words that don't appear very often elsewhere in the Old Testament appear in both places. A. A couple of books have been written on that. Issue that. Hmm. Yeah. And of course, I've already mentioned the holy one of Israel. It's not unique to under 39 and not appearing in 4266. It appears an equal balance in both sections of the book. So here, then, I think I have to say. The book in its wholeness. The book, in the completeness of its theology, reflects a single inspired mind. Putting it all together. One final point. In chapters 41 to 48. You have a repeated. Legal case where God calls the gods into court. And he says, Now show me one time when you have specifically predicted the future one time and bring your witnesses to prove that in fact, you have ever done that. What's going on there? God is saying these gods are not God because they cannot predict the future. It is the capacity to predict the future. That is the crowning evidence that I alone am God and you, my people. Know that I predicted all this. You are my witnesses. You are my evidence that I have done this and that the future is in the hands of your way and no one else. Well, if in fact, none of this is prediction. If none of this stuff is all being written at that moment, where does the argument go? It falls flat. So again, it seems to me that we have to say Isaiah wrote this material. He wrote it in advance as predictive prophecy written to those people. But written in advance and they knew it and could testify to it. Let's talk about that future context in which the people of Judah would find themselves and to which Isaiah is writing.


The century between 625 and 525 B.C. was one of incredible upheaval. As I said, in about 650, Assyria came to its height. They captured northern Egypt. They had won the whole banana. As I've said before, everything is going gangbusters. And within 25 years. Their capital city has been destroyed and within 45 years they don't exist. By 605, the Babylonians and the Medes had allied together and had destroyed Assyria. They had destroyed the cities of Nineveh, of Ashur, of Karbala, the three big cities of Assyria. They had pushed the remnants of the Assyrian army westward. And finally. Defeated them. In 609 and in 605. Nebuchadnezzar, the new king of Babylon, basically exterminated what was left of the Assyrian army. Babylon then was led by Nebuchadnezzar. His father had been the general who led the destruction of the Assyrian empire. And Nebuchadnezzar came to the throne in 605. Nebuchadnezzar then made a triumphal tour through the southern part of the Assyrian Empire, demanding the allegiance of everybody in the empire. And the King of Judah at this point was a guy named Joakim. He was a son of Josiah, but he was not cut from the same cloth as Josiah. He was clearly a politico who was willing to do whatever he had to do to maintain power. The picture we see of him in Jeremiah is definitely not complimentary. He had been a vassal of the Egyptians. The Egyptians had tried to prop up the Assyrians, I think pretty clearly because they wanted a buffer between them and the Babylonians. They had tried to prop up the failing Assyrian army there in 609. That's when Josiah apparently attempted to stop the Egyptians at Megiddo and they killed him. Fascinating story there that I want to I want to enroll in that seminar when I get to heaven.


What happened, what was going on? But at any rate, and they went on north. Well, it didn't do any good. They were defeated and pushed back. But on their way back they demanded that. Georgia. Kim. Become their vassal. Their servant, and he did six or nine. But now comes 605. Nebuchadnezzar shows up and joke and says, Oh, yes, I'll join yours. Now changes horses. In 601 thereabouts. Nebuchadnezzar suffered a defeat at the borders of Egypt. And typically when that happened throughout all of ancient near East or near Eastern history, revolts happened everywhere. Everybody said, Oh, this is our chance. Break, break out. And Joakim did that. Bad choice. Bad choice. Nebuchadnezzar went back to Babylon. RECOUPED and came back. And in 598, Jerusalem fell. Now, the Assyrians had developed a three pronged foreign policy. Number one, we show up in your neighborhood and demand that you ally yourself with us and put a big tribute on you. Of course, when you get the chance, you will rebel and we'll come back and we will demand you surrender. And raised the tribute. And then you will, of course, rebel and we will come back and we will level your city. And so it with salt. And you will become a military province of Assyria. Well, the Babylonians thought that was a really good deal. So in 605, you will be our ally in 598. You will surrender. And again, there's a fascinating story there. Joy Cam died during the siege. We do not know exactly why. And Chronicles in Kings don't quite agree on what the story was. Clearly, it must have been confusing. But his 18 year old son became King George Akin and he promptly surrendered. And with his mother and the rest of the royal house.


Keep our directions here. Was carried off to Babylon. And his uncle, another son of Josiah, was put on the throne. Zedekiah is his name. The Bible never considers him to be a legitimate king. Jokin is considered the last legitimate Davidic king. Before Jesus came along. So. 598. Ezekiel has gone into captivity with the hostages, taken with the royal family and now Zedekiah. Again, the Bible has very little good to say about Zedekiah. He seems to have been like some of our presidents. He ruled by poor. What are the people saying today? What do the rest of the administration want to do today and ultimately, against all the odds of wisdom? He was persuaded to revolt. He did. Ezekiel is saying all the way over there in Babylon, it's not going to work. It's not going to work. It's not going to work. Jerusalem is going to fall. 586, Jerusalem fell the impossible. How. How could God's. House. Be destroyed. How could God's holy city be destroyed? Oh, my goodness. Well, Babylon was essentially a one man show. From 605 until 556. Nebuchadnezzar Or was it once he died? Things started going to pieces almost immediately. And the Persians allied with the Medes now. Interestingly came up around. Babylon. And took the northern parts of their empire. And then finally in 539, came down and took Babylon. So Assyrian Empire. Babylonian empire. Persian empire. All within one century, when for 300 years Assyria had been the only player on the field. Bang, bang, bang. What a what a century that must have been in people's experience. Talk about being jerked around. But. Cyrus for some reason or other. Decided that maybe people would serve you better if they liked you than if they hated you. So he quit the practice of exile.


And he said. Any people that wants to go home may do so. And my Royal Treasury will pay to rebuild their temple. Now, again, this is another one of these things about biblical history, the book of as it begins there, the Chronicles ends there. And it was said in the late 1800s. Oh, no, nobody ever did anything like that. And then we discovered the Cyrus Cylinder, a big piece of inscribed stone on which this message and it looks to me like it was a it was on a cylinder, so you could use it as an early Xerox machine, roll it on work and get as many copies as you wanted. And there it was. There it was. Any people that wants to go home, they may go home and the Royal Treasury will pay to rebuild the temple. Now, this is an argument from silence, and arguments from silence are always dangerous. We know of no other people that took the offer than the Judeans. And I think it's very possible that that's a fact because the Jordanians were prepared. The Jordanians refused to be. Assimilated to the Empire. The Judeans refused to lose their distinctiveness. They refused to learn their biblically, to give up their biblically based culture. Example, Daniel. Why? You know what I'm going to say? The book. I wish there were references to Isaiah. There aren't, but there is a reference to Jeremiah. Daniel read Jeremiah and Jeremiah said it'd be 70 years. And he said, God, we're ready to go. It's been 70 years now. We're ready. So that's the circumstances in which or to which Isaiah is writing people. Somewhere in the middle of the exile. They have been taken away by force out of their. Comfort zone. They're living here.


And Isaiah says, don't quit being Judy and don't quit being the people of God. Don't quit being God's beloved servants. You may not be able to understand how it is. You can be his beloved servants and be in exile. But you are. Believe it. Yes. So. Isaiah knows that these people are going to be asking three questions. Number one. Does God want to deliver us? Is he done with us? I've had it with you people. It's over. If he wants to deliver us. Can he deliver us? Faced with the power of the Babylonian gods that destroyed Jerusalem and burned down the temple. Even if he wants to, can he deliver us? And third, if he wants to. And he can. Will he? And it's those three questions that then in a real sense shape chapters 40 to 55. Chapter 40 deals with them in detail, and I want to look at that in just a moment. As I said. In our introductory lecture. Yes, it's been proven God can be trusted. Hezekiah proved that. But what will move us to do it? What will move us beyond a one time deal. At one crisis moment. What will move us to lives of trust and the answers? Grace. Grace. Chapters 40 to 55 are all about grace. Chapters 41 to 48. About grace as the motive to serve. You're not forsaken. I've not abandoned you. When I sent you into captivity, I was not wanting to destroy you. You are my chosen beloved servants. And in this case, with the gods. I'm going to use you as my witnesses. Think of that. US. God, you're going to use us. We're. We're rebels. We're sinful. We've broken your heart. You're going to use us. You're going to hang your divine reputation on us.


God says, Yep. Oh, my goodness. Oh, my goodness. We could trust a God like that. We give our lives to a God like that. Got it. And then the question is, but how? How is God going to ignore our rebellion? How is he going to ignore our sinfulness? How is he going to ignore the fact that we've broken his heart, smashed his covenant? Is he just going to say, let's forget it? Let's just act as though you didn't do any of that. If he did, the world would fly to pieces. This is a cause and effect world that he is made. You do this, you get that result. We've all heard the story that is passed around. I've heard it attributed to half a dozen different people. Insanity is doing the same thing a second time and expecting different results. We can't just ignore sin. We can't ignore iniquity. We can't ignore the reality that a breach has occurred. Somehow that breach is going to have to be healed. I like to illustrate it this way. Here I am on the top of a tall building. And I think I would like to fly. Wouldn't that be fun? Yeah, Just like the birds. He'd be great. God loves me. He wants the best for me. So I think I'll fly. What do you think? God? God says don't do it. Why not? Because your body was not made to sand a sudden stop at the bottom. Come on. God. You're not going to smash me on this sidewalk just because I want to fly. You're good. God. You're a loving God. See you. And as I passed the 36th floor and I'm picking up speed, I say, Hmm, maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all.


God. God. Let's just forget I did that, huh? Good luck. But suddenly. I find myself on the top of the building. Wow. Wow. God, that was great. Thanks a lot. God. Why are you crying? God. Who's that on the sidewalk. My son. Your son. Why is he down there? Because when you jumped off child, someone had to hit the bottom. Oh. Oh. That's what chapters 49 to 55 are about. The means of servant to it. How can God use a rebellious, broken, sinful person like me or you? If somehow that sin, that rebellion, that brokenness has indeed been dealt with. And it's been dealt with in Jesus the Servant. You see, there are two servants in Isaiah 4255. There is the nation. Which is rebellious, which is unbelieving, and yet which experiences the benefits of deliverance and is called to be a witness to that. The other servant is an individual. Who is submissive. Believing. And suffering in order to deliver a rebellious people. So. Here is the fourth division of the book, Chapters 40 to 55 Grace. The Motive and the Means of Servant Hood. Chapter 40 is the introduction to 41 to 55. As I suggested, there are in this division three subdivisions. Chapter 40 chapters 41 to 48 and chapters 49 to 55. 40 introduces both of the following subdivisions. So what do we find in chapter 40? Comfort. Comfort my people. Speak tenderly. To the hearts of Judah and Jerusalem. We've talked about comfort before. It's not warm fuzzies. It's not wrapped in a cozy blanket. No, it's. Encourage them. Encourage them, these despairing exiles. God has forsaken us. The Babylonians have defeated him. Everything is lost. It's over. No, no. Encourage them. And tell them. That God is coming to them.


On a highway. A highway. Flattening the mountains, filling the valleys. God is coming. Remember Emmanuel, God with us? Yes. Yes. You think God has forsaken you? You think God has gone away and left you? No, no, no. God is coming. God is bridging the barriers between you and Him. He's found a way to cross those barriers and come to you. Does God want to deliver us? Oh. Oh, yes. Oh, yes. That's what we have. In verses. One through 11. God's intention to deliver, God's desire to deliver. And humanity is not going to be able to stop that. What are humans? Grass. Flowers today withered tomorrow. No, no, no, no, no. Babylonian grass is going to prevent God from coming and delivering you. So get up onto the mountain. Shout the good news. God is on the road. He's coming on the highway to save us. He will tend his flock like a shepherd. He gathers the lambs in his arms. Now the previous verse said, verse ten See, the sovereign Lord comes with power. He rules with a mighty arm. His reward is with him. His recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd. He gathers the lambs in his arms. So. So, Isaiah. His arm. Now, this is this is, as I said, the hand. This is the arm. God's arm. God's arm. Is strong enough to rule. We're going to see this again and again in this section. And he carries them in his arms. Yeah. That's our God. That's our God. But is he strong enough? Yes. Verses 1 to 11. He wants to deliver us. But can he deliver us? This is verses 12 to 24. God. This all right? Who measured the waters in the hollow of his hand? The Pacific.


And the Atlantic. And the Indian. All in the hallways and. With the breadth of his hand. A span marked out the heavens. This is a pretty big God we're dealing with here. Who held the dust of the earth in a basket, weighed the mountains on the scales, the hills in a balance. Who can fathom the spirit of the Lord? That creative energy working through the world. Or instruct the Lord as his counselor. What or God did the Lord depend on? Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge? Showed him the path of understanding. All these rhetorical questions that say nobody, nobody. He is unlike anything else in his creation. And so he goes on verse 18 with whom then will you compare God to what image will you liken him? And throughout this entire division, 40 through 55, you're going to get this mockery of Idol making. And it's not merely about the folly of making little statues. It's about making God in our image. It's about us trying to make the maker. As for an idol, a metal worker casts it, a goldsmith overlays it with gold. A person too poor to present such an offering selects wood that won't rot. Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the Earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth. It's. People are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens. Like a canopy. And it concludes then with a very important statement, verse 25. I said 12 to 24. It's 12 to 26. Sorry, 12 to 26. To whom will you compare me or who is my equal? Says the Holy one.


Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? Now in the pagan creation myth or origin myth, as I suggested earlier. The hero. God. Takes the gods of earth and says, okay, I'm going to put you in your position. And the gods are relegated to the heavens, to the stars. What is your way? Say? Who created these? Not who positioned them. Not. Who organized them? Who created them? Create in the Old Testament means to make something brand new that had not existed before. My goodness. Yahweh brought all of that into existence. Uh huh. He brings out the starry host one by one and calls them forth each by name. Okay, Orion, this time. Come on. Polaris. Stop hanging around. Come on. Does God want to deliver us? Yes. Can God delivers. Oh, yes. He. 27 to 31. Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say Israel? My way is hidden from the Lord. My cause is disregarded by my God. Don't you know? Haven't you heard? The Lord? Yahweh is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He won't grow tired or weary. His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary, increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary. Young men stumble and fall. But those who. Wait. In the Lord. Those who wait for the Lord will renew their strength. Do you think there's a connection between Chapter 40 and chapters 1 to 39? Those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not go weary. They will walk and not faint. And I always think that that order is so significant. There are moments in our lives when we saw.


When we saw with the Eagles. But they are rather far and few. There are those days when we run with the champions. Yes. Yes. Run and run. And run. But you can't do that forever. What you really have to do is walk. Saw with the Eagles. Run with the champions. Walk with the turkeys. And not faint. Yes. Yes. Thank God for those moments of soaring with him. Thank God for those experiences when we have run and run and run. But above all, thank God for being able to walk with him moment by moment, Day by day, hour by hour. And not faint. Does he want to deliver us? Oh, comfort my people. Encourage them. Tell them not to be afraid. Speak to their hearts. Can they deliver us? Who are you going to compare me to? Well, he delivers. Those who trust in him. Well saw. I run and walk.