Read Isaiah 40:1-20
“Behold our God!” Isaiah marvels at who God is and what he’s done. There is no God like him. He is OUR God. It is he who created the world (v. 12-17) and revealed his glory (v. 8). It is he who sits above the circle of the earth to rule (v.22) with wisdom (v.28) and with might (v. 10). He does not grow weary (v. 28). His people have received from his hand (v. 2) comfort (v.1), guidance (v. 28), and forgiveness (v.2). He renews the strength of those who wait for him (v.31).
During Isaiah’s day the idea of a close, caring and personal God was revolutionary. False gods were to be appeased and avoided. There was no assurance of their favor or relationship. Other major world religions continue to this day to be based on performance and fear. Followers are never sure if they have done enough. The One True God, Yahweh, is driven by intimacy for his creation. He loved us so much he became one of us, to bring us into fellowship with him. He has secured our belonging to him forever. He chose us. We can be confident of our identity in Christ.
This Advent, let us marvel at the humility of God, becoming one of us, so we could become his family, his sons and daughters. Jesus even calls us his brothers and sisters (Matthew 12:50). Isaiah describes God our Father with pictures of tenderness: “he gathers us in his arms, he holds us close“ (v. 11). “He speaks tenderly” (v. 2).
REFLECT + RESPOND
Listen to the Isaiah 40 passages in Part 1 of Handel’s Messiah and marvel at our Father God. Play the video below to listen to Isaiah 40:9. Revel in the intimacy that you are his child. Hear him speak tenderly to you today.
By Donna Burns