52 The Truth of Love (5)

Tyler handed over the work to his secretary and left hurriedly to the hospital to pick up his wife, Sherri. This was her last treatment. After over a year of therapy, her uterine cancer was finally cured and the situation was under control. At last, her body could function normally. Time flied, Tyler could still remember vividly the days when he took Sherri in and out of the hospital.

After they went home, Chantelle rushed toward Tyler, waving an envelope happily, “I just received my final exam results; I graduated with summa cum laude! This is a real surprise!” Chantelle embraced Tyler and said, “Dad, I am very thankful for what you have done to me. In the past year, you looked for the best specialist to help me, you kept on encouraging and taking care of me, you even led me to experience the love of God; so that I know who I am and could regain my confidence from the pit of life. I could overcome my psychological barrier and continue my life journey with dignity and hope. I really appreciate and love you from the bottom of my heart; and I thank God for His salvation even more!”

Before Tyler could respond, the phone rang. Sherri picked up and passed it to Tyler, “It’s your boss, is there something important?” After Tyler hung up, his face glowed with joy and with a big grin, he said, “My boss was very satisfied with the projects that I had done lately, he indicated that we would be partners with several big corporations in the near future. They would like to assign me as the chief director, representing our company, and will promote me next month. My years of hard work and perseverance paid off finally. Let’s go out for dinner and celebrate!”

After dinner, Tyler strolled to the lakeshore again. This was the place where he used to go all the time, and was also where he waited upon the Lord quietly and meditated for the past year. Once again, he sat beside the pier but could not help his tears, thinking about his transformation from questioning the existence of God a year ago until now he deeply experienced God; the joy just gushed out from deep within himself, Tyler talked to God heartily, “My Lord, my God, you are my fortress in time of need, my help in time of suffering, my strength in time of weakness, my hope in time of desperation; with all the strength of my life, I thank you, praise you, and adore you! Without you, I am nothing! You revealed yourself to me and let me experience your mercy and amazing grace. You walked beside me during my darkest hours and let me find you. Oh Lord, who am I? I don’t deserve your salvation. May I continue to lead my family to offer our lives as living sacrifices and serve you with an undivided heart. Thank you for making me soar like an eagle!” Then he looked up and saw a couple of eagles soaring high up in the sky, Tyler closed his eyes again………

“I’ll carry you, on eagle’s wings; on eagle’s wings, across the sky I carry you!

I know you’re hurt, I feel your wounds, I’ll carry you…..

From grey skies cold to blue skies high, lift your head and come, come and fly….

I will make you soar; I will lift you high up if you let me carry you…

Faithful one, so unchanging, the great I AM, Alpha and Omega, Abba Father…”

Your Initial Response

What is your definition of wait upon the Lord? How did you wait upon the Lord? What is the consequence?

Isaiah 40:26–31

26Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. 

27Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? 

28Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 

29He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 

30Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 

31but 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. (Isaiah 40:26–31 NIV) 

1) “Eye” (“i=Eye”)

iEXP Bible Study Method

1 Draw a question mark at the place where you have difficulty of understanding.

2 Put a question mark next to a word or sentence that you do not understand.

3 Box God’s attributes and nature and number them in ascending order.

4 Underline God’s work and number them in ascending order.

5 Use straight lines to connect “wait for,” “find renewed strength,” “run without growing weary” and “walk without getting tired.”

6 Get new insight by referring to some other translations.

2) “Expound” (E)

iEXP Bible Study Method

Why did those who wait for the Lord’s help find renewed strength? Are you tired? Do you want to have renewed strength?

1 What is the meaning of looking up at the sky (Isaiah 40:26)?

2 Who is Jacob mentioned here (Isaiah 40:27)?

3 Why did Jacob say, “The Lord is not aware of what is happening to me, My God is not concerned with my vindication?” (Isaiah 40:27)?

4 What attributes of God can we find in this passage?

5 What is meant by “wait for the Lord’s help” (Isaiah 40:31)?

According to the nature of literature, the Book of Isaiah is comprised of two main categories, namely prophetical and historical. The first thirty-five chapters are mostly prophetical, the next four chapters are historical and the last twenty-seven chapters are prophetical.

On the whole, many biblical scholars agree that the Book of Isaiah is composed of two parts. The first part is about God’s coming judgment on Judah (1-39) and the second part is about the prophecies of comfort for Judah (40-66).

God clearly spoke through the prophets that Jerusalem and the Promised Land will lay in ruins (40:1-2; 44:26, 28; 45:13; 49:19; 51:3; 52:2; 58:12; 60:10; 61:4; 62:4; 63:18; 64:10-11) and the Jews will be exiled to Babylon and other distant lands (42:7, 22; 43:5-6, 14; 45:13; 47:6; 48:20; 49:9-12, 22; 51:11, 14; 52:11-12; 56:8; 57:14; 61:1). Owing to the above reason, the chosen people of God misunderstood that God would pay no attention to them anymore. Therefore, by means of Isaiah’s prophecies, God give His people hope and comfort.

Isaiah 40:26

Babylonians consider the stars and constellations as deities, but only Yahweh is the creator and ruler of these stars. “He is the one who leads out their ranks; he calls them all by name.” These stars are like a huge army that God leads out, making a roll call. This description indicates that God is very familiar with His created stars, for He is omniscient. “Because of his absolute power and awesome strength, not one of them is missing” is an indication that God is omnipotent.

Isaiah 40:27

“Jacob” and Israel are synonyms for all 12 tribes, that is, the twelve tribes of Israel. Although Israel the Northern Kingdom was perished and her people were exiled to Assyria, God reminded them that He would still see or remember them by the prophecies of the prophet.

Isaiah 40:28

The prophet stated that God is the self-existed one. God is the Creator of everything and He will not be tired. Moreover, God is full of wisdom. Owing to the fact that God is full of power and wisdom, God’s people do not need to worry about tomorrow, for He is the Ruler of the future.

Isaiah 40:29-30

As they had to face the adversity of the destruction of their nation and being exiled, their hearts would crumble as a result. All human beings would be tired and experience a moment of weakness; furthermore, strong young people would become weary and fall. On the contrary, God will never be tired and become weak, and He always stands firm. As the chosen people of God have such a Lord of their own, they should be filled with hope consequently.

Isaiah 40:31

“Wait” has the connotation of patience. Not only it is a kind of patience or longing, but it also means trusting God. “Eagles” is a metaphor of strength. The literal meaning of “find renewed strength” is change strength’, as one might change into fresh clothes or exchange an old thing for a new. All people will become weak and tired, but those wait for God would attain strength from Him.

3) “Exercise” (X)

iEXP Bible Study Method

1 Even though young or strong people would become tired, but only those who humbly wait for God would attain new strength (Isaiah 40:31).

2 Memorise Isaiah 40:31. 

31 But those who wait for the Lord’s help find renewed strength; they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings, they run without growing weary, they walk without getting tired. (Isaiah 40:31)

3 Receive the promise of God and attain new spiritual strength (Isaiah 40:31).

4 Daily praying, Bible reading and meditation are means of waiting for God; they are necessary disciplines for believers to grow spiritually.

5 Many pastors and church leaders worry for the spiritual growth of believers and the growth of their church, but it could not be solely achieved by human effort; therefore, as God’s servants, we must humbly learn the lesson of patience.

6 Parents must have a heart of tolerance and patience in dealing with the growth and challenges of their children, and rearing our next generation by solely trusting our own strength is futile.

7 We must learn the lesson of patience in dealing with other people; listen attentively and speak slowly do help in interpersonal relationships.

4) “Proclaim” (P)

By applying the biblical truths to their lives, believers would experience God. When the Bible students experience God and His truths, they should follow the example of the early Christians of testifying to non-believers and believers boldly. By means of speech, we witness to non-believing friends and to edify believers alike. The fourth step of the iEXP Bible study is “Proclaim”.

iEXP Bible Study Method

After finished studying the text, try to apply the truths to your daily living, family life and church life, and pray that you will experience the truthfulness and power of God’s Word. Grab the opportunity to share your experience with non-believers and believers, in family altar, small groups and social gatherings, as a way of witnessing the power of the gospel to non-believers and edification of believers.

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