Remind (Dictionary): To put in mind of something; cause to recollect; recall; remind.
Remind (Bible): Remember; cause; reason; charge; straightness; uprightness; remind; pass; remember; call to mind.
As we read Isaiah 40, we see the Lord carefully watching over His people the Jews including those who were or would become captives. The prophet writes about the destruction of Israel and its ensuing captivity. Chapter 40 seems to be a summary of God’s word to those set free from slavery. How does this apply to us today?
Isaiah 40:18-22: 18 To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare with Him?19 As for the idol, a craftsman casts it, A goldsmith plates it with gold, And a silversmith fashions chains of silver.20 He who is too impoverished for such an offering Selects a tree that does not rot; He seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman To prepare an idol that will not totter.21 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. (NASB)
God uses Isaiah to remind the nation that the living God brought judgment against them because of their idolatry. The returning remnant needed to be reminded why they were conquered! God didn’t want them to make the same mistakes their ancestors did. Today we still find idolatry and must guard against “worshiping the creation rather than the Creator.” Anything we place above Christ is an idol. A continued or unhealthy focus on entertainers, sports figures, technology and our own personal appearance can become idols. We even have a TV show called American Idol!
The Apostle Paul had a great word to the church at Galatia:
Galatians 5:1: 5 So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. (NLT)
God has been and still is all about setting captives free. The Jews experienced long captivities away from Jerusalem and needed to be reminded of who exactly is the true God. It certainly did not involve any idolatry! Those set free from sin through the cross of Jesus also need to maintain a daily focus and worship of our God having hearts filled with gratitude. In Chapter 40, Isaiah reminds the nation who they should serve:
Isaiah 40:12-15: 12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, And marked off the heavens by the span, And calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, And weighed the mountains in a balance And the hills in a pair of scales? 13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, Or as His counselor has informed Him? 14 With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge And informed Him of the way of understanding? (NASB)
Isaiah 40:25-26: 25 “To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One.26 Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing. (NLT)
Israel needed to hear this word. We need to hear this word as much or even more. Today we face many dark strongholds. Just one example is our cultures belief in evolution which has become a stronghold and an idol!
Our universe is beyond description! It is the ultimate perfection and beauty that reflect Gods’ very nature. The Creation reveals His passionate love for the universe. Sometimes we need to just stand back and take some moments to reflect on His gift of creation. Isaiah continues with a powerful Scripture:
Isaiah 40:27-31: 27 O Jacob, O Israel, how can you say that the Lord doesn’t see your troubles and isn’t being fair? 28 Don’t you yet understand? Don’t you know by now that the everlasting God, the Creator of the farthest parts of the earth, never grows faint or weary? No one can fathom the depths of his understanding. 29 He gives power to the tired and worn out, and strength to the weak. 30 Even the youths shall be exhausted, and the young men will all give up. 31But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (TLB)
The Lord knew that Israel needed to hear that the Lord was there for them! They needed to be reminded that God in no way had forgotten them. And in fact the Lord would strengthen those waiting on Him. He would give them renewed strength.
What a wonderful Scripture for today! People I meet are often struggling and weary. There is a place of peace for them under the care and protection of our amazing God! Let us not grow weary.
Ephesians 6:10-11: 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. (NASB)
I saw an Eagle in the sky,
It soared with power and grace
It was God who taught it how to fly
A tear of joy ran down my face.
God has made our world
A place for all to see
It’s God who made all these things
They were made for you and me!