Tim Keller in his recent book
discusses the folly of 3 esp.contemporary idols for us in the West: Money, Sex and Power. They are all hugetemptations in our world. Consider the headlines on any given day and you’ll seethis. Perhaps, one of these draws your heart especially. Another word for idolatry isreally addiction---it begins with concrete choices, then we often become powerlessand feel we must have the item in question to find fulfillment. John Calvin called thehuman heart, “an idol factory”. We are called to find fulfillment in our Great Godalone and to enjoy these created things for His glory…and yet, it’s so easy to not waiton Him, isn’t it? To fix ourselves….2. on a positive note, we need to make a point of pondering God’s greatness---time innature, reflecting on God’s word.Ben Patterson. Pastor and author of
memorized Isaiah 40 during a crucialtime of his ministry when he was burned-out---he hiked in the Grand Canyon recitingthe cadences of Isaiah’s prophetic poetry ---page 55 (40:25-29)
Second Main Point:
Secondly, God’s greatness is worth our waiting b/c2.He is tirelessly tender and gives strength to the weary (27-31)
God is Israel’s Source of Strength
He is our source of renewing strength!The Israelite readers would have already been given a vision of this tender strengthfrom the Sovereign, Great God earlier in chapter 40. Isaiah says in verse 11: “Hewill tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carrythem in his bosom, and gently lead those that are young.”
Jacob has forgotten God’s strength (40:27)—we do the same so easily
The All-Wise God never tires (40:28-29) – we often tire out—even the mostenergetic youth eventually wire out (my children as an example)
Israel must hope in the Lord (40:30-31)—we must patiently wait for the Lord toact; he will strengthen us as we wait.He is worth our wait. Ben Patterson in his very helpful book called
says “I writethis book out of one central conviction: that at least as important as the things we waitfor is the work God wants to do in us as we wait.” Ben discusses the two cardinal virtuesfor successful waiting:
. He uses the Biblical stories of Job andAbraham to demonstrate the honest struggle, the pitfalls and these men as real life godlyexamples of faithful waiting for the LORD.
Let all the world in every corner sing, my God and King!The heavens are not too high, His praise may thither fly,The earth is not too low, His praises there may grow.
Doug McFallJune 11, 2011Pentecost SundayFirst Presbyterian Church, Strasburg, PA