The Lord never made a secret of the fact that wars and warfare were to be expected around Israel and Jerusalem. Isaiah spoke prophetically about the rise and fall of kings and nations, and how Jerusalem wouldn’t be spared, even if the judgment wasn’t going to be as imminent as it had seemed at first.
Then Isaiah’s prophecies took a sharp turn. He stopped speaking about judgment and retribution and started bringing words of comfort and hope. This was so sharp a turn that some commentators have even questioned that it was Isaiah speaking! The important thing is that it’s the same God, beginning to speak to the needs of His people.
Before the thirty-ninth chapter God was revealing Himself as the Lord of history. He was causing the rise and the downfall of empires and deciding times and sequences. But He isn’t just the God of world events. He’s not only concerned with the latest, headline-making news. He’s also God the Father, caring for the weak and downtrodden, with a heart for those in need. So from chapter forty onward He becomes very personal, and shows how He takes the side of ordinary people, those who will suffer under the marching armies and warring kings.
It’s interesting that God is never called the God of the mighty and the strong, but rather ‘the Father of the fatherless and defender of the widows’. Who would choose such a title for himself? Only God would do that! God’s immensely interested in every human being: ‘You know when I sit and when I rise, you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down, you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely O Lord’(Psalm 139:2-4).
TV gives us up-to-the-minute news and reporters give us stories which sell their newspapers. Compared to the few people who make it to such fame, or shame, in the newspapers we may feel very, very insignificant. But not to God! He cares for us. He knows that we live in a world that’s shaking. He knows that the foundations of many countries are quite wobbly. In such times He speaks comfort to His people. “Don’t be afraid, I’m still in charge!”
God the Father has a deep interest in the lowliest of His children. He loves to comfort His own. If we’re under pressure and attack, in difficult circumstances or hopeless situations, He’s there with us, comforting, encouraging and speaking hope. The outlook for the world at large may seem quite bleak, but the people of God have a secret lifeline. God Himself will comfort …comfort … comfort! Receive it for your situation right now!
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