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Isaiah 40:1-11

Isaiah 40:1-11

Categories:

Sermon: The Good News
Bible Passage: Isaiah 40:1-11

I. Introductory information:

1. The book of Isaiah is broadly divided into three major sections: 1–39 (pre-Exile); 40–55 (Exile, i.e, no Temple); and 56–66 (post-Exile)
2. There were at least 150 years between chs. 39 and 40
3. At least seven kings ruled Judah between chs. 39 and 40

II. The status of the Jews in Babylon:

1. Isa 40:27 “The LORD is not aware of what is happening to me, My God is not concerned with my vindication”?
2. Lam 1:2: “She weeps bitterly in the night, with tears on her cheeks; among all her lovers she has no one to comfort her”
3. Lam 1:9: [H]er downfall was appalling, with none to comfort her
4. Lam 1:17: Zion stretches out her hands, but there is no one to comfort her

a. These verses point to people’s: Despair, sense of rejection, and low morale
b. People were gradually turning away from God
c. People were gradually closing their minds towards Him
d. People were gradually letting their faith grow cold

III. The LORD commands His divine agent (prophet) the following:

1. Comfort, comfort “my” people (verse 1)

a. Emotional uplifting, healing from despair, and putting an end to the sense of rejection and helplessness
b. Not just a “lip service” but a substantive solace
c. A transformative solidarity, God’s powerful intervention that will create new possibilities

2. Speak kindly to Jerusalem (verse 2) (“bring re-assurance”)

a. Her time of warfare is over
b. Her punishment is completed
c. God has forgiven her (verse 2“her iniquity is pardoned”)—this is a big game changer

3. Announce the Good News “Here is your God” (verse 9)

a. Why is this a “Good News”?
b. It is a “Good News” because the LORD their God came to deliver them and lead them to their homeland

IV. Two pictures of the LORD (verses 9-11)—“Here is your God”

1. Massive Military warrior against the enemies

a. Brought down the mighty Babylonians
b. Raised Cyrus the Great
c. Brought about deliverance for His people

2. Shepherd Leader to His people

a. Like a shepherd He tends His flock
b. He gathers up the lambs with His arm
c. He carries them close to His heart
d. He leads the ewes along

V. Jesus says, “I am the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11) [HOW?]

1. Jesus laid down His life for His sheep (v. 11 & 15b)
2. Jesus knows every single sheep intimately (v.14) and His sheep know Him (v. 16)
3. Jesus provides ultimate security (v. 18), and is deeply committed to His sheep
4. Jesus went after the weak, helpless, ignored, and lost (Matt 15:24; Luke 19:10 vs. Isa 40:11 and Ezek 34:16)

VI. Lessons

1. Words of comfort has value when it is transformative and instils hope for the affected
2. Purpose of comfort is to potentially change of situation; otherwise, it is only a lip service
3. Speaking tenderly and bringing reassurance to hurting people is the fruit of one’s walk with God—it is the fruit of the Holy Spirit of God
4. The essence of the Gospel is God seeking those who cannot help themselves and revealing to them as their deliverer and leader
5. God’s shepherd-leadership is a great model for our leadership

VII. The fuller fulfillment of Isa 40:1-11

Take Away:

Experience God’s comfort, reassurance, and Shepherd Leadership

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at wjsubash@crossroadbangalore.org