Isaiah 40: 27 – 31. This is a great Bible verse and people will frequently turn to this passage when they are tired and not sure they can go on. We focus on verse 30 and 31 and seldom read it in context; we read #31 and start to hope so we can get strength. I also have done this but one day I started looking up some key words; I don’t think what I found changes the reality of the verse but it changes where we should put our emphasis.
One thing that I always suggest in studying any verse is to look at it in different translations and look it up in a concordance so you get the meaning of the words in their original usage. For this study I used the King James, so I looked in my Strong’s Concordance that, has the Vine’s Dictionary incorporated into it.
I feel that it is God speaking here and in verse 27 scolds and comforts by asking,” Why do you think I may ignoring your cries.” In 28 He reminds us that He is not the problem and in 29 states He is always ready to help us. But verse 31 is where I got a whole new meaning in this passage. Hope, here is and can be translated “wait” and renew does not carry the English meaning I thought it would. Renew is chalaph in Hebrew and it carries the meaning of letting something “slide by or hasten away or change.” One concordance even suggested the idea of losing something.
I always thought I would get my strength boosted; instead it seems that I will get rid of my strength and get NEW strength – God’s strength. Then we can soar like an eagle.
Isa 40:27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”?
Isa 40:28 Do 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.
Isa 40:29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Isa 40:30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
Isa 40:31 but those who hope (wait) in the LORD will renew (lose, hasten away, change) their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (NIV)
Another interesting numerological idea about Isaiah 40 is that if you look at Isaiah as having 66 chapters like the Bible has 66 books then chapter 40 relates to the beginning of the New Testament and it is the chapter that transitions to the hopeful part of Isaiah.
The Holy Bible, New International Version®. Pradis CD-ROM:Isa 40:27. Grand Rapids: The Zondervan Corporation, © 1973, 1978, 1984.
Very nice study! I love how when you dig deeper into this text you are actually MORE comforted than before!
The idea of my strength which is weak and insufficient being slid away and replaced by God’s strength which is all powerful? Now that IS comforting!
I know when I have been tired and thought I needed strength that verse comes back to me and I have to remember which strength I want, His or mine!
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