Daily D – Isaiah 40:31
But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. ISAIAH 40:31 (NLT)
“Bottom-line this for me,” is shorthand for “Hurry up and get to the point.” This verse is the bottom line, the point God wanted to make. Most of us know this text if not by memory, then certainly by heart. These words comfort and give hope. They come at the end of one of the most beautiful works of literature ever penned. To appreciate the depth of meaning packed in these four sentences, go up to verse 1 and read the whole chapter aloud.
The Top Line begins the chapter, and indeed this whole section of Isaiah’s writings, with words we immediately recognize from Handel’s Messiah. The King James Version renders them, “Comfort ye, comfort ye, saith your God.” Isaiah goes on, “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem. Tell her that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned,” (v. 2).
Then the action revs up in the following verses. Verse 5 promises, “Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The LORD has spoken!” Isaiah next writes about the passing, fading, frailty of humanity (vv. 6-8). In contrast, “Your God is coming!” (v. 9). “He will rule with a powerful arm,” (v. 10). And in his power, “He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young,” (v. 11).
Leadership Lesson: Power isn’t powerful unless it is controlled and placed in service to others.
Weak and frail humanity, here today and gone tomorrow, meet God. He has held the oceans in his hand. He measured off the heavens with his fingers. He knows the weight of the world. He weighed the mountains and hills on a scale. Know one knows enough to teach him anything, (vv. 12-14).
Every people group everywhere is but a drop in the bucket for him, dust in the wind (v. 15). He is beyond compare. No totem pole can capture all his characteristics. No image could adequately represent him, (vv. 18-20).
“‘To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?’ asks the Holy One,” (v. 25).
He is Star Maker and Star Namer (v. 26). He is almighty, all powerful, and all and ever able to take care of us and whatever we need (v. 27).
Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths become weak and tired,
and young men fall in exhaustion.
Now comes the bottom line.
But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.
Every bottom line, every ultimate outcome, is shaped and determined by what has happened to this point. No matter what you do, there will always be results. Because God is the Creator, because he is the All-Powerful One, because he is motivated and animated by his everlasting love, our bottom line is better than good, better than the best, better than our highest hopes and fondest dreams. The end of the story is better than its beginning.
Bottom-line today for me. When you know God for who he is, what does this make possible? Indeed, what could be impossible?
Isaiah and David agree: “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want,” (Psalm 23:1).
I will soar, I will run, and I will walk with the LORD.
Our Father, you are Almighty God. Nothing is too hard for you. I belong to you. You have a purpose for my life. Everything I require to accomplish that purpose, you will provide. Thank you for these beautiful words. Thank you for their eternal truth. I trust in you. Amen.
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Daily D – Psalm 143:8-10
Psalm 143:8-10 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
Daily D – Psalm 142:5
Psalm 142:5 Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.”
Daily D – Ezra 3:11-13
Ezra 3:11-13 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord: “He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid. But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 35:22-25
2 Chronicles 35:22-25 After Josiah had finished restoring the Temple, King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River, and Josiah and his army marched out to fight him. But King Neco sent messengers to Josiah with this message: “What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do not interfere with God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.” But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken, and he would not turn back. Instead, he disguised himself and led his army into battle on the plain of Megiddo. But the enemy archers hit King Josiah with their arrows and wounded him. He cried out to his men, “Take me from the battle, for I am badly wounded!”
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 32:31
2 Chronicles 32:31 However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.