This chapter of Isaiah begins with God telling Isaiah to comfort His people, for the mercy of God will end their warfare and forgive their sin. She has paid a price for her sin that is enough. Isaiah then shares a Messianic prophecy concerning John the Baptist and his role in preparing the way for the Lord.
Isaiah then tells how the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all flesh shall see it. In this passage, He explains that man and all that he does is like grass and flowers that fade away.
Isaiah 40:7–8 (NKJV)
7 The grass withers, the flower fades,
Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.”
Isaiah speaks of the gentle hand of God that will rule the nation, but also the greatness of God:
Isaiah 40:12–14 (NKJV)
12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
Measured heaven with a span
And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure?
Weighed the mountains in scales
And the hills in a balance?
13 Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD,
Or as His counselor has taught Him?
14 With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him,
And taught Him in the path of justice?
Who taught Him knowledge,
And showed Him the way of understanding?
The nations are like a drop in the bucket compared to God. They cannot compare to the greatness of God. Idols are made from silver and gold, but they have no life compared to God.
Finally, Isaiah quizzes the reader on their knowledge of the great God Jehovah. Do you not know that God is so great that He sits on the circle of the earth, and we are like grasshoppers in His sight? He stretches out the heavens like a curtain, brings princes to nothing. He blows on His enemies and they wither like grass in heat. No one is equal to Him. No one can hide from His eyes.
After this affirmation of God’s greatness and power, Isaiah pens some of the most-quoted words in the Old Testament:
Isaiah 40:28–31 (NKJV)
28 Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
This passage is such comfort to those in the midst of a struggle. God is present, He knows your plight, and He cares. He is coming, so do not dismay or fear. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. So wait patiently, without fear, in faith, without doubting. God is on His way, you can count on Him!