The Book of Isaiah
James J. Barker


Lesson 36
THE GREATNESS OF THE MESSIAH

Text: ISAIAH 40:10-31


INTRODUCTION:


1.     Isaiah 40:26 says, “Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might…”

2.     There are billions of stars in the sky and yet our Lord calls each one by name.  And this same mighty God cares for you and me.

3.     He feeds His flock like a shepherd (40:11).  First Peter 5:7 says, “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.”

4.     Tonight, I will attempt to expound the latter part of the chapter, which describes the greatness of the coming Messiah.

5.     My message tonight is entitled, “The Greatness of the Messiah.” 

 

I. CHRIST IS THE LORD GOD (40:10).

1.     We know Isaiah 40 is about the coming Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.

        There is the prophecy regarding John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus (40:3-5).

        There is the prophecy about the Good Shepherd. (40:11).  Jesus said in John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”   Peter refers to our Lord as “the chief Shepherd” in I Peter 5:4.             

2.     Isaiah 40:10 says, “Behold, the Lord GOD…” The word “behold” means to see and to look upon.  This means that God can be seen. 

3.     But God is invisible, so how can we look upon Him?  Jesus said in John 14:9, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.”

4.     John 1:14 says, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory).”

5.     First Timothy 3:16 says, “God was manifest in the flesh.”

6.     Matthew 1:23 says, “And they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

7.     Isaiah 40:10 says, “Behold, the Lord GOD,” but notice verse 9 says, “Behold your God!”  Is He your God?

8.     Our Lord is coming to “rule” (40:10).  Stubborn, unregenerate sinners resent and refuse His rule.  Their message is, “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14).

9.     The other day, some cheap, untalented comedienne by the name of Kathy Griffin won an Emmy award.  In her vulgar speech she said, “A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this. He had nothing to do with this. ... **** **, Jesus! This award is my god now.”

10. She may blaspheme Jesus now, but the Bible says, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:10, 11; cf. Isa. 45:22, 23).

11. The Lord Jesus Christ is God.  He said in John 5:27 that God the Father “hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.”

12. Our Lord will not only execute judgment, He also will distribute rewards.

 

II. CHRIST IS THE REWARDER (40:10).

1.     In the very last chapter in the Bible, our Lord said, “And, behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Rev. 22:12).

2.     One of the great doctrines of the Bible is the judgment seat of Christ.   Romans 14:10 says, “For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”

3.     Second Corinthians 5:10 says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

4.     The apostle Paul wrote in II Timothy 4:8, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

5.     The judgment seat of Christ is not an easy doctrine to preach.  Some preachers stress the rewards, but overlook the fact that the Bible says, “that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

6.     They seem to forget about II John 8, “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.”

7.     Or I John 2:28, “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.”

8.     Why will some Christians be ashamed?  An evangelist illustrated this doctrine by telling a story about a boy who stole some fruit from a fruit stand. The fruit stand was owned by a man who highly respected him as an honest little boy.  When the boy’s father came home from work, somehow he found out his son had stolen the fruit.  He came to his son and said, “Son, I understand that you are a thief.  I have heard that you stole the fruit from the fruit stand. I am going to do two things. First of all, you are getting a spanking.  Then secondly, you and I are going to the fruit stand and you are going to tell him you are a thief.”

9.     The son begged his dad, “Please, Dad, whip me all you want but please do not make me confess to the man that I stole from him.”  But the father made him confess.  Years later, that boy grew up to be a pastor and he would tell people he never felt the spanking, but the hardest thing he had ever done in his entire life was to confess to the man that he had stolen from him.

10. That is a vivid picture of the judgment seat of Christ.  There will be no whipping but some Christians will find it very difficult giving an account to our Lord.

 

III. CHRIST IS THE CREATOR (40:12).

1.     John 1:3 says, “All things were made by Him (Christ); and without Him was not any thing made that was made.”

2.     John 1:10 says, “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.”

3.     Colossians 1:16 says, “For by Him (Christ) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth…”

4.     Over and over the prophet Isaiah speaks of God as the Creator of the Universe.  Isaiah 40:26 says, “Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things…”

5.     That which is immeasurable to us, God measures “in the hollow of His hand” (40:12).  Try and measure the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean.

6.     Try and measure the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Black Sea, the Adriatic Sea, and the Caspian Sea.

7.     And what about the Nile River, and the Amazon River, which are each over 4,000 miles long?

8.     The Yangtze River is close to 4,000 miles long.

9.     Here in America we have the great Mississippi River, 2,340 miles long and the Missouri River, 2,540 miles long.

10. And what about the Great Lakes, Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario? – these are the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth.

11. God measures all this water – and Niagara Falls, and all the other waterfalls, and all of the rivers, and oceans, and lakes, and streams, “in the hollow of his hand” (Isa. 40:12).

12. And God weighs all the mountains and hills in scales (40:12).  Think of the  Himalayas, the Alps, and the Rockies, and all of the great mountain ranges – all weighed in God’s scales!

13. J. Vernon McGee said, “This verse (40:12) makes me feel like singing ‘How Great Thou Art.’”

14. Creation shows us God’s wisdom and power.  Isaiah 40 stresses that the Lord Jesus Christ is omnipotent, omniscient, and incomparable (cf. vss. 12-14).

15. Even Lebanon with all of its vast forests “is not sufficient” to provide enough wood for an adequate burnt offering to God (40:16). 

16. People are fearful of Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Russia, Red China, Venezuela, and all of these other communist and Muslim countries. 

17. But God says, “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket” (40:15).  And, “All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity” (40:17).

18.  World leaders are nothing but “grasshoppers” to God (40:22). 

19. Let us not worry about Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, etc.

20. Let us not worry about a nuclear war or so-called “global warming.”  God is in control.  This is His universe (40:21, 28).

21. Since Christ is our Creator, it is foolish to worship idols, which are the creation of men (40:18-20).  The term “graven image” (40:19, 20) means anything carved, fashioned or formed and refers specifically to idols.  The second commandment is, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image” (Exodus 20:4).

22. Evangelist D. L. Moody said, “A man must be greater than anything he is able to make or manufacture.  What folly then to think of worshipping such things!” (Cf. 40:18, 25).

23. People are leaving Bible-preaching churches and joining (e.g., “Emerging Church”) churches that feature idols, candles, and ritualism.  We are seeing today a move back to Romanism, and a fulfillment of Revelation 17.

 

IV. CHRIST IS OUR HELPER (40:29-31).

1.     We need to look to God, every day and every waking moment (40:29-31).  He will give us power (40:29).

2.     Our Lord said in Matthew 28:18, 19, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

3.     Our Lord said in Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

4.     Christ is our helper. His power is available (Isa. 40:29). We cannot serve God in our own strength.  Zechariah 4:6 says, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”

5.     “Renew” their strength (40:31) means to gain new strength. 

6.     We are to wait upon the LORD in prayer (40:31).  Our Lord said in Luke 18:1, “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.”

 

CONCLUSION:

1.     Andrew Murray compares Isaiah 40:31 with Acts 1:4, where our Lord told His disciples to “wait for the promise of the Father.”

2.     Murray wrote, “Brother! The Promise of the Father is sure. It is from whom you have it. The Spirit is Himself already working in you. His full indwelling and guidance is your child’s portion. Oh, keep the charge of your Lord! Wait on God: wait for the Spirit. ‘Wait, I say, on the Lord.’  ‘Blessed are all they that wait for Him.’” (The Spirit of Christ).



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