3 Weeks Before you visit

It Is Well With My Soul

ISAIAH 40:1-31

Comfort in Times of Discouragement

A. The Announcement Of Comfort (40:1-5)

1st. The Announcement From God In Heaven (40:1-2)

NOTE: The three promises of God foreshadow the three main themes of Isaiah 40-66.

  1. “Her warfare is accomplished” looks to Israel’s deliverance from Babylon (Isa. 40-48)
  2. “Her iniquity is pardoned” looks to Israel’s redemption from sin (Isa. 49-57)
  3. “She has received . . . double” looks to Israel’s double portion of blessing in the future (Isa. 58-66) [For this use of “double” see Isa. 61:7.]

2nd. The Announcement From A Voice In The Wilderness (40:3-5)
NOTE: The “wilderness” being described is the Judean wilderness that lies between Jerusalem and Jericho and along the western edge of the Dead Sea. Verse 4 is a perfect picture of this land and offers hope by showing that God can “change the unchangeable.”

  1. The call to preparation (v. 3)
  2. The removal of all obstacles (v. 4)
  3. The appearance of God’s glory (v. 5)

B. The Reasons For Comfort (40:6-26)

1st. The Certainty of God’s Word (40:6-8)

  1. People are temporal (vv. 6-8a)
    NOTE: Isaiah described the grass and flowers that grow in the Judean wilderness during the winter rainy season. Once the rains end and the hot east wind blows in the from the Arabian desert, the grass and flowers wither and die.
  2. God’s Word stands forever (v. 8b)
    NOTE: People, problems, and circumstances come and go just like the wildflowers in the Judean wilderness. But we can find hope in God’s Word of promise that will never fail.

2nd. The Surety of God’s Character (40:9-26)

1. God’s power and love are constant (vv. 9-11)
NOTE: Isaiah challenged the people to look closely at the character of the God offering them comfort and deliverance.

a. God has the might of a conquering hero (vv. 9-10)
b. God has the compassion of a tender shepherd (v. 11)

2. God’s strength is mightier than any opposition (vv. 12-26)
NOTE: Isaiah asks, and answers, a series of questions to show that God is superior to any possible opposition we might face. Our God is bigger than our problems!

One. God is superior to nations (vv. 12-17)

(1) The questions (vv. 12-14)
(2) The application to God (vv. 15-17)

Two. God is superior to idols (vv. 18-20)

(1) The questions (v. 18)
(2) The application to God (vv. 19-20)

Three. God is superior to human leaders (vv. 21-24)

(1) The questions (v. 21)
(2) The application to God (vv. 22-24)

Four. God is superior to all cosmic forces (vv. 25-26)

(1) The questions (v. 25)
(2) The application to God (v. 26)

C. The Requirements for Receiving Comfort (40:27-31)

1st. Remember God’s Goodness (40:27-28)

1. The complaint: God doesn’t know or care for me (v. 27)

2. The solution: Realize God’s awesome character and power (v. 28)

One. God made all
Two. God sustains all
Three. God understands all

2nd. Wait On God To Solve Your Problems (40:29-31)

1. Human strength will fail (vv. 29-30)
2. Those who depend on God’s strength will succeed (v. 31)

Conclusion: The Judean wilderness served as an object lesson to the nation of Israel. It stood as an obstacle between Jerusalem and Jericho – harsh, foreboding, and unchangeable. It symbolized their problems that often seemed overwhelming, unsolvable, and utterly discouraging. God’s reminder in times of trouble is to focus on Him, not on our problems. He is mightier than our problems and stronger than our opposition. And He sires to bear us up on wings of eagles. The God who can change the craggy wilderness into a smooth plain is the God who can cause us to say – even as we face our trials – “It is well with my soul!”

All material in this section comes from
The Christian Traveler’s Guide to the Holy Land
by Charles H. Dyer and Gregory A. Hatterberg, Published by: Broadman & Holman Publishers; Nashville, TN 1998