Isaiah 40:31 “but they who wait for 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.”
The Bible is the word of God and is powerful and life changing. This verse we just read is a wonderful illustration of how a person who trusts in God can overcome any obstacle in their walk of life, no matter how hopeless you feel. Over the centuries this passage has given comfort and encouragement to countless people. Even though we can apply this passage to all believers it is also important to interpret this passage in its context. Isaiah was a prophet to both Judah and Jerusalem as mentioned in Isaiah 1:1. As you read through the book of Isaiah you will notice that the first 39 chapters deal primarily with “judgment” and from chapters 40 to 66 the focus is changed to that of “comfort”. These words of encouragement were addressed to the Jewish exiles who would be taken captive to Babylon. Isaiah is probably writing about what was to come and that they would be in exile, and in that time to recall this message of comfort. Praise God for the timeless truth of this passage and its application to our lives today as well. What a wonderful promise! Amen!
But what I want you to consider today is that this promise is “conditional”, and the condition mentioned in v31 is that “those who wait on the LORD” shall inherit these promises. Those who wait on the Lord is the one who will renew their strength, it is the one who waits on he Lord who will mount up with wings like eagles, it is the one who waits on the Lord who will run and not be weary, it is the one who waits on the lord who will walk and not be faint. Amen.
Are you waiting on the Lord? In order to “wait on the Lord”, we need to determine what it means to “wait” and how are we to wait on the Lord? The word used in this passage is the Hebrew word ‘Qavah’, and according to the Strong’s Definition, it means “to bind together (perhaps by twisting, i.e. collect; (figuratively) to expect:-gather (together), look, patiently, tarry, wait (for, on, upon).”
So the emphasis is clearly on the daily walk and the need to wait on the Lord and His providential care in the pressures of life. Waiting means to have a confident expectation, an anticipation and a confident hope in something that will take place. Notice here that this waiting is not a blind waiting for something that may or may not happen but it is an expectation based on “knowledge” and “trust”. Without knowledge and trust, you simply won’t wait, and even when you do wait, it will be with a lot of anxiety and eventually you will end up taking matters into your own hands.
Psalm 130:5-8 says “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchman for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.”
Here you can see the Psalmist’s wait of expectation based on knowledge and trust. Firstly he waits because he has “hope” in the word of God (Psalm 130:5). Secondly he trusts in the Lord just like a watchman waits for the morning. The watchman knows and waits for the sun because he knows it is reliable. It will surely rise and the morning will come. In other words, waiting is fundamentally wrapped up with knowing, trusting, and believing in the Lord and His person (i.e. His character) and His promises. So, in order to fully understand the reliability and character of our God just as the watchman has surety of the arrival of the morning sun, we need to read a few verses above v31.
God speaks and declares in Isaiah 40:25-31 saying “To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of his might and because he is strong in power, not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for 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.”
What a wonderful passage, from the God who created heaven and earth. If God is for us who can be against us (Romans 8:31) What further surety do you need, in order to wait on Him?
The other reason a watchman or soldier that keeps the night watches in an army or city, or even the priests or Levites who did so in the temples; is because they are wearied through the night due to their service and are looking forward to resting, looking forwarding to ending their time of waiting and watching so they fervently desire and look forward to the morning when they can be discharged.
Friends, today I want you to examine yourselves if you are spending time “waiting” on God. You know and declare the promise of God as we read in Isaiah 40:31 that they 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.
Today I urge you to “wait” on the Lord. It may seem very difficult at first, but in your waiting you are learning to rely on God, you are learning to trust in Him and His promises. In your waiting you are declaring that God has the final say in your situation and you are not going to move until He does. This is a sign of a healthy hearts desire. And as you do this God will move in a mighty way in your situation. Praise God.
That is why it says in Psalm 40:1 “I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.”
Hope this has been an encouragement for you, that you may grow in Christ. I pray that as you wait, you will soar on eagles wings, that you will run and not be weary, that you will walk and not be faint. Amen.
May God bless you.
Matthew Poole’s Commentary