November 24

God’s Unsearchable Wisdom Strengthens Us

“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.” (Isaiah 40:22-31)

Have you ever fainted? I have not. I know people who faint for no apparent reason other than their bodies are aged and seem to give way occasionally. I can imagine that it is unnerving to wake up to find that you are not where you were before you fell, and possibly have unknowingly injured yourself. Sometimes when physicians search for the reasons for fainting spells the results are inconclusive—no low blood pressure, illness, or dehydration. Perhaps the patient experienced sudden pain or dizziness, but due to dementia, he cannot remember it. Hopefully, his doctor will find the cause and prescribe treatment, or at least advice. In contrast to human medicine, God’s understanding is unsearchable, since his knowledge is infinite and we are finite creatures with severely limited knowledge of God and his ways, except for the illumination provided by Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah proclaims the truth from the Lord’s mouth, as God’s instrument—we faint. Three times in this passage God describes human beings (including youth) are described as those who faint and are weary. We have no strength or might, like those who are exhausted. Original sin expresses itself in believers physically, when we faint and emotionally when we are broken-hearted. It also disturbs us spiritually, when we doubt God and his work in us, others, and the world; intellectually, when we seek help from academics and phycologists instead of Scripture; and socially, when we tend toward self-reliance and independence, rather than seeking fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. And there are many more ways that sin corrupts our minds, hearts, and lives!

But God is our everlasting creator, with perfect understanding, power and strength. Isaiah proclaims this truth not for our academic benefit but as the way that we can glorify God and live for and through him. This is a life lesson that we learn with the apostle Paul who was humbled by his weakness. Through God’s help, Paul learned to rejoice in his weakness, as we should. “[God] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:9-10) 

In Isaiah 40:29-30 we are encouraged to know that we “‘shall mount up with wings as eagles’; swiftly and strongly… expressive of the motion of the affections heavenwards towards God and Christ, and things above…and of the exercise of these graces on Christ, who is now at the right hand of God; of the expectation of glory and happiness in heaven hereafter, and of present support under afflictions, the Lord bearing them as on eagles’ wings…‘they shall run, and not be weary;’ in the way of God’s commandments; which shows great affection for them, haste to obey them, delight and pleasure, cheerfulness and alacrity…and ‘they shall, walk, and not faint…leaning on him, trusting in him, continuing to do so, till they receive the end of their faith, the salvation of their souls; and so shall not sink under their burdens, nor give out till they enjoy it.” *

Do we not all want to fly like eagles, run without weariness, and walk without fainting in God’s strength? Are we willing to humble ourselves rather than search for what is unobtainable in order to fly, run, and walk with Christ? How will you embrace your weakness today?

* John Gill’s Exposition on the Whole Bible, Isaiah 40:29,

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