Isaiah 40:31 They Shall Renew Their Strength
40:27 Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the Lord, And my just claim is passed over by my God”? This is the complaint of the despairing. They believe the Lord does not notice them and has passed on by. The Lord is puzzled at the complaint because none of it is true. He has not passed by the claims of His people.
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord... Let us keep in mind who is speaking. It is God Himself. This is difficult. If a friend speaks a word about anything. That is one thing. But when God speaks His Word then my sinful flesh wakes up. If I believe “your sins are forgiven you” and “this is My body” why should I despair and whom should I fear? No one, because I know this is the Word of God. Luther says, “I am the infinite God, I set My Word against hell, death, and devil, because I am the infinite God who prevails over them all. I endure forever, and My Word will flourish under foolishness and the guise of weakness, although this does not seem to be the case, yes, the opposite seems to be the case.” Therefore He sends us His Word so that we may be consoled when view and appearance are hostile, as if to say: “Cling to Me. Although for a time I shall seem weak, it will not really be so, but believe that I am the everlasting God.”
The Creator of the ends of the earth Luther “I have made all these things, they are My creatures, they are under My control, they cannot touch the least hair of your head. Do not be afraid.” The flesh says: “The opposite is true. You are barely God in a flea and in a nook.”
Summary: What we lack He has in ample supply. Therefore you must not lose heart when appearance is to the contrary, when you see the loftiness, greatness, and strength of the nations lifted up to heaven. Cling to the Word, not to your reason. Then you will not despair before them.
Neither faints nor is weary. God is describing Himself according to our reason and our reason can’t imagine anyone never losing strength as much as our reason can’t imagine that something is impossible to eventually understand. That is unbelief. You get tired of Satan’s tricks but you have a God that does not get tired. How beautiful is that! Luther Here God consoles those who labor and are wearied: ‘I will not become weary. I have always been active, I am fresh and new. I can help you.’ A certain nun by the name of Mechtild 24 kept repelling the onslaughts of Satan with one word: “I am a Christian.” So I, too, must say: “I am dead, but Christ lives; I am a sinner, but Christ is righteous, because I believe in Jesus Christ and am baptized in His name.
His understanding is unsearchable. Luther It is as if He were saying: “Let them be as wise and acute as they wish. I will be more than a match for them and be wise. Just stay with Me. Look at Me as you would at a mirror. In you there is death, sin, despair, destruction. In Me there is life, righteousness, consolation, and deliverance. Since My Word is everlasting, cling to it. Do not dwell on your own thoughts.”
29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Today, power is desired more than wisdom. Most talk, arguments, and conflicts are a struggle for power. The powerless seek power. God does not give power to the powerful but to the powerless. Reason hears and understands power but it doesn’t want to be weak or worn out. Luther So all the self-righteous willingly receive strength from God, but they do not want to be faint, as if God would not give strength to the weary. What need is there for the secure to receive strength? But God gives strength to the weary, the oppressed, and the troubled. The emphasis lies on the word “faint,” but we look for the stress on the word “power.”
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, The argument is from weakness and not strength. The youth are all who rely on their own strength.
Luther: Thus if I should say today that the most vigorous youth is nothing against the Turk, the flesh would not believe it. The illustration of Abraham in the next chapter will show how Abraham hardly had the strength to chase away the flies, and yet he conquered four kings.
31 But those who wait on the Lord; those who look to their God in the midst of weakness and impotence and in faith wait against all enemies.
They shall renew their strength, that is, they will be adorned with a heavenly victory against the resources of the world. The prophet reviews three kinds of strength:
They shall mount up with wings, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.. Depicted is the consolation of all who are afflicted because of the Word and work of God. These, I say, in the midst of the darkness of the Word lay hold of Christ, who is wealthy, strong. As our adversaries are moved to complain about us, so let us become fit for the divine consolation.