3. What’s the number one thing?
The Glory of God!
1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV
31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you
do, do all to the glory of God.
• Palmer, Edwin H., The NIV Study Bible (Grand Rapids,
• MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Study Bible NKJV
(Nashville, Nelson Publishers, 1997).
• Smith, Colin, Isaiah 40: Comfort, Unlocking The Bible,
Video Sermon on YouTube.
• Wiersbe, Warren W., BE COMFORTED: Isaiah
(Colorado Springs, Chariot Victor Publishing, 1992).
5. Focus of Lesson Today
1. Look at the historical background when God
instructed Isaiah to write Chapter 40.
2. How did God provide “comfort” to Judah after
revealing the prophecy of a dark future and exile for
the next 100 years?
3. Consider how this same message of “comfort” can
also apply to our difficult days in life.
6. Introduction to Isaiah the Prophet
• Isaiah’s name means “salvation of the Lord.”
• Isaiah prophesied during the time of the divided
kingdom, directing the major thrust of his message to
the southern kingdom of Judah.
• Isaiah ministered in the Jerusalem area as a prophet
from 739-686 B.C. (53 years) during the reigns of 4
kings of Judah: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah.
8. The Historical Setting of Isaiah 40
• The Northern Kingdom fell to Assyria in 722 BC.
• King Ahaz ruled the Southern Kingdom from 731-715
• King Ahaz tried to reshape the faith in the land to the
surrounding culture of Assyria (2 Kings 16:1-4).
•Children sacrificed in fire to the worship of Molech
•The “abominations of the nations” – 9 detestable
practices of the Canaanites listed in Deuteronomy
9. The Historical Setting of Isaiah 40
• The people were relieved when Hezekiah become king in
715 BC after 16 years of King Ahaz.
• 2 Kings 18:3-5 NKJV
3 He (King Hezekiah) did what was right in the sight of the
Lord, according to all that his father David had done. 4 He
removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut
down the wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze
serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the
children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it
Nehushtan. 5 He trusted in the Lord God of Israel, so that
after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah,
nor who were before him.
10. The Historical Setting of Isaiah 40
• In 701 BC, after 14 years as king, King Hezekiah
decided to pay Sennacherib king of Assyria the
assessment for protection instead of trusting God.
• Hezekiah said, “I have done wrong; turn away from
me; whatever you impose on me I will pay.”
• Hezekiah then gave him all of the silver in the temple
and treasury and stripped the gold from the temple
doors and pillars (2 Kings 18:13-16).
11. The Historical Setting of Isaiah 40
• King Hezekiah eventually trusts God for protection
and the Assyrians retreat from Judah (700 BC).
• King Hezekiah becomes ill and prays for healing; God
extends his life 15 years.
• The king of Babylon befriends King Hezekiah by
sending well wishes and gifts along with a visit.
• King Hezekiah proudly shows the Babylonians all of
the treasures, armory and wealth of Judah.
12. The Historical Setting of Isaiah 40
• Isaiah inquires what the Babylonians were shown.
• Isaiah 39:4 NKJV
4 So Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in
my house; there is nothing among my treasures that I
have not shown them.”
• Isaiah tells him that he has just lit a slow burning fuse,
and these people will take away everything he has just
13. Isaiah 39:5-6 NKJV (A Prophecy of Captivity)
5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord of
hosts: 6 ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your
house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this
day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says
the Lord. 7 ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who
will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall
be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’”
• This sounds like very bad news but look at King Hezekiah’s
14. Isaiah 39:8 NKJV (A Selfish Response!)
8 So Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord
which you have spoken is good!” For he said, “At least
there will be peace and truth in my days.”
• Chapter 39 ends with this selfish response from
15. Introduction to Isaiah 40
• Isaiah 40 was written around 700 BC.
• It reads as though the prophesied Babylonian captivity
were already a current reality, but that captivity did
not begin until 605 BC.
• Charles Jennens used portions of Isaiah 40 for writing
the scriptural text for Handel’s oratorio, Messiah, in
16. Introduction to Isaiah 40
• The prophecy of Isaiah 39 says Judah’s life is about to
change for the worse, and there is no fixing it.
• What can God say to encourage a group of people
who know they have a dark future ahead, and life will
never be the same for them or their children?
• How do you face a future when the prospects for your
life have changed for the rest of your life?
17. Isaiah 40:1 NKJV (Speak Comfort)
1 Comfort, yes, comfort My people!”
Says your God.
•God tells Isaiah to speak words of “comfort.”
•Comfort ‒ To console, cheer, to give strength and
18. Isaiah’s Message of Comfort in Isaiah 40
1. God is in control. (God is sovereign.)
2. God will fulfill His purposes for you.
‐ “You” in these verses represent Judah, (nation of
Israel) and each individual person.
3. God will sustain His people.
•We will look at verses of Isaiah 40 through the lens
of these 3 promises.
19. 1. God is in control. (God is sovereign.)
Isaiah 40:12 NKJV (Omnipotent)
12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His
Measured heaven with a span
And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure?
Weighed the mountains in scales
And the hills in a balance?
20. 1. God is in control. (God is sovereign.)
Isaiah 40:13-14 NKJV (Omniscient)
13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,
Or as His counselor has taught Him?
14 With whom did He take counsel, and who
And taught Him in the path of justice?
Who taught Him knowledge,
And showed Him the way of understanding?
21. 1. God is in control. (God is sovereign.)
Isaiah 40:15 NKJV
15 Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket,
And are counted as the small dust on the scales;
Look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing.
22. 1. God is in control. (God is sovereign.)
Isaiah 40:18-20 NKJV (Nothing Can Compare)
18 To whom then will you liken God?
Or what likeness will you compare to Him?
19 The workman molds an image,
The goldsmith overspreads it with gold,
And the silversmith casts silver chains.
20 Whoever is too impoverished for such a contribution
Chooses a tree that will not rot;
He seeks for himself a skillful workman
To prepare a carved image that will not totter.
23. 1. God is in control. (God is sovereign.)
Isaiah 40:21-22 NKJV (Omnipresent)
21 Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of
22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
24. 1. God is in control. (God is sovereign.)
Isaiah 40:25-26 NKJV (Creator)
25 “To whom then will you liken Me,
Or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high,
And see who has created these things,
Who brings out their host by number;
He calls them all by name,
By the greatness of His might
And the strength of His power;
Not one is missing.
25. God says to Isaiah, “Tell them I am in control!”
• Faith is established when we recognize that God is as
much in control through the disasters as He is in our
• Our faith is fed on the sovereignty of God.
• God was just as much in control when Judah went into
exile, as He was in control when they returned 70
26. 2. God will fulfill His purposes for you.
Isaiah 40:2 NKJV (Forgiveness)
2 Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her,
That her warfare is ended,
That her iniquity is pardoned;
For she has received from the Lord’s hand
Double for all her sins.”
•Israel will be forgiven and return to her land in
peace and in the glory of the Messiah’s kingdom.
27. 2. God will fulfill His purposes for you.
Isaiah 40:3 NKJV (The Redeemer)
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make straight in the desert
A highway for our God.
•The OT is about God’s promise of the Redeemer
•These verses of prophecy affirm this will happen
even with dark days ahead.
28. 2. God will fulfill His purposes for you.
Isaiah 40:4-5 NKJV (The Redeemer)
4 Every valley shall be exalted
And every mountain and hill brought low;
The crooked places shall be made straight
And the rough places smooth;
5 The glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
And all flesh shall see it together;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
29. 2. God will fulfill His purposes for you.
Isaiah 40:6-8 NKJV (Humanity is transitory)
6 The voice said, “Cry out!”
And he said, “What shall I cry?”
“All flesh is grass,
And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades,
Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.”
30. 2. God will fulfill His purposes for you.
Isaiah 40:9 NKJV (The restoration of Israel)
9 O Zion,
You who bring good tidings,
Get up into the high mountain;
You who bring good tidings,
Lift up your voice with strength,
Lift it up, be not afraid;
Say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”
31. 2. God will fulfill His purposes for you.
Isaiah 40:10 NKJV
10 Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong
And His arm shall rule for Him;
Behold, His reward is with Him,
And His work before Him.
•At His Second Coming, Christ returns with power
to defeat His enemies and gather Israel to her
32. 2. God will fulfill His purposes for you.
Isaiah 40:27 NKJV
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”?
•God has not forgotten you.
33. 2. God will fulfill His purposes for you.
Isaiah 40:28 NKJV (The mysteries of God)
28 Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
•Even though you do not understand it, God has a
purpose for your exile (problems in life).
34. 2. God will fulfill His purposes for you.
• Every one of God’s purposes will be realized.
• God has not marginalized you, forgotten you, or put
you off to one side.
• God has made you for a purpose and He will fulfill that
purpose in your life.
35. 3. God will sustain His people.
Isaiah 40:11 NKJV (The Good Shepherd)
11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs with His arm,
And carry them in His bosom,
And gently lead those who are with young.
36. 3. God will sustain His people.
Isaiah 40:29-30 NKJV (Strength)
29 He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
•Hard situations in life can make you weary, but
God promises to give strength.
37. 3. God will sustain His people.
Isaiah 40:31 NKJV
31 But those 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.
38. 3. God will sustain His people.
• There is a general principle that patient, praying
believers are blessed by God with strength in their
• The Lord also expected His people to be patient and
await His coming in glory at the end to fulfill the
promises of national deliverance, when believing
Israel would become stronger than they had ever
39. Paul experienced God’s sustaining grace.
2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NKJV
8 Concerning this thing (thorn in the flesh) I pleaded
with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for
My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore
most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the
power of Christ may rest upon me.
• God’s grace, through Jesus, will be continually
supplied to us to endure the difficulty and sustain us.
40. Tell them I am in control!
• There is not a day in your life when God is not in
absolute and complete control.
• No one can fully understand the sovereignty of God,
but we can “rest” in God’s sovereignty.
• Jesus gives us the reason we can remain cheerful in
every circumstance in John 16:33.
41. John 16:33 NKJV
33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you
may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation;
but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
42. The Plan of Hope & Salvation
John 3:16-17 NKJV
16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not
perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His
Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the
world through Him might be saved.”
John 14:6 NKJV
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No
one comes to the Father except through Me.”
43. The Plan of Hope & Salvation
Romans 3:23 NKJV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 6:23a NKJV
23a For the wages of sin is death,
• Death in this life (the first death) is 100%.
• Even Jesus, the only one who doesn’t deserve death, died in this
life to pay the penalty for our sin.
• The death referred to in Romans 6:23a is the “second death”
explained in Revelation 21:8.
44. The Plan of Hope & Salvation
Revelation 21:8 NKJV
8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually
immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the
lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
• Anyone who’s lifestyle is one or more of the sins listed in Revelation
21:8, will experience the “second death,” if they do not repent.
• To Repent means to turn around, to go in the opposite direction, to turn away
from sin and believe in Jesus.
Romans 5:8 NKJV
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were
still sinners, Christ died for us.
45. The Plan of Hope & Salvation
Romans 6:23b NKJV
23b but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our
Revelation 21:7 NKJV
7 “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will
be his God and he shall be My son.”
• Romans 10:9-10 explain to us how to be overcomers.
46. The Plan of Hope & Salvation
Romans 10:9-10 NKJV
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and
believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead,
you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto
righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto
Romans 10:13 NKJV
13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
47. The Plan of Hope & Salvation
Do you have questions?
Would you like to know more?
Please, contact First Baptist Church Jackson at 601-949-1900