This week's Haftarah reading is from Isaiah 40:27-41:16. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers, as he uncovers our need to be the voice of ADONAI, watchmen on the wall, preparing the people for the return of YESHUA HA'MASHIACH.
Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Haftarah:
Lion of Judah Speaks: Haftarah Portion – Isaiah 40:27-41:16
We see in the beginning of Isaiah 40 a prologue to the whole series of oracles and songs that follow. It announces the coming of Adonai to intervene and deliver His people from bondage, so that the people were to prepare for this and to comfort others and to wait on Adonai. We look for Messiah to come today, in this world full of wickedness and lawlessness, to come in glory and power, we must wait for it, prepare for it, and announce the comfort it brings. Isaiah 40 opens with an instruction to comfort the people of Hashem, followed by the voice of the one preparing the way. Israel is in need of good news because they were in captivity under Gentile domination. We need to be the voice of Him, watchmen on the wall, preparing the people for the return of Yeshua HaMashiach. This world needs comfort, good tidings proclaiming that the glory of Adonai will reappear as He leads His people as a Shepherd, with a strong arm, raising up His Kingdom to rule as a conquering King.
We see several imperatives leading up to this haftorah; comfort, prepare, go up and shout. Then it shifts to principles and lessons not in the form of imperatives. These principles include: we should renew our faith, stop mistrusting Adonai, we need to build up our faith, and lastly, wait expectantly for the deliverance. It is very clear what Adonai is saying to us. He will bring comfort and instruction, He is sovereign over all, He is the incomparable one, the one who is able to control creation. HaShem is in control in the last days, period! IF He made everything, then all creation is under His power. So, He reminds us, “Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded?” We have had years for truth to sink in, but our faith (like theirs) is weak and our stubborn hearts had not received it and changed us.
The prophet rebukes those who distrust HaShem. Isaiah is speaking to a mixed congregation made up of; the true remnant; and also, a majority who believed in Adonai but because of their captivity, testing, and trials had all but given up hope because they were overwhelmed. What in our life has overtaken us, overwhelmed us, beaten us down to the brink of giving up? This weight changes our perspective and causes us to believe that Adonai has discarded us and is not concerned or aware of our horrific situation. The prophet will have to convince them, convince us through the Word of Adonai. Some of us need to come to faith but most need to rekindle our faith with Yah’s truth.
Isaiah challenges their complaint by affirming that Yah is Yah, the Creator and Preserver of all things. He has not, and will not forsake us. He does not grow weary like we do. None of our problems are hidden from Abba, or even too much to handle.
In I Cor. 10:13 it tells us, “There is no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but Adonai is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able to bear, but with the temptation will also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.” This means the reason why you can walk through it is because He can handle it! Plus, His ways are right, even though we do not know them. We will never understand Him, but He knows us…every hidden thing!
Isaiah 40:29-31 are powerful verses and proclamations: “He invigorates the exhausted”, yes and amen! “He gives strength to the powerless”, yes Adonai! In verse 30 He tells us that “Even youths run out of energy and stumble”. So, yes, human life is frail and transitory. However, verse 31, brings the contrast, and the climax of Adonai’s message, “But those who hope in Adonai will renew their strength, they will soar aloft as with eagles’ wings; when they are running, they won’t grow weary, when they are walking, they won’t get tired.”
They that “hope” or “wait” is the Hebrew word “qawah” meaning a longing for what is characterized by confident expectation. Waiting requires patience; but it is never indifferent. To hope for something is active; it is never out of mind. It is a restlessness, an eagerness, a looking for something. They believed victory was coming, we stand knowing victory is coming. We believe the promises of Yah to be true and are ready to step out when HaShem begins to move. They believed their release was coming, as well as we do, so we wait for it. We know it will happen, but don’t know exactly when. However, when He comes, we will escape with the energy and quickness of an eagle mounting up…Halleluyah!
We are on a journey, growing confident that each step brings success. We strengthen or gird ourselves with His Word never growing weary. We look forward in faith and refuse to look back in fear. But with confidence we grow as we journey because we are returning to the ancient paths, back to our original calling and intent, back to Abba!
Here we are, living in the end times with expectation of our soon coming King. So, we live in confidence! Our hope for His 2nd Coming does not imply that there is a chance it might not happen, rather, it implies an active faith in the truth of His coming. He is coming, it will happen, there is no doubt, we are expecting it soon. Those who wait will not be entangled by this life, the system of this world, its treasures, its thinking, its cultural norms and religious doctrines of men. But we will be focused on spiritually preparing ourselves as His Bride. We, as His people, “Seek first the Kingdom of Adonai and His righteousness”, Matt 6:33.
We live out our faith in the light of this hope, we will find our strength renewed for life’s difficulties along the way. II Cor. 4:16 encourages us, “We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away. Yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” HaShem in His grace will provide power, strength, and courage to the weary, weak, and downtrodden when they are willing to be patient and wait on Him. Adonai will cause us to mount up on eagles’ wings. Paul said in Romans 8:25, “We hope for what we do not see, then we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”
We are reminded that perception and our response to what is perceived is everything. For example, the 10 spies saw themselves as grasshoppers among giants and so they could not see themselves victorious. Joshua and Caleb did not deny the existence of the problems but looked at them from Adonai’s point of view and saw victory! Three times in Isaiah 41 Adonai tells Israel to “fear not” because He is in control. We must see those verses operate in our lives. Isaiah 41:15-16 says, “Look, I will make you a threshing sledge, new, with sharp, double-edged spikes. You will thresh the mountains and grind them up, and will make the hills like chaff. You will winnow them, and a wind will carry them away, a storm-wind will scatter them. But you will rejoice in Adonai. You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.”
In these last days, Adonai can use us to level adversaries and disperse strongholds; separating as it were the wheat from the chaff, the good from the bad. However, we must remember it is not our strength, or our prowess that brings the victory. It is the working of Adonai in us when we are determined to “wait upon Him” and have our strength renewed as we stay in Him. The promise given to Israel is also available to us. Isaiah 41:13 says, “For I am Adonai your Yah who upholds your right hand, who says to you “Fear not, I will help you”!
Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha
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Have a great Sabbath, serve Adonai with all your heart and bring Him a sacrifice of praise!
See you next week! Shalom Aleichem!