walk in the word
9Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” 10Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. 11He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. —Isaiah 40:9-11
Do you want to see the greatness of God? To the extent that He has revealed His greatness, you can. “Cities of Judah” is a term for God’s people—that’s us, the children of God, the followers of Christ! God wants me to say to you, from up on a high mountain, “Here is your God!”
And you’ll need to climb higher, too. “Get yourself up on a high mountain” is about perspective. It’s taking a step back from the weighty circumstances of your life and saying, “I’m going to lay these burdens down. I’m not going to let them keep me from giving full attention to God’s greatness and receiving the truth of His Word—right now. I’m getting up on a mountain.”
From that perspective, consider the two sides of the nature of God in verses 10-11. Notice His strong arm of might and justice, and His shepherd’s arm of care and love. Which one are you most familiar with? Most people know either the mighty God of verse 10 or the shepherd God of verse 11. We need to know both. He is the same God.
“Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense (justice) before Him” (v.10). This is the holiness and righteousness of God and His strong arm. The idea is that God comes powerfully to His people, looks at our lives and says, “Get it together!” Are you familiar with that God?
The same God is in verse 11: “He will tend his flock like a shepherd He will gather the lambs . . . in his arms.” This is a great picture of what God does for every one of us. A shepherd’s care is very personal: “He will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” God gives special treatment in times of need. You may have a season of special needs in your life, a time of deeper waters, greater heartaches and heavier concerns. At those times, you need to draw nearer to the Lord and get alone with Him. God sees the situation, and cares for you in an even more particular and personal way.
God’s strong arm that confronts and corrects your life also practices compassion toward you every day. He is our holy, just, righteous and mighty Shepherd—and you need to know and love Him with an ever-increasing, humble understanding of His greatness. Behold your God!
Lord, please teach me to welcome the full range of all You want to be in my life. Help me to respond just as readily to Your strong correcting and shaping actions as I do to Your strong comfort and protection. Remind me every day that all You do for me, whether I like it or not, is ultimately for my good. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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