Fifth Sunday after Epiphany (Feb 4th)

Pastor's Summary of isaiah 40:21-31

Vv. 1-11 tells of the glorious procession back to Jerusalem, but vv. 12-31 speaks to a people who are tempted to desert their faith in God. Here God (through his prophet) speaks directly to his people.  Can anyone meansure the extend of God's domain in human terms? (v. 12). So how can you think you can tell God what to do? Surely he decides what is just; surely he is the source of all "knowledge" (v. 14) and "understanding". all nations are "like a drop from a bucket" (v. 15) compared to him. Finely crafted as the idols worshipped by other nations are, they cannot be compared to him (vv. 18-20)

Are you not aware--you and your ancestors back to creation itself--that it is God who controls the earth? (v. 21) He is enthroned on high ("above the circle", v. 22, the horizon); to him humans appear to be " like grasshoppers". ("Heavens" and "tent"--the vault of heaven--are reminders of the ancient world view: there God lived in the highest of the heavens, all of them above the stars.) Dynasties come and go, at his behest (vv. 23-24). God is "the Holy One" (v. 25); he created the stars ("these", v. 26) effortlessly--by simply naming them. Why, O my people ("Jacob", v. 27, "Isreal") do you think that God does not see how you live ("way") and ignores your rights? Surely you know that God is from, and for, ever. Unlike you, he does not "grow weary" (v. 28); in fact, he helps doubters and "strengthens the powerless" (v. 29). "Those who wait for the LORD" (v. 31), confident that he will care for his people, will be rewarded. He will restore them.