Isaiah 40 – a new prophetic paradigm?

Isaiah’s prophecy in chapter 40 is a breath-taking one that deserves our full attention, particularly as we urge those who are worn down by the abuse and discouragement of the enemy and life. (Isaiah 40:28-31)

God never leaves us to our own devices to find our encouragement, hope and promise – everything we have comes from His gracious hand alone.

Even encouragement that comes from others, does so because God stirred their heart to do so. He passionately loves His people, more than we than all of us can dare imagine.

We grow up in life with our own set of filters and assumptions about what we believe about life and faith, sometimes refered to as a paradigm. The paradigm is the way we perceive the world, it explains the world to us and helps us to predict its behavior…

A paradigm is a set of rules and regulations (written or unwritten) that does two things:
1) it establishes or defines boundaries;
2) it tells you how to behave inside the boundaries in order to be successful.

Isaiah’s famous prophecy in chapter 40 reaches a magnificent climax promising that those who wait on the Lord will rise up with wings as eagles.

It is a prophecy of immense promise, bringing courage to many, especially to those who demonstrate prophetic ministry or gifting.

Simply, if you want to hear from God and know the restoration of strength and courage then you need to spend time with God. But the promises contained in these magnificent verses go further than that.

Isaiah sets an age-old paradigm not a new one. There are established and defined boundaries already in place. If you wait on God you WILL renew your strength.

The Hebrew unlocks a new challenge to those who will respond, the real way to understand Isaiah 40:31 may be that we are not to come to God only when we are weak or downcast but that God should be the continuous affection of our hearts.

The promise would then seem to be that those whose affections are set on Christ will renew their strength. Life flows lavishly from the throne of grace continuously towards the saints.

The Hebrew translation of the verse starts by saying not so much, those who wait on the Lord but, “and the ones expecting God.” Relationship, faith and promise all meet in the place of constantly prepared hearts. Staying with our hearts fixed on God now, prepares a place where we can hear God in the difficulties of life later.

The heart of the prophetic – BE EXPECTING GOD in all His providence and sovereignty to reveal Himself, right in the midst of life.

What is so amusing is that the Hebrew translation also states that the word for eagle here is, vulture! To be fair, the same word can be used for eagle.

Those who wait on the Lord will rise up with wings as vultures!

We understand that we have defined boundaries and we know what behavour we should adopt because the Bible is clear about it, and God by His Spirit leads us into fullness of life – this is our glorious paradigm! Have faith in God!

Hebrews 11:6 already sets in place the understanding, that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. This ties neatly with Isaiah 40.

Keep waiting on, believing, and expecting God to hear and and speak as you confidently call to Him in prayer…