40:1-17– We have been saved by the Lord: ‘He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my feet secure’(2). He calls us to a life of worship and witness. We are to worship Him with ‘a new song…a song of praise to our God’(3). We are to be His witnesses, sharing with others the Good News of His salvation: ‘I have not hid Thy saving help within my heart, I have spoken of Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation…’(10). God has given out His call to worship and witness. May our response be like the Psalmist’s: ‘I delight to do Thy will, O my God’. Let us worship the Lord – ‘Great is the Lord’. Let us be His witnesses – ‘I have told the glad news of deliverance’. Let us pray for the Lord’s help: ‘let Thy steadfast love and Thy faithfulness ever preserve me!’(8,16,9,11).
41:1-13– What do you do when everything seems to be going wrong? Do you forget about God? That’s the worst thing you can do? That’s just asking for trouble! Our problems are bad enough – with God’s help. Things can only get worse – if we turn away from the Lord. When the going gets tough, we must turn to the Lord. Share your ‘day of trouble’ with the Lord. Let Him come to you with His blessing (1-3). Satan is busy, trying to draw you away from the Lord. It is only through the strength of the Lord that you will be able to say, with confident faith, ‘my enemy has not triumphed over me’(11). Look up from your problems to your Lord. Let Him fill your heart with praise – ‘Blessed be the Lord…’(13). Let this be your testimony: ‘When no one but Christ could help, Love lifted me!’(Mission Praise, 450).
42:1-43:5– Three times, the question is asked, ‘Why are you downcast, O my soul’. Three times, the answer is given, ‘Put your hope in God’. Three times, there is the response of faith: ‘I will yet praise Him, my Saviour and my God (42:5,11; 43:5). Often, we are filled with questions. We must bring our questions to God. We must learn to listen for His answers. The Lord is speaking to us. Are we listening? God speaks to us through His Word. Are we taking time to read His Word? He wants us to come to Him with the prayer, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening’(1 Samuel 3:8-10). Listen to the Word of the Lord. Let His Word be your Guide: ‘Send forth Your light and Your truth, let them guide me…’(43:5). ‘Deep calls to deep’(42:7) – Let ‘the Spirit’ show you ‘the deep things of God’(1 Corinthians 2:10).
44:1-26– Victory comes from the Lord. In ourselves, we are defeated. In Him, there is victory. We see this in the history of Israel, the people whom the Lord redeemed (3). We see it also in the experience of the Psalmist (6-7). We must remind ourselves of these things. It is so easy to forget. We take our eyes off the Lord, and we get despondent – ‘…You have rejected and humbled us…You have made us retreat before the enemy…You gave us up to be devoured like sheep…You have made us a reproach to our neighbours…My disgrace is before me all day long…’(9-16). What are we to do when such negative thoughts fill our minds? We must pray, ‘Awake, O Lord!…Rise up and help us; redeem us because of Your unfailing love’. Pray for the faith which says, ‘We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us’(23,26; Romans 8:37).
45:1-17– Jesus Christ is ‘the most excellent of men’(2). He is more than that. He is God. In verse 6, we read these words – ‘Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever’. We read them again in Hebrews 1:8. They are the words which God the Father speaks to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. How does the Word of God describe Jesus Christ? – ‘He is your Lord’. How are we to respond to Him? – We are to approach Him with ‘reverence’. We are to ‘honour’ Him. We are to ‘bow down’ and ‘worship’ Him. We are to ‘obey’ Him (11). Think of the “Good News’ of our Lord Jesus Christ – ‘the Son of God loved me and gave Himself for me’. Let your heart overflow with praise to the Lord Jesus Christ – What a wonderful Saviour He is (1; Galatians 2:20)! Let us celebrate His Name in this generation. Let Him be praised for ever and ever’(17).