Isaiah 40:10
Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and His arm establishes His rule. His reward is with Him, and His recompense accompanies Him.
Sermons
Present RewardW.M. Statham Isaiah 40:10
The Prophet's CommissionE. Johnson Isaiah 40:1-11
God: His Presence, Power, and GraceW. Clarkson Isaiah 40:9, 10
Characteristics of the Great SaviourJ. Duche, M. A.Isaiah 40:10-12
Consolation from the Thought of God's OmnipotenceC. S. Robinson, D. D.Isaiah 40:10-12
Power and TendernessJ. R. Macduff, D. D.Isaiah 40:10-12
The Grandeur and Pathos of TheologyD. Davies.Isaiah 40:10-12
The Magnitude and Tenderness of Divine DealingsD. Davies.Isaiah 40:10-12
His reward is with him. There is a glory to be revealed. There is a day of the manifestation of the sons of God - a day of august solemnity, when the King shall say, "Come, ye blessed." But the Christian dispensation is not fairly represented when its rewards and punishments are declared to be future only. These words speak of a present reward.

I. CHRIST JESUS HAD HIS REWARD HERE. SO says the prophet, speaking here of Christ. And the apostle says, "For the joy set before him he endured the cross;" and Jesus gives this legacy to his disciples: "My joy." We are apt to think of Jesus only as the "Man of sorrows." And so our artists have painted him. In their pictures there is often no light of triumph in his eye ] How he went about doing good! What a reward it was, every day to comfort the mourner and to heal the broken-hearted! Think of all that Jesus said in the synagogue of Nazareth - that he came to do, and you will understand that beneath this sorrow and suffering there was a still deeper joy. His reward was with him. So it was, even on the cross, strange as that may appear. Still the prophet says," When thou shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed,... the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied."

II. CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE ENDORSES THIS TRUTH. The Christian's reward is with him. True duty is not discharged for the sake of reward. Men in this world never get happiness by seeking for it alone. It must come, not as an end, but as an accompaniment of duty. Besides, we should be open to the criticism that the gospel appealed to selfishness if we invited men and women to become Christians for the sake of heaven. No; we invite them to take up their cross and follow him, and therein they will find their reward. Strange as it may seem, they too will find blessedness where they least expected it in doing the will of God; and then heaven will come as the culmination and perfection of sacrificial and spiritual life. - W.M.S.







Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand.
The beauty and peculiarity of these words consist in the combination of the might of Adonai-Jehovah (ver. 10), with the gentleness of the Shepherd, carrying in His bosom the weak and weary of the flock (ver. 11).

I. "Behold your God," FULL OF MIGHT AND MAJESTY (ver. 10). To Christ all power has been committed. He is "the arm of God" (Isaiah 51:9), "the Man of Jehovah's right hand," etc. (Psalm 80:17). His name is "Immanuel."

II. HE COMBINES WITH THE POWER OF THE VICTORIOUS KING, THE GENTLENESS OF THE TENDER AND LOVING SHEPHERD. "He shall feed His flock." That word is a comprehensive one. It means that He shall act all the part of a shepherd towards them; leading them, protecting them, providing alike the green pastures and the still waters, Nay, as if this were not enough, He is beautifully represented as "gathering the lambs in His arms"; — making a pillow for them in the folds of the loose "abbeh," or shepherd's mantle, as they nestle close in His bosom. And while thus He deals with the tender lambs, He is equally merciful and considerate not to overdrive their nursing mothers. Exult in this twofold word of comfort, "Behold thy King cometh, meek and lowly." Behold your God! Behold your Shepherd!, strong to smite, strong to save.

(J. R. Macduff, D. D.)

These words exhibit to our view some of the most lively characteristics of that illustrious Saviour by whose incarnation our fallen race are become again entitled to that long-lost inheritance which had been forfeited by sin, and by whose redeeming process in their souls they are rendered capable of enjoying it. The illuminated prophet proceeds to point out the personal character of this great Deliverer.

1. "Behold! the LORD GOD shall come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him." The mistaken Israelites vainly ascribed to these words a temporal interpretation, and looked for a deliverer whose conquering arm should effectually rescue them from the earthly powers to which they were tributary. But the true children of faithful Abraham wait for the spiritual accomplishment of this prophecy in their hearts; and see and feel "the strong hand" of their Redeemer in that inward opposition which He raises in their breasts to all the evil desires and corrupt passions of human nature.

2. "Behold! His reward is with Him, and His work before Him." This work is no other than the complete deliverance of man from the captivity of sin and Satan. This reward is no other than the glorious acquisition of those lost or wandering souls, who were originally His by creation, and are now doubly so by redemption. The prophet seems to dwell upon the power and majesty of this Deliverer. He represents Him as coming with a strong hand: and. indeed, such is usually His first appearance in the sinner's heart. David speaks of this first appearance in the most alarming terms: "The arrows of the Almighty stick fast in me, and His hand presseth me sore." The first feelings of an awakened and convicted conscience are agonising indeed; for they are the breaking forth of heaven's majestic light upon the benighted soul, which shakes nature to her very centre, and discloses every hidden recess to which conscious guilt flies from its approach. But when viewed with composure, and received with cheerfulness, it soon becomes as mild and sweet as the radiance of the risen day after a dark and tempestuous night. Hence it is that in the next verse we find the dignity and majesty of this august Personage sweetly tempered with condescension and love, and melting into heavenly meekness, gentleness, and compassion.

3. "He shall feed His flock like a shepherd," etc.(1) "The flock" here mentioned can be no other than our whole fallen race, who by virtue of that "incorruptible seed" that was inspoken into the first Adam, are put into a capacity of regaining eternal life through the redeeming power of Christ, their second Adam.(2) But though the Shepherd's love is thus universal, and all men are the objects of His pastoral care; though they are all His children by redemption, yet all do not alike follow the "Shepherd s voice"; all are not equally willing to be fed with His "bread of life."(3) Let the humble-minded Christian "lift up his head and look up." He need not, as the Psalmist expresses it, "run here and there for food; and grudge, because he is not satisfied": the wants he feels, reason, he well knows, cannot supply; the comforts he aspires after, are such as the world cannot give. Wherever his Shepherd leads, he is content to follow: he is sensible of His presence, in darkness as well as in light. The evils by which he is oppressed he is satisfied to bear. because his Deliverer is ever at his side.

(J. Duche, M. A.)

We find frequent reference in Scripture to the Divine hand, arm, and bosom, by which God is brought the nearer to the level of our comprehension, and within touch of our love and confidence. In these verses there is a striking combination in the use made of these figures.

I. THE MAGNITUDE OF GOD'S POWER AND RULE. "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out heaven with the span?" etc. The reference to the Divine hand is essentially human, man being the only creature on God's earth who has a hand. How wonderful is its construction! It is marvellously adapted for skill, power, and authority. It is that which in happy combination with other endowments gives man dominion over creation. It is his hand which, in more senses than one, sways the sceptre. It is his hand that asserts his royal nature, his power and authority to rule. Again, the arm is that which gives leverage to the hand, and without which the hand would be useless. The hand and arm of God are spoken of here. We read elsewhere that the heavens are the work of His fingers, that in His hands are the deep places of the earth, and that His hands formed the dry land. Here we read, "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out heaven with the span? "The great Architect and Framer of the universe is represented as forming and adjusting earth, sea, and sky with His hand. This is the graphic representation of the Divine Worker at work. The one implement used is the hand of the Great Worker — its hollow for the seas, its span for the heavens! What sublime poetry descriptive of creative skill! The illustrations are taken from primitive life. The truest poetry comes from primitive simplicity.

1. "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand?" What is the sublime truth which this richly figurative speech conveys? One truth at least is the self-sufficiency of God in His creative work. He needed not to go beyond Himself. All creation is the outcome of His own power and skill, independent of the shifts of machinery and tools. When this has been stated, the prophet proceeds to draw other figures from, primitive life in the simplicity of its operations to describe God's creative work. "Comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure" that is a tierce, or the third of an ephah. It is the same word as that used in Psalm 80:5, "Thou givest them tears to drink in great measure." As Delitzsch beautifully expresses it, it is a small measure for the dust of the earth, but a "great measure" for tears. "Weighed the mountains in scales," that is, a steel-yard, that by which the greater loads are weighed; "and the hills in a balance" — the tradesman's balances which weigh smaller things, but with greater accuracy than the "steel-yard." Nothing has been done by haphazard. Every world has been balanced, and the equilibrium of the universe adjusted with infinite wisdom and skill. Astronomical observation leads to this conclusion; Isaiah asserted it with regard to this earth before astronomy was born.

2. So far we have dwelt upon Isaiah's statement of what God had done. Now we notice the prophetic announcement of what God would do. The former refers to His creative power, the latter to His providential rule. "The Lord God will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him." There is here a prediction of a special Divine advent in power, but I take this as typical of all Divine advents and interventions throughout the ages. We have read of the Divine hand in the record of God forming and adjusting the earth, but now we read of the Divine arm in His personal advent and providential rule. There is a Providence as well as a creation. God has not completed His work by His creative skill and power. "He worketh hitherto." The hand that formed and adjusted is moved by the arm that rules and governs. It is the arm that wields the hand. The Scriptures abound with emphatic references to the Divine arm. "Hast thou an arm like God?" (Job 40:9) asked God out of the whirlwind of Job. "Thou hast a mighty arm" (Psalm 89:13), exclaimed the Psalmist; and again, "His holy arm hath gotten Him the victory" (Psalm 98:1). Isaiah wrote, "The Lord hath sworn by the arm of His strength" (Isaiah 62:8), and again, "Therefore His arm brought salvation" (Isaiah 59:16). In these and similar passages the arm of God is the symbol of His power in providential and redemptive works. "His arm shall rule for Him," — that is, shall bring all foes submissive, and make all subjects obedient to His sovereignty and command. It is instructive to notice the different names applied to God in the Scriptures to show various aspects of His character and work. Observe the names by which God is called here. "The Lord God" (Adonai-Jehovah) — a combination of the two greatest names by which God was known under the Old Dispensation. The consequent announcement is that of the advent of the "Mighty One" (R.V.). Yet these words, expressive of power and dominion, are followed by others which have all the tenderness and grace of a pastoral symphony.

II. THE TENDERNESS OF HIS SHEPHERDLY CARE. "He shall feed His flock like a shepherd," etc. The hand that meted out the heavens and measured the waters of the deep is that which feeds the flock, and the arm that rules for Him is the arm that gathers the lambs. "And carry them in His bosom." Ah! I have not read of "His bosom" in this context before now. I heard no mention of His bosom when He was spoken of as measuring the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meting out heaven with the span; it is only when the prophet speaks of the lambs that he mentions not only God's arm but also His bosom. The hollow of His hand is good enough for the waters, His span for the heavens, His arm for His subjects, but only His bosom for the lambs. This is a tenderness specially adapted to the peculiar need. "And shall gently lead those that are with young," or. "those that give suck" (R.V.). The great Shepherd will not forget motherhood with its cares and burdens. God s omnipotence can only be equalled by His compassion. He is not only Almighty, but also "Almighty to save." Our God who created the heavens has also lifted up the Cross.

(D. Davies.)

In those words, "His arm shall rule for Him," we have the grandeur of theology; but in these words, "He shall feed His flock like a Shepherd," we have the pathos of theology.

(D. Davies.)

In his autobiography, Goethe tells us that the earthquake in Lisbon fairly stumbled his faith and awakened his alarm at the time when he first heard the news of it. The notion of Divine reliability fell under his suspicion; how could anyone trust a God who would suffer that 70,000 people should be overwhelmed by one awful tide of the ocean, rushing up and back as the earth rose in imperious strength of upheaval; where was His goodness? What might He not do next? The young man was frightened at the manifestation of so much almightiness. Later on in life he saw how fine it was to have for his God a being who could rock the world at His will.

(C. S. Robinson, D. D.)

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