Hope In Adonai
The world has been forced to deal with the emerging threat of a corona virus, now known as COVID-19. When public health quarantines were imposed and travel curtailed, questions about the need for these measures quickly echoed around the globe. As the story unraveled in North America, world leaders struggled to cope. Many of the citizenry failed to grasp the enormity of the crisis.
Our confusion about a ”new flu” raised common sense questions. How do we protect ourselves? Our children? Keep our parents safe? Recent orders—for the closure of non-essential businesses, social distancing and self-isolation—only raise more questions. Are our freedoms at risk? Can economies survive the pandemic? Will I still have a job? How will I pay my bills?
Facing a threat of unknown proportions, the outlook seems bleak. There is hope, however. Listen to God speak through the prophet Isaiah:
ISAIAH 40:28-31 (CJB)
Haven’t you known, haven’t you heard
that the everlasting God, Adonai,
the Creator of the ends of the earth,
does not grow tired or weary?
His understanding cannot be fathomed.
He invigorates the exhausted,
he gives strength to the powerless.
Young men may grow tired and weary,
even the fittest may stumble and fall;
But those who hope in Adonai will renew their strength,
they will soar aloft as with eagles’ wings;
when they are running they won’t grow weary,
when they are walking they won’t get tired.
Isaiah wrote the above text during the Babylonian captivity in 583 B.C. His primary audience was the nation of Israel living in exile. Many believed God had abandoned them. Their cry is heart-wrenching.
“My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God” (v. 27).
Countering their despair, Isaiah reminded the exiled nation that Adonai (Hebrew: the Lord) has unlimited power and infinite wisdom (v. 28). He would never abandon Israel. He certainly had not lost interest in their welfare. The exact opposite was true.
Looking into the night sky, Isaiah drew attention to the visual reminder of Adonai’s mind-boggling power (vv. 21-25). The Lord created everything that exists. He not only created billions of heavenly bodies, He calls every star and planet by name (v. 26).
To imagine that God was somehow unaware of Israel’s situation was absurd. Isaiah wanted Israel to understand that trust in anyone or anything but God is futile (v. 25).
Just as a vigorous young man will lose his edge through the aging process and the stamina of a long-distance runner will eventually falter, Isaiah affirmed that any object of faith other than God will disappoint (v. 30).
God is never fatigued or exhausted. He never becomes weary or indifferent. Possessing infinite power to deal with every crisis, God is incapable of being too busy or too distracted to care. Looking back, the nation of Israel could trace through their history confirming that God was always engaged. Always consistent. And, always faithful in His dealings.
Isaiah reasoned that God has perfect comprehension of all scenarios. “His understanding is unfathomable” (v. 28).
In God’s plan and purpose, there is a set time for every action. God also knows how every action at any given point in time and space affects the total scope of His creation.
God was not aloof to Israel’s circumstances. With infallible wisdom, He knew precisely when to act in Israel’s best interests. Israel’s circumstances were temporary rather than permanent. At the set time in His plan, God intervened to bring deliverance.
God reassured His people with the words, “those who hope in Adonai will renew their strength, they will soar aloft as with eagles’ wings (v. 31).
Hope is a wonderful translation of the Hebrew word qawvah as rendered in the Complete Jewish Bible. The word “hope” is the diametric opposite of frantically forcing something into our time frame. Hope conveys expectancy that God will accomplish His purposes at the set time.
The experience of watching an eagle soar is unforgettable. Several years ago at the Gamla Nature Reserve in Israel, I stood watching eagles from a cliff perched over rugged terrain. They hovered at eye-level virtually at arms-length. The eagles weren’t frantically flapping to maintain flight. They simply spread their wings and with minimal effort were held aloft by thermal air currents.
Isaiah’s imagery of the eagle aptly describes hoping in Adonai. Just as the wings of the eagle provide the lift necessary to stay aloft, faith undergirds authentic believers regardless of circumstances.
If you’re struggling in this temporary crisis, be assured that the Lord is aware of every challenge you are facing. The Lord promises respite from confusion, anxiety and fear. The Creator of the universe wants to be the source of renewed strength in your day-to-day realities.
Choose to trust God. Those who hope in the Lord—those who fully trust Him for support—will effortlessly soar like an eagle above the rugged and rocky terrain of life.
1) Hope In Adonai. (Image used for illustrative purposes) (Photo credit All image forms/Pixabay/[Public domain]/Digital composition, MKM Portfolios)
Copyright © 2019 Charles E. McCracken, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.