Tim’s Daily Bread Devotional 5.18.21

By May 18, 2021Daily Bread

Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the thoughts and words of this reading that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.

Today’s Scripture:

Isaiah 40:27-31
Common English Bible

27 Why do you say, Jacob,
and declare, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
my God ignores my predicament”?
28 Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the creator of the ends of the earth.
He doesn’t grow tired or weary.
His understanding is beyond human reach,
29 giving power to the tired
and reviving the exhausted.
30 Youths will become tired and weary,
young men will certainly stumble;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength;
they will fly up on wings like eagles;
they will run and not be tired;
they will walk and not be weary.

Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today

There are different kinds of tired, aren’t there? You’ve experienced being tired when you have finished a project that you feel good about. You’re tired—maybe even exhausted—but you can say, “I’m tired, but it’s a good tired.”

And then there’s the tired you feel when you have worked hard and you just need to rest a while to get your strength back. You’re tired—maybe even exhausted—and that’s the extent of it. A little rest, maybe a nap, and you’re good as new.

And then there’s the tired you feel when you have been dealing with an emotionally difficult situation. It can feel like physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. This kind of tired often requires more than just a rest or a nap to recover. This one can take more time and often help from someone else.

It must have been this kind of tired Isaiah was addressing in chapter 40 when he uses words that are translated as tired, exhausted, weary, and stumble.

Isaiah is really three books in one. The first 39 of the chapters are warnings of impending disaster. Chapters 40-55 are concerned with consoling the people of Judah for a disaster that appears to have occurred already, and this portion seems to have been written from the perspective of a prophet and people in Babylonian exile. The closing chapters, 56-66, appear to have been written after the return of the exiles to Israel in 539 B.C.E.

Imagine yourself in the midst of Isaiah 40’s setting, as you read aloud the whole chapter, which introduces the second major division of the 66-chapter book of Isaiah: You and other survivors of your people are in exile in Babylon, hundreds of miles away from home. Your king is gone. Your temple is in ruins. Jerusalem’s walls are destroyed, and wild animals roam the streets. Many family members and friends are dead or missing. Everything you hold dear is uprooted. Where is your God? You thought that Yahweh, the God of your people and of your ancestors, would have protected you from all of this, but it seems that the gods of the mighty pagan foreign oppressor Babylon must have more power than he. Do other gods indeed control the natural world and the destiny of nations? Where is God in this God-forsaken land? You are grieving. You feel profoundly discouraged. You are weary and weak in body, mind and spirit. You are that third kind of tired.

Isaiah wrote to his exhausted people in exile to give them a new perspective, a new way of seeing.

Just a few verses before this morning’s reading you can see what the people are saying because Isaiah quotes them: “My way is hidden from the LORD my God ignores my predicament.” Their perspective, their way of seeing things, is skewed by their difficult circumstances. Do you know about that? I do! It is often hard to maintain perspective in difficult circumstances and when we lose it in one area, it begins to color the whole.

Isaiah wants to restore their perspective—to help them see that they are not abandoned. They are not alone. God is with them, among them, working in them and through them. Isaiah insists that the Creator of the world remains very much concerned and involved with Israel’s ongoing struggles.

Here’s what he says to give perspective. I hope it will help you to have perspective today in the midst of whatever is going on in your life: “Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He doesn’t grow tired or weary. His understanding is beyond human reach, giving power to the tired and reviving the exhausted. Youths will become tired and weary, young men will certainly stumble; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength; they will fly up on wings like eagles; they will run and not be tired; they will walk and not be weary.”

There is a lot of theology woven into hymns. To enhance today’s reading, I recommend listening to “On Eagles’ Wings”. I hope you will take a few moments to let the words of this message and the emotion that always connects us to music connect with your soul.

You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord,
who abide in His shadow for life,
say to the Lord: “My refuge, my rock in whom I trust!”

Refrain: And He will raise you up on eagles’ wings,
bear you on the breath of dawn,
make you to shine like the sun,
and hold you in the palm of His hand.

The snare of the fowler will never capture you,
and famine will bring you no fear:
under His wings your refuge, His faithfulness your shield.

Refrain: And He will raise you up on eagles’ wings,
bear you on the breath of dawn,
make you to shine like the sun,
and hold you in the palm of His hand.

You need not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day;
though thousands fall about you, near you it shall not come.

Refrain: And He will raise you up on eagles’ wings,
bear you on the breath of dawn,
make you to shine like the sun,
and hold you in the palm of His hand.

For to His angels He’s given a command
to guard you in all of your ways;
upon their hands they will bear you up,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.

Refrain: And He will raise you up on eagles’ wings,
bear you on the breath of dawn,
make you to shine like the sun,
and hold you in the palm of His hand.

I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!

Grace and Peace,


Dr. Tim Bruster
Senior Pastor

Here’s more about this passage of scripture via Upper Room devotionals:

HOPE OF RENEWAL

With God’s help, I can live in joy every day.

read more

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