Sunday School Lesson – Sunday September 18, 2016 – The Foundation of the Earth
To follow along, visit your local Christian bookstore, and ask for the Bible Exploratory Study Book
Golden Text: “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of His understanding – (Isaiah 40:28).
Prior to the question being asked in Isaiah 40:21, Isaiah chapters 38 and 39 tells us about King Hezekiah who had been sick with a boil. Isaiah the prophet came to the King and told him to get his house in order because he was going to die. After hearing the news, King Hezekiah began to cry out to God in prayer, bringing his petition before the Lord. He reminded God how he had walked before Him in truth, with a loyal heart. He prayed until he got a breakthrough in his prayer. God instructed Isaiah to go and tell Hezekiah, He had heard his prayers and seen his tears and He was going to add fifteen years to his life. God also promised Hezekiah He would deliver him and the city out of the hands of the king of Assyria.
God gave him a sign that He would do what He promised by supernaturally moving the sun-dial ten degrees backwards which symbolized the divine extension of Hezekiah’s life. Merodach-Balan, king of Babylon sent ambassadors to Jerusalem to visit king Hezekiah. He sent letters and presents. Hezekiah showed the Babylonian ambassadors his wealth and arsenal. Hezekiah trusted in God to heal him, but he failed when the Babylonian ambassadors visited him. He paraded his own glory, and not the glory of the Lord’s. He placed his trust and confidence in the military’s strength instead of the strength of God and His army.
Isaiah gave king Hezekiah a prophetic word that everything he had would be taken away from him and taken captive by the Babylonians, and the word became true. Judah and the king were taken captive by the Babylonians.
Isaiah 40:21 – Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundation of the earth? The opening question implies that the Lord’s powers and God-head are evident from creation. Israel had been told the truth about their God and His mighty powers through their dependents of how the world was created by God’s spoken word. The deliverance of Joseph’s family from the famine prior to being slaves in Egypt and the death of Joseph. And the Israelites deliverance from Egypt. Isaiah was reminding them they had heard of their God, they had seen His mighty works, the God they served was the Creator, the One who sits far above heaven.
Isaiah 40:22 – It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretched out the heavens as a curtain and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in. God is not to be confused with His creation, there is nothing more powerful than the God they served. Circle refers to either the horizon or to the apparent hemisphere stretches out heaven. Creation is the work of the God of Israel, only He deserves our praise, not the moon, stars, sun or people. When we talk about what people can do or what Satan can do or is doing, we’re praising them and they shouldn’t be receiving the glory of the praise.The inhabitants are as grasshoppers in God’s sight, the earth surrounds by heavens and God sits enthroned over it. No person or thing can be compared to God, nothing can come against the people of God that is more powerful than the God we serve.
Isaiah 40:23 – That bringeth the princes to nothing; He maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. This scripture is expanding on the nature of God’s sovereignty over human affairs. He allows no one, even the most powerful rulers to exercise unlimited power. “Princes” are those with greatest influences, He reduces them to nothing. “Judges” are those with the greatest influence, He reduces them to nothing. So we must realize that God is in control, it doesn’t matter who’s in the office of the president. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t vote, but we shouldn’t be fearful of who may become president.
Isaiah 40:24 Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and He shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. Most believers would say, you would think God’s powers over earthly rulers should have comforted the Jewish people, but we like them, have seen the power of God in our lives and others, but we become fearful and think God will not come to our rescue. They thought God had forgotten them, but sometimes God will allow trouble to come to push us back to Him through fasting and prayer. His allowing trouble to come will make us realize where we have sinned, then there are times we go through trouble because God is taking us to another level in the Spirit, “different heights, different devils”. Whether we’re troubled because of disobedience or spiritual growth, it’s going to work together for our good according to the Word of God.
Isaiah 40:25 -To whom then will ye liken me or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. God asked His people “To whom could they compare Him to”. God is the God of creation, He spoke and creation was formed, when God speak to man or the atmosphere it must come subject to His spoken word. God spoke over our life prior to our birth, and what He has spoken will come to pass in our life.
Isaiah 40:26 – Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth. God not only created the host of heaven, but He also named each celestial body. He upholds the heavenly bodies by His power so that not one of them fails. Babylonian gods were identified with the heavenly bodies. The words here have a particular meaning to Israel as they learned to say no to the Babylon gods and yes to the Lord. The Lord calls each of the stars by name, a name indicates the function and characteristics of an object. In naming each one, God reveals His understanding of its nature and purpose in His plan, and no two stars are alike. Likewise with us, He has made us into one body, but each believer function differently and each believer has a purpose in His plan.
Isaiah 40:27 – Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? The Israelites assumed that God had forsaken them. When Isaiah wrote this, the northern tribes had already been captured and deported by Assyria. Judah was living under the threat of Assyrian invasion. God had promised to make them a blessing to the nations, now they were being taken from their homes, losing their land. They were probably wondering how can they be a blessing and they were by taken in captivity. We too sometimes feel like when we’re going through financial problems or marital problems how can we tell people God will deliver when we’re being held captive. No matter what we go through, God is with us and not against us, we have to place our trust in Him.
Isaiah 40:28 – Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator or the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of His understanding. Have you not known, the Lord’s repeats the question. God is not only everlasting, transcendent over time, but also the Creator of the ends of the earth, He’s transcendent over space, He’s transcendent over the issues in our life. Neither faint nor weary refers to how God meets the needs of His people. Paul said ” But my God shall supply all of your needs according to His riches and glory by Christ Jesus”. The words of God is true, and His words will not return to Him void.
Isaiah 40:29 – He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. God will give strength to the faint and whose hope is in God and looks to Him with expectation. God never gets tired like man, and His strength never weakens, and as we submit to His Spirit and His word, He will empower us with His strength.
Isaiah 40:30 – Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. The point is that human strength cannot compare with the power of God. He don’t get tired or weary, and His promise to us is not to faint or get weary in well doing because we shall reap, if we don’t faint. Don’t stop praying, don’t stop confessing the word, it shall manifest, His word is powerful and they are spirit.
Isaiah 40:31 – But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. To wait entails confident, expectation and active hope in the Lord, it’s never a passive resignation. We stand in confidence that God is the God of His word, He watches over His words to perform them.