Flap or Soar?

Is. 40:29-31 says in essence—He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

A little side note: Isaiah is a ‘miniature Bible.’ 66 chapters. 2 divisions—39 old, 27 new. The first section deals with sin and judgment. The second portion presents forgiveness and restoration…

Chapter 40 of Isaiah is the beginning of a new section in the book. It is the first chapter which looks beyond the captivity of Israel and on to the brightness of the future God has in store.

At times, all of us have been weary. Our experiences can be exhausting. Over the duration of time, we can become discouraged. Discouragement that goes unchecked can lead to defeatism.

Like so many great Bible texts, Isa 40:29-31 addresses a problem by offering a promise:

* Wait

What does it mean to “wait?” The waiting spoken of here requires faith, trust, patience, hope. It bears the concepts of trust –it is to wait with expectant hope.

This hope is brought to those who wait in patience. This is not a passive, do-nothing wait. It is to actively engage your faith.

* Renew

What does it mean to “renew”? Isaiah says the strength, stamina and agility normally associated with youth proves insufficient. Even young men, athletes and soldiers, grow weary and become fatigued. There is a limit to all human endurance. In weariness, they fall. The strongest can only go so far and no further.

The result we are left with is that, “Even though this may happen (youths may weary and fall), it is different for those who wait on the LORD.” The Lord is not promising an extension of our own natural strength. This strength is supernaturally supplied. “What may happen to strong young men does not happen to those who wait upon the Lord.” Rather, they … will renew their strength. Our power returns, as with the re-growth of Samson’s hair.

*Mount up (Rise)

What does it mean to “mount up”? The Bible says, they shall mount up with wings as eagles. This is a simile. It is figurative language intended to paint a picture in our minds–designed to inspire our spirits. To soar on wings like eagles is to rise effortlessly. Eagles soar with the greatest of ease–they are masters of wind currents and up-drafts. Eagles do not rise to dizzying heights by constantly flapping their wings. It is not a feat of endurance. They perform this act by depending on a source other than themselves. They ride the wind. Likewise, they catch the currents. They use thermals.

This renewal of strength will give us an energy that may seem as if it were boundless: they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Whereas earlier they were stumbling and falling, now they run and walk without tiring. Distance or duration is not a problem. This is the difference between relying on our own efforts and trusting in the Lord’s strength.

We are asked, do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? These are rhetorical questions aimed at reminding us The all-powerful Creator will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

The promise to mount up is an assurance of an ever-increasing strength, beyond ourselves, which exceeds all reasonable expectations. We should be exhausted, but we are not.

The choice is ours; we can flap or soar. We can strive under our own power or Wait and “mount up” as eagles.