Unstoppable: Fuel for Service from Isaiah 40

by Davy Ellison June 10, 2024

My wife, Tracy, and I had spent all day on a bus. We had just arrived in a rural town; we stepped off the bus into the pitch black; we weren’t completely sure which way we should be walking. But we could hear it.

We didn’t know which direction the sound was coming from. We didn’t know how far away it was. We didn’t know its precise location. But we could hear it; we knew it was there.

We were visiting Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

The word awesome is overused, but seeing the Falls in person is awesome. Victoria Falls is powerful, majestic, and impressive. It is just over a mile wide, more than 100 meters tall, and at least a million liters of water pour over the falls every second. Victoria Falls is awesome.

Now, imagine standing at the bottom of Vic Falls, looking up at the million liters of water falling 100 meters for a whole mile every second. As you stand there looking up at this, someone whispers in your ear, “Try and stop it. Go ahead—try and stop all that water flowing over the falls.”

It would be impossible.

Likewise, with our God. It is impossible to stop Him. This waterfall in southern Africa is only one of the many things that the One True God spoke into existence. This God is truly awesome.

Isaiah 40

The majesty and power of our God is beautifully presented in Isaiah’s words from Isaiah 40:10–31. Isaiah, mingling comfort and warning, begins with, “Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him” (41:10). This is God’s Word to each of us. His awe and majesty bring reward and recompense. This is why we need to be reminded of our awesome God who is tender in His care.

There’s nothing more important for us to remember than God’s incomparable majesty for the good of His people. Isaiah communicates this in a most compelling fashion in 40:10–31.

Awesome in Power

First, our awesome God is just that, awesome. Nothing is beyond His control. Only God’s purposes and plans will ultimately prevail. He is the One who spread out the skies and brings the princes of earth to nothing (vv. 21–23). He is the One who made, named, and numbered all the stars—keeping them in place by His might (vv. 25–26). If He can do that, He can sustain us in whatever we face. God is unstoppable. Satan cannot stop God. Sin cannot stop God. You cannot stop God. I cannot stop God. He is awesome in His power.

Tender in Care

Second, our awesome God is tender in His care. Despite the unmatched power that God possesses, in 40:11 Isaiah makes it clear that this awesome God is tender in His care. He tends his flock; He gathers, carries, and gently leads His people. At the end of the passage in 40:29–31, it is made clear that this awesome God strengthens those who wait on Him. The One True God could crush us, but instead He comforts us. In all the stresses, strains, and struggles of life, never forget the omnipotent God is tender in His care.

Relentless

Third, our awesome God is relentless. Throughout this chapter, God questions His people. Many of these questions point to God’s unrivaled power: Who else has held the waters of the earth in their hand? (v. 12) Who else has measured the starry skies with the span of their hand? (v. 12) Who else knows all things?  (vv. 13–14; cf. 25, 27, 28). The most pointed question is asked twice: To whom will you compare this God? (vv. 18, 21). These rhetorical questions are intended to back us into a corner. He relentlessly pursues Isaiah’s reader with a series of questions which underscore how unstoppable this awesome God truly is. Of course we know, of course we’ve heard—there is none like our God.

Conclusion

Commenting on this section of Isaiah, Geoffrey Grogan (Isaiah, EBC, p. 723) notes, “The incomparable majesty of God set forth in [here]…will give strength to his frail people.” Considering God’s power and care, we cannot remain unmoved and inactive. Just as Paul urges those who desire to serve as deacons in 1 Timothy 3:10, I urge you—as I urge myself—to prove yourselves blameless. The reality that our God is unstoppable should fuel our service for Him and His glory. We must and we can strive on in service confident that nothing can stop our God—He is relentless, unstoppable.

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