They Will Mount Up With Wings Like Eagles
Isaiah 40:31 There is strength in waiting
Original photo by Birger Strahl via Unsplash
“Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.”
Isaiah 40:31 NASB1995
When I selected this verse for today’s devotional, I looked at my spreadsheet of posts over the past 16 months as was surprised that it hadn’t come up before. It’s a very familiar verse, one that is often associated with hope. The Book of Isaiah is so powerful. The prophet wrote between 740 and 686 BC, and his prophecies of the Babylonian exile of the people of Judah, their eventual restoration to Jerusalem by King Cyrus, and the coming of the Messiah are all famous for their accuracy.
Chapter 40 of the book focuses on comfort and strength for God’s people. Chapter 39 ends with dire warnings about the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem and the exile of the people, and Chapter 40 is God’s way of telling His people to be strong as they wait for their upcoming tribulations to take place.
Today’s verse tells the people of Judah to be filled with hope in their anxious waiting, first for the siege and destruction of Jerusalem, then the exile to Babylon, and then the long wait for King Cyrus to return them to rebuild Jerusalem.
Christians today are in a similar state as we await the return of Jesus. We aren’t supposed to just sit around and wait; He wants us to seek Him and rely on Him for strength. We will gain new strength in our waiting!
Several Bible commentaries point out the odd order in this gaining of new strength. First, we “mount up on wings like eagles,” then we run tirelessly, and finally we walk without weariness. This would seem to be somewhat backwards, as our human logic dictates that we must be able to walk before we can run, and that soaring like an eagle is something that would best wait until we perhaps become angelic beings.
In light of the New Covenant, this order makes total sense! Ephesians 2:6 tells us that God raises believers up with Him and “seats us up with Him in heavenly places” through Christ. Hebrews 12:1 sets us up to “run with endurance the race set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus”, while Colossians 2:6 reminds us that “as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.”
What can we do in our waiting? Gain strength by studying the Word, interceding on behalf of others through prayer in Jesus’ name, and seeking to bring more of the lost to faith.
Heaven On Wheels Daily Prayer:
God, provider of all blessings. When I am weak, I come to You for renewed strength, trusting in You alone to renew my soul, mind, and heart. From You I ask for the strength to fearlessly walk the narrow and winding path of righteousness all the remaining days of my earthly life. As I wait for Your kingdom to come, I know You will always be at my side strengthening my faith in You. AMEN