“They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint” Isaiah 40:31 KJV
“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 NASB
In every generation, believers have turned to the great promise of Isaiah 40:31 for comfort and strength. After two and a half months in Isaiah 40, this verse is our closing meditation. Its imagery of the soaring eagle, of the tireless runner, and of the believer who is able to walk and never become weary or to falter on the path, has infused fresh strength and courage into everyone who reads these verses.
In its context, it would have been a great encouragement to the remnant who returned from Babylon. They had the legacy of failure-to-surmount. The Lord’s promise to them was that they could mount-up with wings like an eagle and soar above their sordid and sad past. They had not run well. Their mission as missionaries to the nations had ended in their being molded by the nations around them. They had not walked with the Lord as Abraham and others, but had walked in the ways of the nations. But fresh grace from God would enable those who “wait upon the Lord” to reverse their history.
Continuing our meditation, however, of the contrasts of the majesty and might of Jehovah as seen in Isaiah 40, with the sorrows and suffering of the Son of God, we are again confronted with the irony of the passage.
Listen again to the promise of God: “They shall mount up with wings as eagles.” Now hear the plaintive cry of this Creator Himself: “I sink in deep mire where there is no standing” (Ps 69:2). Soaring or sinking?
It was the strength of Jehovah which would enable the people of God to soar as eagles. It was the omnipotent arm of Jehovah which made Him sink at Calvary. There was a burden of incalculable weight placed upon the Burden Bearer at Golgotha. There was a crushing blow from the righteous arm of the Lord which came down upon Him with unerring accuracy and immeasurable force when He became the propitiation for our sins.
His “sinking” suggests the lack of any resistance on His part. Willingly, He exposed His soul to the sword of divine judgment. It may suggest, as well, the absence of any rescue from His judgment. He must endure it all; He must consume, in Himself, the totality of divine wrath against sin. It might suggest, as well, that there was no relief for Him, no moment of respite as all the waves and billows of divine judgment poured over His soul.
The God Who promised to give needed strength to those that wait upon Him, to enable them to mount-up as eagles and to soar above, in the person of His Son, knew what it was to have His strength dried up like a potsherd (Ps 22:15), and to sink in deep mire.
- Waiting upon the Lord suggests dependence and devotion. Does that add to the irony of the verse since no one was as dependent and devoted as the Lord Jesus at Calvary?