Sin Abounded . . . Grace Abounded

Alec Motyer

READ : Isaiah 40:1-11

Her iniquity is pardoned (v. 2)

The call to comfort the Lord’s people is typical of the way divine grace contradicts
human deserving. King Hezekiah has just abandoned the way of faith for the way of works.
The Lord graciously made him a double promise—of personal healing and national
deliverance (38:4-5). The deliverance was assured by the king’s healing—not to
mention the mighty sign of the sundial (38:8).

Consider then the offense to the Lord, the refusal to trust his word, the sheer
absurdity of relying on a political alliance, when Hezekiah chose to throw in his lot with
Merodach-baladan (39:1-2). How very well-deserved was the divine sentence passed: Hezekiah
chose Babylon; to Babylon he doomed his people (39:6-7). Is there a greater sin than to
withhold faith in the Lord’s promises?

Yet it is to this king and people that the Lord sends his word of comfort, the
assurance of sins forgiven. And what a sure and certain word it is, confirmed by not one
but three assurances:

  • The Lord himself is coming in all his glory (vv. 3-5).
  • The Lord’s word is eternally unchanging (vv. 6-8).
  • He comes with all the tenderness of the Good Shepherd (vv. 9-11).

Isaiah did not know the name of Jesus, but he surely saw his glory “from afar” and
spoke of him.


Loving Lord, keep my eyes on Jesus, and show me more of his glory.