Gary V. Smith’s second volume on Isaiah in the New American Commentary looks deeply and in wonder at the God who is both intimate and compassionate (Isaiah 40:28: “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak”) and larger than our comprehension of time and space (Isaiah 66:1: “Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool”).
The New American Commentary assumes the inerrancy of Scripture, focuses on the intrinsic theological and exegetical concerns of each biblical book, and engages the range of issues raised in contemporary biblical scholarship. Drawing on the skills of over forty scholars and encompassing forty volumes, the NAC brings together scholarship and piety to produce a tool that enhances and supports the life of the church.
“So how should God’s people respond when they are in a difficult situation that they do not understand? The prophet offers a word of comfort and encouragement by suggesting that they can endure trials through God’s help, which is available to them. God is the ‘one who gives’132 them extra strength (kōaḥ) so that the weary ones will not grow tired or weak during this time of hardship.133 God is not absent, unavailable, or unwilling to help. Complaining about present problems will not make them go away. The solution is to recognize that everything that happens is part of God’s sovereign plan and that God freely and abundantly gives a portion of his strength to those who need it in difficult times. Through human weakness, his power and glory are displayed.” (Page 122)
“God will not just watch over his people in some general way by watching over the course of nature; he will personally be present in power, accomplishing his will among his people.” (Page 99)
“What this verse is revealing is that people can look, act, talk, and delight in the things of God, yet still not be the people of God (cf. Matt 7:21–23). A good, moral, cultural Israelite knows how to act, talk, and behave in religious circles, but knowing the cultural expectations of an Israelite is not the same as knowing God.” (Page 574)
“The general idea is that in the midst of the difficulty in establishing justice he will not give up or ‘cry out’ (ṣāʿaq) in frustration and exasperation just because the responsibility is difficult. Instead, he will be guided by patient endurance, humility, and steadfastness in the face of opposition.” (Page 162)