You’ve seen it plastered on tee shirts, coffee mugs, bookmarks and Bible covers; it’s cross-stitched on throw pillows and wall art. Its words have comforted thousands of Christians in their darkest moments.
But do you really understand the significance of Isaiah 40:31?
They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles;
They shall run and not grow weary;
They shall walk and not faint.
Plenty of Christian merchandise is guilty of bad exegesis. It’s not that Isaiah 40:31, when taken out of context, is any more open to misinterpretation than other verses.
But with this verse, perhaps the stakes are higher. John 3:16, another beloved verse, manages to maintain its punch, even when read on its own. But when Isaiah 40:31 is taken out of context, it is robbed of of its true power.