THOUGHTS FROM ISAIAH

BEHOLD YOUR GOD!

Who is this God for whom John the Baptist prepared the way? Who is this God whose coming to earth is called ‘good tidings’? [Isaiah 40:1,9] Who exactly is Jesus Christ?

He is the powerful Sovereign LORD who comes with power and authority, and who comes as judge [verse 10]. This is confirmed by Jesus himself [John 5:22; Matthew 28:18], and by the apostles [Romans 14:10; 2Timothy 4:1; Revelation 19:11]

But he is also the Shepherd, a shepherd of infinite care and compassion, one who understands our weakness and our vulnerability, and accommodates himself to our needs [verse 11]. So intimately does he identify with our weakness that he, the good Shepherd, laid down his life for us [John 10:11], so clearly does he know our personal frailty and inability, and the threats to our spiritual survival, that he holds us safe and secure in his hand [John 10:28].

This Shepherd who carries us close to his heart is well able to keep us safe. Isaiah hammers this home to us in the remainder of chapter 40. He employs graphic images to teach us of the immense, incomprehensible power and authority of Jesus Christ, the God who came to us.

Compared to him the whole universe and everything in it is insignificant and miniscule:

He holds all the waters in the hollow of his hand.
He can measure the ‘heavens’ with his hand.
He can carry all the soil of the earth in a basket.
He weighs the mountains and hills on a set of scales [verse 12].

Such is his knowledge and understanding that no one can teach him anything. He already knows all things and understands all things:

No one has understood his mind.
No one instructed him.
He did not need to consult anyone.
No one taught him or helped him to understand anything [verse 13,14].

And those things that we humans fear, all of these are also insignificant compared to Jesus Christ:

The nations are just one more drop of water in a full bucket, or one more speck of dust on the scales. They are less than nothing [verse 15-17].
The ‘gods’ we have created for ourselves are ludicrous [verse 18-20].
The human powers are mere grasshoppers, transient, vulnerable [verses 21-24].

Jesus Christ, the Holy One, the eternal God, has no equal [verse 18,25]. Nothing, nobody, anywhere in the whole created universe can prevent him accomplishing his will and his purpose. Even the stars, beyond counting, beyond human knowledge, are all known by him and held by him [verses 25-26].

Why then do we humans live as though God has forgotten us? Why then do we think he has over-looked us? Don’t we realize? Haven’t we understood that our God, Jesus Christ, the Creator of the ends of the earth, the everlasting God, never grows tired, never loses track of what is happening to us? [verses 27-28].

Those who wait on him, those who trust in him, do not lose heart [verse 31]. They know whom they have believed, and they know that he his faithful [John 6:68,69; Philippians 1:6; 2Timothy 1:12]. And because of this knowledge, this confidence in God, this joy, they are strong [Isaiah 40:31; Nehemiah 8:10].

© Rosemary Bardsley 2014