Isaiah 41-42, Revelation 4

I Am Your God!

Isaiah 41-42, Revelation 4

You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off;  fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:9-10 ESV

Things did not always go well with Israel. They experienced their fair share of difficulties and had to endure the repeated discipline of God for their sins and indiscretions. But God continually reminded them of His faithfulness and His unwillingness to abandon them. He would remain committed to their care and to His unwavering adherence to the promises He had made to them. He had chosen them. He had set them apart as His own and He would not give up on them. Yes, they would have to experience His judgment and endure His punishment, but He also assured them, “For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you’” (Isaiah 41:13 ESV). In spite of all that they saw happening around them, they could rest assured that God would not abandon them or give up on them.

What does this passage reveal about God?

God’s faithfulness is something we take for granted far too often. Like the availability of forgiveness after we sin, we sometimes just treat lightly and casually God’s unwavering faithfulness to us. If we’re not careful, we can fail to appreciate just how spectacular His unwavering commitment to us really is. The holy, sinless, righteous God of the universe willingly chooses to have a relationship with us, based not on our own merit, but on His mercy and grace. God loves us in spite of us, not because of us. The amazing thing is that the same God who “gave up Jacob to the looter, and Israel to the plunderer” (Isaiah 42:24 ESV) would be the one who would one day rescue and restore them. “Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 41:14 ESV). The day would come when they would rejoice in the Lord and glory in the Holy One of Israel.

What does this passage reveal about man?

God had done so much for the people of Israel. “The Lord was pleased, for his righteousness sake, to magnify his law and make it glorious. But this is a people plundered and looted…” (Isaiah 42:21-22 ESV). Why? Because they failed to obey His law. They rejected His will for their lives. They refused to live as a people set apart by God and for God. Instead, they turned to idols. They put their trust in false gods made out of wood and stone. God sarcastically challenged these false gods, demanding, “tell us what will occur in the days ahead. Then we will know you are gods. In fact, do anything—good or bad! Do something that will amaze and frighten us” (Isaiah 41:23 NLT). But they couldn’t. They proved to be helpless and hopeless. “But no! You are less than nothing and can do nothing at all. Those who choose you pollute themselves” (Isaiah 41:24 NLT). Rather than trust in the God who created everything, the people were guilty of turning to gods created by men. God made it clear that these man-made gods would prove to be a huge disappointment. “See, they are all foolish, worthless things. All your idols are as empty as the wind” (Isaiah 41:29 NLT).

How would I apply what I’ve read to my own life?

And yet, God didn’t give up on His people. He would end up sending His own Son as the solution to the problem of sin among His own people, as well as the rest of mankind. “Behold, my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations” (Isaiah 42:1 ESV). Years later, Jesus would quote this very verse and the ones following it, referring to Himself as the fulfillment of isaiah’s prophecy. He was the servant sent by God. He was the ultimate answer to mankind’s sin problem. God had given His glorious law in order to reveal His righteous, unachievable standard. The law revealed the extent of man’s sin. God gave His Son as the sacrifice necessary to pay the penalty for those sins. In other words, God made it possible for men to have a relationship with Himself that they could never have achieved on their own. He made the impossible possible. In the book of Revelation, John is given a one-of-a-kind glimpse into heaven where he saw God Almighty seated on His throne. The imagery he used to describe his vision is other-worldly and fantastic in nature. It is the efforts of a mere man attempting to describe the indescribable. He is trying to put into words something that words could never adequately describe. It is a scene filled with beauty and eliciting awe and wonder. There is thunder and flashes of lightning. There are fantastical creatures and worshiping elders. And in the midst of it all sits the Lord God Almighty. “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power; for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Revelation 4:11 ESV). The amazing thing is that THIS God is OUR God. This same holy, transcendent, powerful, awe-inspiring, fear-producing God is our personal, intimate Father. He loves us and longs to have a relationship with us. So much so, that He gave His Son as the means by which we might be made right with Him. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV). Now that is truly amazing!

Father, I am blown away by the fact that You are MY God. I know that You are the god of all men, whether they acknowledge or are aware of it. But You are my God in an intimate, personal way. You have made me Your son and placed me in Your family by sacrificing Your Son in my place and satisfying Your own just demands for the punishment of my sins with His sinless, innocent life. What an amazing reality. Never let me take it for granted or treat it lightly. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men

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