Acknowledging God; October 24, 2022

Isaiah 42:5 This is what God the Lord says–
he who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it,
who gives breath to its people,
and life to those who walk on it

This is a dearly loved chapter, talking about the Messiah and giving many encouraging, comforting words. (I personally have always liked it because of the several references to islands, since I was born, raised, and minister in Japan.) However, here we have a reminder of just who it is talking through Isaiah here. When a genuine prophet speaks, or when we read the Bible, we need to remember just who is the authority behind the words. In the case of the Bible, many people talk about how it was hand-copied (allowing for errors) and edited, which is true enough. However, God is big enough, and interested enough, to guide the process to get the outcome He desires. In the case of a prophet, either recorded or in person, they choke on the idea of the Creator speaking through a human vessel. That’s why the Lord is here so specific that He is the Creator, the Life-giver. Science, which many people try to substitute for God, still can’t give a satisfactory explanation (that isn’t vanishingly unlikely simply from probability alone) for where life came from, and evolution as a theory has more holes than a screen door. People don’t want to admit the existence of such a Supreme Being because absolute power logically includes absolute authority, and they are rebellious and want to be their own authority. Countless people have illustrated the folly of that attitude! God is here saying Who He is as He makes very comforting and encouraging statements, because otherwise we might dismiss them as too good to be true. People are funny that way! God does desire and plan good for us, if we will just listen and obey.

Of course, I need to pay attention to this as much as anyone. I have had my struggles with the hubris that wants to see me as the pinnacle of everything, and I have my moments of ignoring what I am aware of God telling me to do or not do. I need to remember that without exception, people who have been exposed to even a fraction of who and what God is have been overwhelmed by the experience. That’s why God told Moses, “You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” (Exodus 33:20) I was raised with a strong awareness of God’s love, and I loved Him in return, but my love had a lot of growing to do. As Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15) Actually, by that measure my love still has a lot of growing to do! I need to live each day with a clear awareness of Whom I follow, never taking Him casually or lightly but rejoicing that He would be so gracious as to pay attention to such an insignificant being as I am.

Father, thank You for this reminder. My wife had another rough night last night, and it’s making communication difficult. I ask not only relief for her physical pain, but also for peace for her, understanding that as much as she is loved by You, You love those around her as well, and they too have their issues. I pray that all of Your plans and purposes, not only for today but for this whole experience, may be fulfilled for Cathy’s blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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