Bible Studies for Life
Chris Allen, pastor
First Baptist Church, Cairo
How we view God is influenced by how we view ourselves. When each of us looks into the mirror every morning, what we see is not all that bad. We could all use a little help and we all make mistakes but compared to everyone else, most of us would agree there are others who are far worse than we are.
However, when we begin to see God for who He truly is, only then do we realize we do not measure up to Him and His standard of Holiness. God is far above us. He is distinct. God is Holy!
From the beginning to the end of the book, God is called the Holy One of Israel. At the end of Isaiah 40, the prophet reminds the Israelites that Yahweh is distinct from and above absolutely everything else including His creation.
God is without equal as our Creator
In a world where we are bombarded with the best and the latest, it is easy for us to always be searching for the next great thing. This is not a new problem. People have always desired more. I believe that is why God bookended the Ten Commandments with “You shall have no other God before Me” and “You shall not covet” (Exodus 20:3 and 20:17).
Isaiah continues with God’s pronouncement in verse 25 and He asks a question through the prophet, “To whom can you compare me?” The evidence has been stated in the verses before and now God demands an answer.
Still, more evidence is introduced. Even the magnificent beauty of the stars above does not compare to the uniqueness and holiness of God. Many of the ancient religions in the Near East believed the stars were gods. This was a refreshing reminder that the God of Judah created the stars and knew each one by name, all of them.
They were His creation and He protected them, for with His power, not one was out of place. No one is like God and no one is equal to Him. He is holy.
God is without equal in His knowledge
Isaiah’s readers were under the threat of Assyria and many had already been exiled. It was easy to understand why many of the Israelites thought God had forgotten about them. Through his words, Isaiah was encouraging the people to remember that God never relaxes; He is always watching over His people.
There is a strong tendency to ask, “Where is God?” during our difficult circumstances. Isaiah’s words are a reminder for us also that God knows all. Nothing catches Him by surprise. We can rest assured that we are still under the watchful eye of God even when our circumstances make us feel otherwise.
The God of Judah was portrayed as all-powerful and totally independent, but other gods of the day were not. According to ancient literature, these other gods were viewed as weak and dependent on humanity at times. There were also indications that these gods became tired and needed sleep.
Again, the comparison or contrast between the God of Judah and everything else is suggested. There is no one like God. He is set apart from everyone and everything else. The God of Judah possesses all the knowledge and understanding necessary to relate to and care for His people.
God is without equal as our Sustainer
God is unlike anyone or anything else. Since God (unlike pagan idols) is eternal, the Creator, possesses all knowledge, and never grows weary, He can give strength to those who are weary or weak. God not only possesses strength; He sustains His people by providing His strength amid their difficult circumstances.
Our struggles can be physical, emotional, or spiritual and God has the power to provide strength for those who trust in Him during all these moments of need. He created us, He knows every detail of our lives intimately, and He is the source of our continued life.
God wants us to trust in Him for everything, including our next breath. God’s Word is full of promises to those who believe and trust in Him. This is just one of those instances. Our hope in the Holy, distinct God leads to a deepened trust in Him and His Word. We have the promise of strength and help from a Holy God when we need it most.
Questions to consider:
- What prevents you from viewing God (and His Holiness) as He really is?
- What aspects of God’s holiness are you most thankful for?
- Do you depend on your own knowledge and understanding more than that of God’s?
- What area or circumstance in your life have you been unwilling to allow God to work in?
- What steps or reminders can you take this week to help strengthen your knowledge of God’s uniqueness?