Sovereign God Has It Within His Control

Chapter 40 of Isaiah has a lot to say about God as Ruler of all nations and the heavens! The image Isaiah is presenting is one of God who is the preeminent ruler of all creation whether He is acknowledged by the Israelites or even us. He is in control of all things showing His sovereignty. The Sovereignty of God is defined as: God is the one who is in control of all things. There is nothing outside of God’s wise control, even the exact time and place for each person to live. No one tells God what to do or how things are to happen. God plans are set by Him and no event, natural disaster, person, not even Satan can stop God’s plans. When God permits evil we can trust that He has planned to use it for our good and His glory. God planned the time for His son, Jesus, to come into the world and He determines when the time is right for Jesus to return. God will accomplish His plan because He alone has the power to do it.

Isaiah begins this portion of the Chapter 40 with a few rhetorical questions. He does not expect the people to answer Him but to know that the answers should be obvious to them. Isaiah 40:12-14 sets the stage for God’s comments about the earth, its rulers and inhabitants as they are seen by Him.

Who else has held the oceans in his hand?
    Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers?
Who else knows the weight of the earth
    or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale?
13 Who is able to advise the Spirit of the Lord?
    Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him?
14 Has the Lord ever needed anyone’s advice?
    Does he need instruction about what is good?
Did someone teach him what is right
    or show him the path of justice?

Isaiah 40:15 “No, for all the nations of the world
    are but a drop in the bucket.
They are nothing more
    than dust on the scales.
He picks up the whole earth
    as though it were a grain of sand.
God’s answer to the questions is there is no one, no nation under heaven and on earth that can give Him advice, teach Him or show Him the pathway of justice.

Isaiah 40:17 “The nations of the world are worth nothing to him.
    In his eyes they count for less than nothing—
    mere emptiness and froth.”
The nations of the world are temporary and their own splendor is limited.

Isaiah 40:40:22 “God sits above the circle of the earth.
    The people below seem like grasshoppers to him!
He spreads out the heavens like a curtain
    and makes his tent from them.”
God looks down from heaven over all His created beings and provides for them.

Isaiah 40:23 ““He judges the great people of the world
    and brings them all to nothing.
” God can and will judge all people. Their own lofty purposes will count for nothing.

God concludes this reminder of who He is and who we are with 2 more questions in verses 25-26.

“To whom will you compare me?
    Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One.
26 Look up into the heavens.
    Who created all the stars?
He brings them out like an army, one after another,
    calling each by its name.
Because of his great power and incomparable strength,
    not a single one is missing.

I love the conclusion God reaches. As we gaze at the stars in the heavens and look at the majestic beauty of God’s creation, we are faced with the realization that there has to be an all-powerful, sovereign God guiding all of this. Not man, his nations or governments can create and sustain the things of God. Today send a few minutes in prayer thanking God for who He is and the beauty and power of His creation. Be comforted that God is in control and we do not need to fear the governments of man as God is Sovereign and will bring about all things that are for our good and His glory! Praise God!

Linda

Rest in the Power of God

So far in Isaiah Chapter 40 we have seen God as caring, glorious and eternal. Today’s verses reveal God as powerful. Isaiah 40:9-10 tell us that God is coming with a message, a powerful message.

“O Zion, messenger of good news,
    shout from the mountaintops!
Shout it louder, O Jerusalem.
    Shout, and do not be afraid.
Tell the towns of Judah,
    “Your God is coming!”
10 Yes, the Sovereign Lord is coming in power.
    He will rule with a powerful arm.
    See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.”
God is encouraging the people of Israel that He will indeed return and when He does it will be with power and rewards for the faithful. The message of good news is the gospel brought by and through Jesus Christ. The rule of power would refer to the future and His return as King to judge and rule overall creation. There is a promise of return, hope, salvation, power, might and reward. Only God can achieve all this perfectly in His power. He is All Powerful or Omnipotent. God has unlimited power, authority and influence. His power is not bound by time and He does all He wants and intends to do. What He says He will accomplish. God is the source of all power in the universe and with out Him all things fall apart. We can depend upon His power and might to sustain and keep us. I am encouraged by Hebrews 1:3 The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.”

Isaiah 40:28b also speaks of God’s power. “The Lord is the everlasting God,  the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.   No one can measure the depths of his understanding”.
In addition to God’s power we see His eternality, creativity, and incomprehensibility. Only an all powerful, Omnipotent God could be all these things. He is eternal- everlasting. He is the Creator of all heavens and earth. He never tires or grows weary as we humans do- He is tireless. He is so deep in character and thought that our finite minds cannot comprehend all of God. We do not have to worry that God will not understand us or grow tired of dealing with our problems or circumstances. I am encouraged when I consider God’s description of himself in Isaiah 55:8-9
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
    “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so my ways are higher than your ways
    and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
God is God and there is no one like Him. He is above us in intellect, power and might. Praise God He is in control and is the Sovereign power of the universe.

How does God’s power impact your life? I am encouraged as I can always depend upon Him. He never tires or grows weary. He has the power and grace to help me though any circumstance. 2 Corinthians 12:9 constantly reminds me He is the sustainer of all.  “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” His plans are eternal and nothing can thwart His will. His power leads me to rest in Him and take a breath as He Has This and He Has me!

Linda

Jesus, a name that brings Joy for Eternity!

Today’s passage is amazingly beautiful, descriptive of our Savior and presents us with a challenge and hope for the future.  Philippians 2:5-11 is a well known and often quoted portion of scripture.  I like the New Living Translation of this passage,

“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had(our challenge as believers)

Though he was God,                                      
    he did not think of equality with God
    as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;    
    he took the humble position of a slave
    and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
    he humbled himself in obedience to God      
    and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

jesus-names-2Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
    and gave him the name above all other names,      
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,                                            11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.     

What was Jesus’ attitude?   He was not filled with self-pride.  He could have been as He was God and possessed power and might beyond measure.  But,  He acted with sacrificial humility and came to earth in human form with the purpose of saving us though His death on the cross.  He was obedient to God’s plan of redemption.  The result was God honored His obedience forever and made us all be subject to Jesus.  What a challenge to live each day with an attitude like Christ’s  with humility, a servant’s heart, a willingness to put others first and with pure devotion and love for God.   Only through the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit is it possible.  Jesus promised in Matthew 19:26 “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”   Live life each day, trusting in the power of Jesus, the name above all names!

As I read this passage, I am awestruck by Jesus’ humility and sacrifice.  He gave up His position in heaven to come to earth to save and to serve.  How much He must love us!

My joy is increased today:

  • as I consider how much God loves me.
  • as I see that obedience brings blessings.
  • as I see that no matter how things look right now, God has a plan for eternity and is in His control.
  • jesus key to joyas I realize that Jesus in King now and forever!

Have a blessed day and may there be joy in your heart and on your lips!

Linda

Bethlehem reveals God’s Omnipotence!

We have seen the power and might of God, His knowledge of people and His choices of who He would use to bring about His plan for our redemption.  Today we see His sovereign power and His control of places and world events.

Luke 2:1-4  In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world Bethlehemshould be registered. This was the first registration when  Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,”   

It was no coincidence that the Roman emperor had a census taken and that Mary and Joseph would need to travel to Bethlehem, Joseph’s ancestral home.  He was in the line of David and David’s home had been in Bethlehem in Judea since he was of the tribe of Judah.  In addition, God knew this ahead of time because the Old Testament  prophecy regarding where the Messiah would be born was given hundred of years before the event in Micah 5:2

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
    one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
    from ancient days.

God knew when and where His Son would be born,  and it happened exactly when and where God designed it.  Not only do we see God’s sovereignty in the choice and Omnipotentcontrol of people and places but we see His Omnipotence God is All Powerful as He has unlimited power and influence.  He does all He wants and intends to do.  God is the source of all power and without God’s power everything would fall apart.  His power holds the stars in place and sustains life.   Having Mary able to travel, Joseph having to go to Bethlehem, the Roman government requiring a census are all evidences of God’s Omnipotent power.  His power and influence extends to His whole creation and nothing happens by chance.

Where do you see God’s Omnipotent power in your life?  Nothing happens that is outside His control.   His will cannot be thwarted and He will see all to completion.  No earthly leader or worldly power can stop God’s plans.  Daniel expressed his awe at God’s power in Daniel 2:20-21 ““Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
    to whom belong wisdom and might.
21 He changes times and seasons;
    he removes kings and sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to those who have understanding;    Daniel knew that God had power over all things, people and places.  Job also knew of God’s Omnipotent power as he states in Job 42:2  “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

job 42 2Look for God in the little things in your life and soon you will see His presence everywhere.  God’s providential care of those who believe in Jesus is a blessing beyond measure.

Linda