Isaiah 40:25-26Authorized (King James) Version
25 To whom then will ye liken me,
or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high,
and behold who hath created these things,
that bringeth out their host by number:
he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might,
for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
‘Un’ is a prefix meaning “not,” freely used as an English formative, giving negative or opposite force in adjectives and their derivative adverbs and nouns (unfair; unavailable, unappreciated, unfelt; unseen; unreliable; unrest; unlucky, unloved; unemployment) – and the list could go on for as long as we need it to.
So, I got to thinking and praying over some of the “UN” things we ought to be saying, and singing and shouting about God our Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 40:25Easy-to-Read Version
25 The Holy One says, “Can you compare me to anyone?
No one is equal to me.”
The first chapter of Isaiah starts out with a declaration of the people’s rebellion against God, consequences for such, a call to repentance, finishing it off with prophetic statements of restoration.
Isaiah Chapter 39 ends with Isaiah revealing to King Hezekiah that the nation would be taken captive by the Babylonians.
But Isaiah chapter 40 begins with God commissioning Isaiah to proclaim that when the consequences for their rebellion is over there will be comfort for the people of Jerusalem.
Within this 40th chapter we will see declared and proclaimed the ways in which God unequivocally communicates his preeminence to his long suffering people.
UNEQUALED IN DOMINANCE.
Isaiah 40:6-8Authorized (King James) Version
6 The voice said, Cry.
And he said, What shall I cry?
All flesh is grass,
and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:
7 the grass withereth, the flower fadeth:
because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it:
surely the people is grass.
8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth:
but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
God wanted his people to know that no matter how powerful some people are, no matter how long they stay in power, they are like withering grass.
No matter how rich someone is, no matter how glorious they seem, that too, will come to an end like a flower of the field.
Why? Because it’s the Lord alone who determines when their end will come.
No amount of power, no amount of money, no amount of prestige, no amount of authority is ever going to be able to overcome the power, glory of the Lord.
The Jewish nation would be taken over by the Babylonians.
King Nebuchadnezzar was a powerful man who gained control over a vast region for many years.
During their long captivity I can see the Jews wondering if anything could stop this Babylonian king.
But they were shown God’s dominance in two ways:
When Nebuchadnezzar became proud, declaring how great he thought he was, God removed him from his throne; showing this king who was really the King!
Then second when God fulfilled his promise to his people by delivering them and reestablishing them as a nation.
This is critically important for us to understand because when the powers that be-whether it’s the government or our boss or a bully-seem unstoppable they are, when the dominant power of God is factored in, not in charge of anything.
The only thing that is unstoppable is God.
The only thing that is unceasing is God.
Kingdoms crumble and empires erode but the reign of God never ends.
That’s important for us to understand because no matter what happens in our world, no matter what decisions are made, no matter what laws get put in place, nothing is ever completely set in stone; God is the one who has the final say.
So when we are oppressed we can have a dominant and dominating hope that deliverance from such oppression is definitely possible; change will happen.
When trials, tribulations and tragedy strikes and we wonder how we will ever be able to pick up the pieces; when we get devastating news and we want to give up; when the circumstances in life seem hopeless; when things look bleak.
When it seems as if there is no way out-no light at the end of the tunnel we need to remember who is in control and who has the final word.
Circumstances may be outside of our control but they are not ever out of his. God has dominance.
UNEQUALED IN CARE.
Isaiah 40:10-11New Living Translation
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.
11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
He will carry the lambs in his arms,
holding them close to his heart.
He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.
It’s interesting that we find the words ‘power’ and ‘gentle’ in the same passage.
What a dominant, dominating picture of God.
We need this picture to dominate our hearts and our thoughts because we should only get so easily overwhelmed by God’s great and awesome power.
We could forget so easily that the God who created the universe cares about me deeply, intimately and personally.
We need to see both sides of God for the purpose of revering him but loving him at the same time.
We need to understand that God wants to hold us near in love and gentleness but that doesn’t mean he’s just an ol’ softy.
We shouldn’t take God’s gentleness for weakness.
God is tender but he’s also tough.
That awareness of His dominant and dominating power over our hearts and our souls will serve to keep us close to him while at the same time keep us in check.
Later in Isaiah, in talking about the restoration of his people, God said this in 49:10,
“They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.”
Beloved; See how he cares for us. He feeds us, he protects us, he has compassion for us, he guides us, and he leads us beside springs of waters and he satisfies us.
This is our shepherd.
This is God as our father-loving, caring, protective and patient.
And he is unequaled in such things.
Jeremiah wrote in Lamentations 3:22-23,
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
He is unequaled in his ability to continually and faithfully provide all these things for us.
His love dominates over chaos, is greater than the darkness, his faithfulness and devotion to us is far greater and his compassion towards us will never fail.
How has God cared for you?
How has he been gentle with you?
How has he directed you?
Can you see the waters of the forest streams flowing steadily, watering the trees whose roots grow deeper in the ground to reach that life giving, nourishing waters, securing the trees to the shorelines, through the dry desert wilderness.
UNEQUALED IN WISDOM.
Isaiah 40:12-14New Living Translation
The Lord Has No Equal
12 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?[a]
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?
Here we read a series of rhetorical questions that puts God’s preeminence in perspective for us.
I can read and hear God saying,
“Who else has the ability I do?
Go and find someone who can hold the waters of any ocean in the palm of their hand. Go and find someone who can make a mountain. Find someone who can create stars and planets. Find someone who has a better plan for creating the universe or the world or the human body. Who else has done what I have done?
The problem is some people think they have.
We discover new formulas and invent new “smart” technologies; we develop vaccines and cure diseases and somehow that makes us the superior ones.
And therein lies the dangers-
We don’t need God, we can do it ourselves.
God? what god; I’m god.
Oh, how sorry a people we have become when we get to the place where we think we are as dominant, as caring, as smart, as wise or as qualified as God.
But this doesn’t just happen on a grand scale.
We can be guilty of this type of thinking on a lower scale.
Whenever we don’t listen to God.
Whenever we don’t trust him.
Whenever we go our own way we are putting ourselves in place of God.
Whenever we go against what God has commanded we are saying we know the better, wiser, smarter, dominant, dominating way; we put ourselves into that place where we all believe we are the only ones who know what we really need.
Whenever the Holy Spirit reveals what we need to do but we ignore it we are telling God that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
Whenever we don’t agree with how God is handling things we somehow conclude that he doesn’t have the first clue or know about what he’s doing.
“That’s not how I would’ve done it.”
However, if we are humble, we will conclude that no matter how much we gain over the course of our lives, we won’t have, we can never have anywhere near the dominant understanding, knowledge or wisdom or smarts which God has.
As the psalmist declared in Psalm 147:5,
“Great is the Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.”
Who’s the one who is unlimited in their understanding-us?
Who’s the one who sees everything everywhere-us?
Who’s the one who sees tomorrow-us?
We understand so little;
Our perspective is so ridiculously limited.
God is unequaled in wisdom.
UNEQUALED IN WHAT HE CAN, AND IN TRUTH, DOES DO FOR US.
Isaiah 40:25-31New Living Translation
25 “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.
27 O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?
O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?
28 Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
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.
29 He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.
Not only is there no equal or comparison to God in what he can do that also goes for what he can do for us!
Since he will never grow tired or weary, he is a never-ending source of strength for us when we become weak and weary.
That goes for all kinds of weaknesses; not just physical.
Yes, he will give us energy and vitality to physically be able to do great things but the main way he gives us strength and stamina is spiritually.
Take some quality time today to think about it and pray over it-when was the last time you dreamed you had climbed on top of an eagle and went for a ride?
When was the last time you had this “V8 moment “, went for a long run, felt as strong, if not the stronger, at the end of the run as you did in the beginning?
Obviously these are metaphors for what he will enable us to do spiritually.
We will be able to do amazing things when God’s power is at work within us.
Nothing else comes anywhere close to what God can do for us.
Some people are good and mightily gifted at motivating us and encouraging us and making us feel good but no matter how “gifted” someone is at doing these things it always pales in comparison to God’s level of ability to do these things.
And in the past how we may have turned to things like drugs, alcohol, food or money or gambling or something else to give us a temporary, fleeting ‘high’ but nothing manmade can ever come close to duplicating a true Holy Spirit high.
If your hope is in the Lord then he will be the one who will renew your strength when you are physically, spiritually, psychologically or emotionally depleted.
Without God’s dominant, dominating power you will always be weak and weary. Without God you will always stumble and fall. Do you want to soar like an eagle?
Then put all your hope in the unequaled, unending abilities and power of God.
In a children’s book titled, “Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is?” Robert Wells takes us on a journey from observing a size we can grasp to one we can’t.
The largest animal on earth is the blue whale.
Just the flippers on its tail are bigger than most animals on earth.
But a blue whale isn’t anywhere near as big as a mountain.
If you put one hundred blue whales in a huge jar you could put millions of whale jars inside a hollowed-out Mount Everest.
But Mount Everest isn’t anywhere near as big as the earth.
If you stacked one hundred Mount Everest’s on top of one another it would just be a whisker on the face of the earth.
And the earth is not anywhere near as big as the sun.
You could fit one million earths inside of the sun.
But the sun, which is a medium-sized star, is not nearly as big as a red supergiant star called Antares.
But Antares isn’t anywhere near as big as the Milky Way galaxy.
Billions of stars, including super giants like Antares, as well as countless comets and asteroids, make up the Milky Way galaxy.
But the Milky Way galaxy is not anywhere near as big as the universe.
There are countless billions of other galaxies in the universe.
And yet, filled with ‘billions’ of galaxies, the universe is almost totally empty.
Distances from one galaxy to another are undeniably beyond our imagination.
And now, ponder and pray over and through this: the Creator of this universe is God, who with a word spoke it all into being, who is present, who is dominant, everywhere in this universe, beyond, who upholds it all with his mighty power.
Great is our God and greatly to be praised.
Our God is unequaled in power, size, wisdom, ability and greatness.
And he unconditionally cares about you and undeniably wants to do great and wondrous things in you and through you.
How unfathomable is that?
It is unparalleled, having no parallel or equal; exceptional.
It is undeniably, undoubtedly, unequivocally, unquestionably, unequaled!
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son an God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
Almighty and Ever Living Son of God, You are the great “I AM.” You are faithful to Your promises and will defeat the chaos of my doubtful, doubt-filled soul though so very numerous and powerful. I will not be discouraged because I walk in your divine presence. I will live in Your strength and courage, for You are my God. I have faith in You and Your word because I know that Your word never fails. I thank You for the many promises You have spoken over my life, and I place my trust in You. Amen.