Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Some thougths on the Sovereignty of God from Isaiah

I am in Isaiah in my yearly reading program (about a month behind!). The book of Isaiah describes God’s just judgments and his patient and enduring love toward his people, whom he chose to pour out his grace and mercy. Isaiah looks to a future king who will rule them and who will also be a servant. All of Israel’s kings were Messiahs in some sense but this King and Servant will be the ultimate King, not only for Israel, but for all the nations of the world.

Isaiah is continually reminding Israel that Yahweh is the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords; there is none like Him. He proves this by continually reminding them that Yahweh alone is sovereign. For instance, he says,

“I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things (45:7).”

This chapter starts out describing Cyrus as God’s chosen instrument to accomplish His purpose. The Lord is in control of history, he uses Cyrus for His own purposes. Cyrus will conquer nations and then help Israel rebuild. All this is to awaken faith in all the nations of the world and let them know that He is the only Sovereign and Savior. God not only saves Israel but uses pagan kings to accomplish his purposes! Here is the application. When things do not look like they are going as planned, that Gods purposes are not being fulfilled, we are to remember that He is still sovereign and that nothing is outside His control. In the next chapter, Isaiah describes how Israel has a tendency to give credit to idols for the work of God. Idolatry in our hearts leads to idolatry in our thoughts and actions.

"Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose (46:8-10).”'

Israel is commanded to remember and stand firm that God is unique and unlike the pagan gods they tend to worship. Only his counsel and his purposes shall stand. God can say something will happen because God makes it happen. If God is not absolutely sovereign over everything, He could not predict the future with any certainty and we could not trust prophecy to come true, nor his Word.

We, the people of God, are charged to remember and stand firm in this truth because in a world full of idolatry our clarity of God becomes eroded. Remember, you who follow Christ, God is in control of history and just because things don’t look like they are going Gods way does not mean they are not. That is true of our present economic and geopolitical landscape, as well as your life today! Do not look to anything but your God for hope, peace, and yes, even your security.

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