“I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.” Isaiah 42:8-9
Most of the opening 39 chapters of the Book of Isaiah deal with wayward Israel and the neighboring nations who have turned to wooden idols instead of to God, but the tone changes in the final chapters, beginning with Chapter 40. Now God sends His people gentle reminders of who He is and the good plans He has for them. They are no longer to turn to the idols of the nations nor other deities. Instead they need to cling to the only true God who created the heavens and the earth.
The passage above reminds us that God will not share His glory with another. Moses echoes this thought by declaring God to be jealous (Exodus 20:5). Therefore we should not substitute anything for the true and living God, but instead serve and love Him only. Nothing should rival God for our affections and commitment, and we cannot let anything “crowd God out.” Remember we are a people for God’s own possession (1 Peter 2:9), brought out of darkness into His marvelous light in order to praise His name.
The verses above also indicate the power of God to keep promises and utter truths that will surely come to pass. No other person or so-called god can lay claim to that. Many try to pawn themselves off as “prophets” or soothsayers, but none can do what our God can do; herefore He deserves our undivided worship and devotion. As you read through chapters 40-66, you will note the various ways God reassures His people of His great plans for them. He will bring them to everlasting rest joy and salvation.
Have you pondered the riches of God’s promises and treasured them above all else? Have you stopped to thank Him for His continual care and blessing over your life? These chapters also invite us to compare God with others who want your allegiance (see Isaiah 44:6), yet no other God exists except the true and living God. How can we not serve Him? It makes no sense at all.
If you’ve been plugging away at life trying to please God, remember His great and precious promises and attributes of power that can bring these promises to pass. Ponder deeply these reassuring verses that speak of His love and commitment to bring you safely to His kingdom, just like Paul did (2 Timothy 4:18). Finally, make a vow to abandon the worthless idols of this world that neither speak nor see, nor can they give you the good things God has in store for you (Psalm 84:11).
Take the time to ponder this precious old hymn:
O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come,
our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home.
Under the shadow of thy throne, still may we dwell secure;
sufficient is thine arm alone, and our defense is sure.
Before the hills in order stood, or earth received her frame,
from everlasting, thou art God, to endless years the same.
A thousand ages, in thy sight, are like an evening gone;
short as the watch that ends the night, before the rising sun.
Time, like an ever rolling stream, bears all who breathe away;
they fly forgotten, as a dream dies at the opening day.
O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come;
be thou our guide while life shall last, and our eternal home.
Posted on Fri, December 20, 2013
by Sam Petitfils