Isaiah 40:9-26 — The greatness of our God

Who is this God we proclaim?  What is he like?  That’s what Isaiah addresses in this passage.  Isaiah proclaims in verses 9-10,

Here is your God!  See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and his arm rules for him.

What do we learn about God here?  That he is the Almighty One.  In verse 12, it talks about how God created everything, and that all creation is so small compared to him.

I sometimes stand in wonder when I look at the stars on a clear night.  The sky seems so big, and I seem so small.  But the whole universe could fit in the hand of God.  How much bigger is the Creator than all that he’s created?

Isaiah says,

Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:  Who created all these?  He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name.  Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. (26)

He is also greater than the nations and all who rule them.  To him,

Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.  Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires, nor its animals enough for burnt offerings.  Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing.  (15-17)

And while kings sit on their thrones trying to spread their kingdoms,

[God] sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.  He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. (22-23)

But not only is God powerful, but he is wise.  Isaiah writes,

Who has understood the mind of the Lord, or instructed him as his counselor?  Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way?  Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding? (13-14)

All of these, of course, are rhetorical questions, and the obvious answer is no one.  God is all-knowing, and all-wise.

And so Isaiah asks,

To whom, then, will you compare God?  What image will you compare him to?  As for an idol, a craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and fashions silver chains for it.  A man too poor to present such an offering selects wood that will not rot.  He looks for a skilled craftsman to set up an idol that will not topple. (18-20)

The irony just drips off of Isaiah’s lips.  He says “Here is God enthroned overall the earth.  We are like grasshoppers to him.  And yet you make these puny idols made from gold and silver.  Some of you can’t even afford that.  You make it out of wood.  And you compare these things to the living God?”

Yet for all his power, wisdom, and glory, despite all his greatness, this God…loves us.

Isaiah writes,

He tends his flock like a shepherd:  He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.  (11)

That’s probably the most amazing thing of all.  That though God is so great, and we are so small and insignificant, yet he loves us, and sent his own Son to die for us that we might be reconciled to him.

How often do we reflect on his greatness?  How often do we reflect on his love?  If only we would do that, so many of our problems would shrink in size.  Or rather, we could see them in their proper perspective.  That no matter how big our problems are, our God is bigger.  And he loves us so much, that he will help us through whatever we’re going through.

So let’s not focus on our problems.  Let’s reflect on the one who is awesome…and who loves us.


About bkshiroma

I'm from Hawaii, but have been in Japan as a missionary/English teacher since 1995. I'm currently going to a church called Crossroad Nishinomiya, an international church in Nishinomiya, a city right between Kobe and Osaka. Check out their website: 私がハワイから来ましたけど1995年に宣教師と英会話の教師として日本に引っ越しました。 今西宮にあるクロスロード西宮という国際の教会に行っています。どうぞ、そのホムページを見てください:
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