One of the problems that we face today is that we have an inadequate view of who God is. Most, if not all of our problems, can be traced to the lack of knowledge of who God is.
It is interesting to note that neither the prophets nor the apostles tried to prove the existence of God. Everywhere in the Bible the existence of God is assumed as a fact. Whether man knows God or not – depends upon man’s moral state. The problem that we are faced with is not one of not knowing whether there is a God, but that of not wanting to be ruled over. However, history shows us that we will either be ruled by our God or we will be ruled by tyrants.
Reformation will bring us back into this right knowledge of who God is. In Isaiah 40 we see something of the same format being laid down in Matthew 3. John the Baptist is the voice of one crying in the wilderness, then comes reformation – Jesus Christ is revealed and walks among people.
In Isaiah 40 we have the same thing. First we have the voice in the wilderness, then reformation comes: “And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” (40:5)
One of the first miracles that Jesus did was to take water and turn it into wine. John 2:11 “This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.” What did Jesus do? He took something ordinary (water) and made something extra-ordinary out of it (wine). In so doing He showed us His glory. Isn’t this what we find today. He takes us and makes something extra-ordinary out of us by having a plan and purpose for our lives. When we look around we see an abundance of the glory of the Lord in our midst. For example: the miracle of the little baby just born with all of her/his faculties, and the sunset and sunrise with all of the different colors changing as the sun gets higher, and even man going about his daily activities.
However, what we find first of all is the supremacy in God’s attributes. One of the things that Isaiah is trying to do is build confidence in the hearts and mind of God’s children. They have just come through a horrible time and now they need comforting, they need restoring, they need reformation.
So Isaiah starts with God. This is where we all should start. Like I said at the beginning, most if not all of our problems stem from a wrong view point of who God is.
Isaiah is trying to bring home to the Children of Israel how great God is. He does this by taking what we would call great in this world and comparing it to God and showing that there is no comparison at all.
“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?” Isaiah 40:12
Take the oceans of this world with all of their power and unending waves that crash upon the beaches of the world. God holds them in the palm of His hand. It is interesting to note that He holds the water in His hands, but He gathers us in His arms. “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.” (Isaiah 40: 11) There is more strength in the arms then in the hands and God has us in His arms.
Another aspect that Isaiah brings out is the ‘mind of the Lord.’ Who does God consult? Who taught Him? Who is His counselor? Who shows Him the path of understanding. No One. He is the fount of all wisdom, knowledge and understanding. “For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
In verse 15 Isaiah compares God to the great nations of the world. The Children of Israel have just come out of the great nation Babylon, but compared to God he states: “Nations are like a drop in a bucket. (vs.17) “Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing.” The conclusion that Isaiah comes to is verse 18: “To whom, then, will you compare God?”
Later in the same chapter Isaiah tries to compare God to great men. Nebuchadnezzar, Napoleon, Mao se Tung, and others of our day who hold sway over large numbers of people, but when compared to God they are nothing. God only needs to speak and they cease to exist.
In verse 26 of chapter 40, Isaiah tries to compare God to the vastness of the heavens. “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.” Scientists now say that in the galaxy of the Milky Way, there are two hundred billion stars, but in the universe, there are more than two hundred billion galaxies.
We read in Genesis that when Abraham and his nephew Lot separated, Lot lifted up his eyes and saw Sodom, then he became a friend of the world. Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the stars, and became a friend of God.
Reformation brings us back to the Supremacy of God in this universe.