Recognize Who Your God Is
“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 NIV)
Some people consider God to be the great Creator somewhere out there—a Supreme Being who is Almighty God, but who is not close to them. Others do think of him as a God who is near, but who is either ignorant of, or unable to handle, the mountains in their lives. Actually, God is both: He’s all-knowing, all-powerful and omnipresent; yet he is a gentle shepherd to his people.
We see the juxtaposition and the seeming contradiction of these truths in the book of Isaiah, where we read about the awesome power of God yet also see his tenderness and care. On the one hand, the prophet Isaiah asks, “To whom, then, will you compare God?” (Isaiah 40:18) Compared to him, everyone is like grass: God is eternal; but people—even those we consider really important—come and go. Who but God can measure the Atlantic Ocean, the Arctic Ocean, and all the seas that cover the earth? No one knows the weight of the mountains or has collected the dust of the earth, yet God sits enthroned above it all, with earth as his footstool. When he was creating the heavens and the earth, the Almighty didn’t need help from anyone, yet he knows the countless stars by name. Nobody gives the Lord instruction, for he knows all things; he doesn’t need counselors, for he has all wisdom. All the nations of the earth, with their majestic flags and their weaponry, are as nothing to him—empires go up and empires go down, but God remains the same yesterday, today and forever. Earthly rulers have to depend on other things happening around the world; but not God. He started the whole thing, and he knows the moment it will end. That’s because he doesn’t exist in time; he’s eternal. He rules sovereignly, doing things according to his own will and in ways no one can fathom.
Regarding his people, however, the melody changes. God rules and watches over us, not as an imperial czar, but as a gentle shepherd providing protection, sustenance, and guidance. Isaiah says, “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart…” (Isaiah 40:11) There are times when we go through things we can tell no one about. Not that we’re trying to hide, but we can’t even explain what we feel sometimes, for there are no human words to express it. But God understands it; he feels it. He comforts and helps us, because his understanding has no end. Not only does he have all-surpassing knowledge so that he’s aware of all of our concerns, but he also brings his all-surpassing power to bear on our troubles.
As we approach the end of another year, let’s thank God for his keeping power this whole year, and let’s entrust all of our tomorrows to this great yet loving and compassionate God who neither slumbers nor sleeps, but carefully watches over his people as a shepherd watches over his flock.
Read Isaiah 40:10-24.