This past week, the place I read from the book of Isaiah absolutely blew my mind. These were life-altering words. It is probably one of the most powerful and potent passages that I have ever come across in the Old Testament. The whole counsel of God is phenomenal and all of Scripture is profitable. This place that I am about to share with you is no exception.
This is a place that with graphic detail and illustrious word pictures, demonstrates to us the God who saves us and the God who sustains us. This is a picture of our God who loves us, pursues us and saves us because His glory must be upheld. This is a God who despite the density of my depravity, continues to love me and demonstrate patience towards me. This is a God who is for me, will protect me and will shepherd me. This is a God who will not give anyone else the glory He most definitely deserves and craves.
If only we took the time to contemplatively look at these promises and proclamations. This would put us in a state of shock and awe, all the while gaining a deeper, more firm understanding of the God we serve and the God who watches over us.
Here are ten observations based on the text found in chapters 48 & 49 of Isaiah:
1. The deep density of my depravity.
Because I know that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew and your forehead brass. (Isa. 48:4).
This wall is impossible to break down and unfeasible to penetrate. This can only occur through the supernatural Spirit that breaks into pieces my pride and shatters into oblivion my arrogance. He will detonate an explosion in the hardest of hearts and they will be turned worshipfully to Him.
2. God is aggressively after his magnificent glory.
For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. (Isa. 48:9).
God does what He wills and wills to do what He does. The exaltation and magnification of His glory is of preeminent importance for Him and to Him. He will not stop at anything to uphold this glory and to proclaim about His glory.
3. God desires that His glory would be on display before the world.
Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. (Isa. 48:10).
The primary motivation in the heart of God is the glory of God. We do not receive as we deserve because in His perpetual compassion, the glory of God is boldly demonstrated. Nothing can tarnish or diminish the glory of God.
4. God is about God.
For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another. (Isa. 48:11).
This is infinitely good news for us because God is not about us. God is actively after the praise of His glorious name and the proliferation of His effervescent fame. The glory of God and my joy are not at odds with one another. My level of joy has a direct correlation to my passionate pursuit of rendering God glory. God is not after my begrudging submission. He is perpetually satisfied with me living on an intentional mission.
5. Our mind is incapable of understanding the sheer depth and breadth of who God is and what He does with His power.
My hand laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand forth together. (Isa. 48:13).
God is the gospel and this good news is positioned as a commanding presence in the entire universe. Everything and anything approves, supports, reveals and audaciously testifies to His glory and about His glory.
6. Our obedience to the precepts of God is tied in to our level of pleasure we experience in God.
Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea; (Isa. 48:18).
Hearing and obeying the Word of God brings about pure pleasure from God. The peace we can experience from following the commandments of God can and should be perpetual not intermittent. The depravity of our nature is consistently covered by the blood of the lamb just like the waves of the sea perpetually caress the ocean shore.
7. Perpetual worship is the proper position of a person saved by God, unto God and for the glory of God.
Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the LORD has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted. (Isa. 49:13).
The triumph that Jesus perpetuated over sin, Satan death and hell should incite a riot in our mind that brings about explosive joy. We groan along with creation for the day in which the bondage of corruption will experience a final destruction.
8. Our God is a God who has a large heart, overflowing with compassion.
Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. (Isa. 49:15).
The heart of God goes out to the marginalized, the weak, the lowly, the downtrodden, the cast down, the neglected, those who have lost their parents and those whose parents have abandoned them. The attention of God to the people of God is closer and more caring than an overprotective mother and her relationship with her child.
9. The humble will experience their reward in due time.
- Kings shall be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you, and lick the dust of your feet. Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.” (Isa. 49:23).
- For thus says the LORD: “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken, and the prey of the tyrant be rescued, for I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children. (Isa. 49:25).
The arrogant will serve the humble. The lowly will be served by the haughty. A good God will reward those who are humble before their God for the glory of God, by the grace of God. The people of God will never be forgotten and will be perpetually taken care of.
10. The ultimate purpose in the plan of God is to bring glory to God from the people of God.
I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh, and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine. Then all flesh shall know that I am the LORD your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” (Isa. 49:26).
The glory of God will be demonstratively shown, in an illustrious display, before the whole world.
The above is a glimpse of the God we serve and a God who desperately desires to serve us. All we can do is come to Him, in humble submission, bearing a contrite heart, exhibiting passionate worship and lucid trepidation.
The above is the story of God coming to earth as a human to save humans for Himself through His Son Jesus Christ.
Question: What thoughts do you have as you contemplate on the greatness of God? What from the above gives you great encouragement and peace?