Knowing God 2

The Aim of this devotional study is to grow in the knowledge and of God leading to a more intimate relationship with Him.

Scripture

Isaiah 40:9-31

9  Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”

10  Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.  11  He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.

12  Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? 13  Who has measured the Spirit of the LORD, or what man shows him his counsel?  14  Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding?  15  Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.  16  Lebanon would not suffice for fuel, nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering.  17  All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.

18  To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him?  19  An idol! A craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and casts for it silver chains. 20  He who is too impoverished for an offering chooses wood that will not rot; he seeks out a skillful craftsman to set up an idol that will not move.

21  Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?  22  It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;  23  who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.  24  Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble.

25  To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One.  26  Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.

27  Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God”?

28  Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.  29  He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.  30  Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;  31  but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Observation

  1. Write down all the names of God that are attributed to Him in this text.
  2. Read through the passage again and give one-word descriptions for God from every verse, i.e. v9 “Comforter”, v10 “Judge”, v11 “Shepherd”, etc.
  3. List the descriptions from this section that relates to God’s transcendence (bigness, otherness).
  4. List the descriptions from this section that relates to God’s immanence (nearness, closeness to us).
  5. Look again to verses 18-26. The phrase To whom then will you liken/compare God” is repeated deliberately (v18 and 25) to compare the two following statements. What ironic comparison does the author highlight?  What is the lesson?

Application and prayer

  1. What is a god? Why do people worship gods? What are the benefits of worshiping gods? Name at least five motives/ benefits. (Look at the passage if you do not know).
  2. Look at your list of motives for value and trusting a god above. Reflect in your own life – do you trust or value something other than God for the above?  For instance: do you trust in money for security, regard your possessions as prize, someone as first option for help or wisdom, or your work for identity? Pray through that and declare God as primary in all things: wisdom and direction, strength and security, identity and value, etc.
  3. Take a while and prayerfully think and memories verse 28-29

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. “

Spend time in prayerful worship to our great, transcendent God who knows and relates and lavishes his goodness on his creatures whom he loves.  Tell him how great he is!

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