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Two questions must be answered before we become willing to trust our lives to God.
(1) Does God care for me? Does he love me and have my best interests in mind?
(2) Is God willing and able to be involved in my life? Does God take action in the day-to-day lives of people? Is he at work in human history?
If we are not confident that there is a “yes” answer to these questions, we will not trust God.
We may go through a religious activity, but complete reliance on God will be absent. We will attempt to secure our existence through our human strength and abilities.
God Cares for You
The witness of the Bible is that God cares for people. “For God so loved the world. . . .” (John 3.16) is a foundational truth about God gracious nature.
Isaiah described God’s love with these words.
Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
See, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep. (Isaiah 40.9-11)
Like a stadium announcer of a sporting event, Isaiah declared, “Here is your God!”
When we behold God, what do we discover?
— Isaiah 40.1 – He comforts the brokenhearted.
The Beatitudes in Matthew 5.3-12 declare God’s blessing on people who are poor, who mourn, who have been humbled by life, and much more.
Jesus’ name for the Holy Spirit in the Gospel of John is the “paraclete.” This term is translated as “Comforter,” “Advocate,” or “Helper.” See John 14.16 and 26; 15.26; 16.7.
The ever-present God is our Comforter.
— Isaiah 40.8 – He gives his word that can be trusted and followed to our benefit.
God demonstrates his love for us by answering our prayers.
Jesus said, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15.7).
The availability of the Holy Spirit is another of God’s promises. On the day of Pentecost, Peter was able to tell the crowd that the promise of the Spirit had become a reality.
“This is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
“In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh . . .” (Acts 2.16-17)
— Isaiah 40.11 – He gently leads us like a shepherd guides the sheep.
Jesus called himself the “good shepherd.” John 10.1-18 provides the full description of the way he cares for his “sheep.”
One verse sums up his devotion: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10.11).
God is Ready and Able to Help
The answer to whether God cares for people is a resounding “Yes.” Isaiah persuasively responded to the second question of God’s ability to help with this description:
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?
Who has directed the spirit of the Lord,
or as his counselor has instructed him?
Even the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
and are accounted as dust on the scales;
see, he takes up the isles like fine dust. (Isaiah 40.12-13, 15)
Everything that threatens human life is the size of a drop from a bucket in comparison to God. His power is so immense that he can stretch his hand and encompass one ocean to the next.
In comparison to God, the nations are no threat at all.
All the nations are as nothing before him;
they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. (Isaiah 40.17).
The second question wonders if God is powerful enough to protect us from harm. “Yes” is the answer to the second question.
Another aspect of the same question is whether God gets involved in human history.
That is a difficult question for many. They have prayed fervently for a need, only to feel that God was absent in their greatest time of need.
The verses of our study today do not answer the despairing question of people who have been disappointed by the results of their prayers.
Later verses in Isaiah will provide some helpful insights. Intellectual answers may help some, but deep hurts can only be healed by God who encounters us with his comfort.
To summarize today’s article, the answer is a resounding “yes” to both of the questions. We will frequently return to these questions and answers because they feature prominently in the next chapters of Isaiah.
About This Blog
Rudy Ross is an excellent student of Isaiah. Rudy and I have a video you can see on the Bob Spradling YouTube Chanel.
Rudy will bring a different dimension to Isaiah than what is in my blog. I hope you will check out and enjoy my interviews with him.
I am indebted to a book by Dr. John Oswalt on Isaiah for his insights into this powerful book.
If you have a prayer request, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood Baptist prayer team will pray for you.