GETTING THE MESSAGE/Isaiah 40:25-26
When we are in a personal crisis we often cry out to the Lord. When you are needy, and have no one to help, what else can you do? Needy people, who call upon him, are precisely those whom God helps. The Lord can help you with temporal concerns and supply the spiritual necessities you require to sustain you in difficulty. Your cry is not unheard.
It is the full and self-sufficient who are foolish. The Lord speaks directly to us in verse 25: “To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One.” The Lord is turning us away from the folly of idolatry.
Psalm 14 speaks of the curse of idolatry: “The fool says in his heart there is no God. They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good…They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.”
The psalm isn’t speaking of atheism but idolatry. Men form their own gods and the Bible says even their outward good deeds are corrupted under the examination of the holy God. Men are swollen with pride, even though their life is frail and fleeting.
It is in this condition that the gospel comes to men. God’s Spirit magnifies to men their sin and misery, and enlightens their minds to knowledge of Christ. And the Lord doesn’t refuse any sinner who comes to him. It truly is amazing grace, and it is sweet to the redeemed soul.
God identifies himself as the “Holy One (verse 25).” Holiness describes the “otherness” of God, his uniqueness, separate and above his creatures and creation. He alone is God. It also points to him as morally pure and perfect; he is pure light, with no darkness.
His will is not a created will, capable of unrighteousness, as well as righteousness. His justice is a holy justice; his wisdom a holy wisdom; his truth is holy truth; it is not possible that anything he promises or warns will fail. So when his Spirit works savingly upon a soul, his holiness is manifested to that soul. The need of reconciliation becomes indispensable; priority one.
The soul under conviction begins to understand his own works and righteousness under God’s examination will not suffice before the judgment of God. He sees himself in a way he hasn’t before. The Son of God’s willingness to die for him is revealed in both its love and sufficiency. He now understands that God is pleased in all his holy purity with Christ’s offering for his sin.
Because God is holy, his love is boundless to those he has made holy in Christ. He delights in their holiness, because he reckons them as righteous as Christ. The more the Christian comes to understand this, the less he strives and worries about his acceptability before God on his own merits. Conversely, the less he is insensitive to his sin and vanity. He realizes he now belongs to the Holy God.
Strangely, the more the Christian understands the love of Christ and the certainty of his salvation as free and owing to nothing he has done, but wholly because of what Christ has done, the more self-less he becomes in serving Christ, and less the approval of men he seeks. He becomes motivated more from faith and love because Christ gave himself for him.
Verse 26 is a good one to memorize if you want to have the love of Christ before you always. The Lord directs you to look at the stars above and consider that he knows them all by name. Christ, in John 10, says he is the Good Shepherd who calls his sheep by name.
God formed the stars for your instruction. First, that he alone is Creator of all; he brought all into existence for his own glory. Second, that in Christ, you are of greater significance than the stars. The Son of God loved you and saved you. He has called you by name, led you out of sin and death. He has given you hope and a future. You are to follow him and not look back; seeking his glory, as his star.
The end of verse 26 says, “By the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.” By speaking of the stars this way, the Lord is saying to you what he also said of his sheep in John 10: “No one will snatch them out of my hand.” None of his sheep will be missing on the Day of the Lord. “The Lord is my Shepherd. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.”