Discover His heart: He is God, creator of all things, yet tender enough to carry us in His arms.
“You who bring good tidings, Lift up your voice with strength, Lift it up, be not afraid; Say to the cities of Judah, ‘Behold your God!’…He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young.” (40:9,11 nkjv/nlt) The first 39 chapters of Isaiah have been rugged with prophetic judgments on the nations, but the tone of the prophet Isaiah changed in Chapter 40 as he reminded Israel of who God really is: He is God, creator of all things, yet tender enough to carry us in His arms.
“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.” (43:2) I am thankful that because of Jesus, I am part of this promise to Israel. As I go through rivers of difficulty in my life, He is with me and will not let me drown. Sometimes the waters feel like they are right at my neck, but somehow He supports me and keeps me afloat through the difficulty. I look back at situations in life and see myself as though I was almost walking on water rather than drowning because of God’s grace.
This is the God that Isaiah was encouraging Israel to remember and to follow. One of the most beloved and quoted scriptures is found here in Isaiah 40:31, “Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” And they just may walk on water…
These chapters in Isaiah remind me of Who ultimately controls the outcome of powers, governments and kingdoms and their deeds. In Chapter 41:2 and again in 44:28, Isaiah prophesied about a king from the east, 150 years in the future, who would deliver Israel out of Babylon captivity, someone God called into His own service to do His bidding. King Cyrus of Esther and Nehemiah fame, a pagan king, sent Israel back to their homeland simply because God willed him to do so.
I think of the events in more recent history where powerful men and nations chose to carry out their evil imaginations causing death and destruction, but their actions soon brought their own demise. Out of the rubble of World War II, an evil regime died and Israel once again returned to its homeland, a nation stronger than ever, with a friend by its side, a strong friend and ally, the United States. My prayer is that we remain a friend to Israel, for our own sake as well as for theirs.
Because heartless leaders and zealot groups around the world have met their doom, the gospel is now being preached and churches established in an area of the world where they were once forbidden. I am ever convinced that God will use the acts of all powers, governments and kingdoms to ultimately bring about His good. Yet, so personal is He that He feeds little me, carries me in His arms when needed and guides me along life’s path. I declare with Isaiah, Behold our God! There is none other like Him.
Moving forward: God is in control – I will remember this today regardless of the news alerts and headlines. I’ll remember that He is with me through my difficult moments of life as well. He’s got this!