Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing.Isaiah 40:26(NASB)
The 66 chapters of Isaiah divide into two distinct sections. While the first part of his prophecy deals mainly with issues relating to Israel, their apostasy, the hardening of their heart towards the Lord, and His coming judgement (on them and other nations), chapter 40 onwards speaks words of comfort to God's people and tells of Israel's future deliverance.
The early part of this second section teaches about God's amazing grace and His tender-hearted mercies towards them. It gives a detailed description of their promised Saviour Who will one day come to tenderly care for His people, Israel, and He will speak kindly to them. The good news of the nation's eventual restoration is also given in this section, and the people are encouraged to consider the Lord their God and remember Who He is and the wonderful things He has done.
He reminds the people that the Lord is the sovereign Ruler of the universe and is supreme among the gods of the surrounding pagan nations. The Lord God of Israel is vastly superior to the little idols they worship, both the graven images they fashioned with their own hands, and the heavenly bodies they saw moving across the skies.
Isaiah points out the foolishness of substituting such false deities for the true and living God Who made heaven and earth and everything in it: "Lift up your eyes on high," he charged the people, "Look to the heavens above and see Who has created these stars." How foolish to worship the sun, the moon, and other heavenly bodies, when the true Creator has made Himself known to His people.
The stars the pagan nations revere, are nothing more than an insignificant part of God's entire creation which He spoke into being at the very beginning: "The Lord their God is the One and only God, Who flung every star into space and set each one on its heavenly course. He leads forth their host by number," Isaiah reminds his readers. God's knowledge and understanding is so great that "He calls every star by name."
Every pagan deity is eclipsed by the majesty and omniscience of the Almighty God. To the human eye, the stars appear numberless and yet God in His wisdom gave each one its peculiar characteristics. "Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power," Isaiah explains, "God even knows each star by name and not one of them has gone missing."
Is it astonishing to realise that Isaiah, like so many other Old Testament prophets, had to chasten the people of Israel for their apostasy and unbelief and had to remind them of God's creative majesty, His omnipotent strength, His omniscient knowledge, His sovereign authority, and His faithfulness to His chosen people.
The heavens have declared the glory of God from the beginning of creation, and the earth continues to shout forth His magnificent artistry. The enormous variety of plants, animals, fish, and birds, and the incredible intricacies of the human body, trumpet the magnificence and brilliance of our eternal Creator to all who have a desire to know the truth - and yet the same foolish unbelief permeates the mind of fallen man today as it did in the days of Isaiah.
"The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God,'" and yet they give honour to everything and anything, as long as it is not God the Father and Jesus Christ Whom He sent to be our Kinsman-Redeemer.
May we be those whose eyes are ever open to glorify the wonders of our great Creator, and may we never cease to praise Him for His tender-mercies and mighty deeds. May we be those whose ears are ever open to His gracious leading and may our hearts be ever open to His needful correction.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the amazing writings of the prophet Isaiah and the beautiful truths that He reveals about the Lord Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd of the sheep Who gave His life as the ransom price for the sin of the world. I praise You for Your magnificent creation and for the salvation of my soul. May I never cease to wonder at Your might, majesty, dominion, and power, and praise You for Christ's sacrificial offering on the Cross and glorious Resurrection from the dead. Thank You that it is simply by faith in Him that we have become Your children. I pray for the people of Israel that many would come to faith in Christ, and I look forward to that future day when Israel as a nation will be restored. Thank You in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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