"Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.Isaiah 44:6(NASB)
There could hardly be a more emphatic proclamation that God is God and there is no other, nor could there be a stronger statement that He will not share any of His glory with man or angel, nor any other created being.
In spite of the apostasy of Israel and despite their fawning after the idols of their neighbouring nations, God reaffirms His unique, sovereign status and distinctive holy character, by the declaration that He is King of Israel, the Redeemer of Israel, the Ruler of the heavenly Hosts, the Lord of the whole earth, the one and only unique God of gods and King of kings.
God will not give His glory to another, and in this chapter He declares: "I am the first and the last, and there is no God besides Me." Isaiah then describes in detail the futility of idols and the absurd way that men work their fingers to the bone, growing faint and hungry as they work, fashioning worthless idols to bow down to. And the illogical way men will burn half a piece of wood to keep warm and with the other half make an idol that they then cry out to: "Save me! You are my god!" Isaiah describes these men: "They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand."
God, in His grace, makes it so clear to us Who He is, the Creator of the universe, Redeemer of the world Who formed us in our mother's womb, the one true, living God, the only one worthy of our praise and worship.
The Lord Himself tells us exactly Who He is, and with echoes of His conversation with Moses at the burning bush, here in Isaiah, He says, "I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me."
God's sovereignty is such an important fact that these words are echoed throughout the whole Bible and specifically restated in the final portion of God's message to humankind. In the book of Revelation, Christ Jesus Himself authoritatively declares, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."
What confidence should flood our soul and what joy should illuminate our hearts, for the long-suffering, faithful God of Israel Who redeemed them out of the Egyptian bondage and restored them from their Babylonian captivity, is the same Saviour Who is faithful and true, Who clothed Himself in flesh, and came to earth in the likeness of human flesh and bled and died that you and I might also be redeemed from the captivity of Satan, and rescued from the bondage of sin.
May He be the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and last in each of our lives, from this day forward and into the eternity of eternities.
Heavenly Father, I praise You for the faithfulness you showed to Your people, Israel. Thank You that you are the same yesterday, today, and forever. You are the first and the last, the Alpha and the Omega. You alone are holy, and You alone are my God and my Saviour. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.
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