“I, the Lord, the first and with the last, I am He.” Isaiah 41:4
Have you ever wondered who you are? Have you asked yourself, “How did I get here? What makes me so special among all the rest? Does God have plans for me too? Has He chosen me?” All of these questions are viable and I see one main commonality between them. They all correlate to the same one question, “Is God for me?”
Isaiah 41 talks about that very question. But we better start from the beginning. At the start of this chapter, it talks about the characteristics of all people, especially those who are not saved. These people are:
Weak and weary
Their strength is gone
This sounds depressing, but look what happens from that mess. Isaiah 41:1 says, “O Coastlands, let the people renew their strength; let them approach, then let them speak; let us together draw near for judgement.” The people of the “coastlands” are the unsaved people. They are the gentiles, and in the Bible, gentiles are anyone other than the chosen ones of Israel. God calls out among these nations of the unsaved to bring them to Him. The promise He gives to them for drawing near and coming to repentance in Him is that they will renew the strength that they never had. They won’t be broken, bruise, weak, weary, heavy laden of without strength anymore. All of this will be replenished.
“Well that’s all great and dandy for the ancient gentiles, but what about me?” Did this thought just cross your mind? The GREAT news is that, since God’s word is unchanging, we can apply everything to our own situations too. That’s how God is able to speak to us through His word. The gentiles today, are still the unsaved people. They are everyone who have not yet been stirred up by God. Are you a gentile? If you are, God is calling you near to Him. He is asking you to come into His throne room to kneel before Him and allow Him to renew your strength. Through repentance and submitting yourself, He promises to do just that.
Throughout this chapter God speaks to the gentiles over and over again. He speaks to them to stop with their idolatry. They see the might of the Lord and are fearful of it. Because of this, they hasten their idol making. They don’t trust that God could be for them too. They think that they are outside of the “grace box” God has for them. They work so hard to make gods for themselves that will be able to protect them from God. But their work is futile. Nothing will come out of their efforts. Isaiah 41:24 “Behold, you are nothing, and your work is less than nothing; and abomination is He who chooses you.” The “you” God is referring to in this is the idols themselves. He is saying that their work is less than nothing and that basically there is no point in having them around because they will not bring forth anything. They are just a chunk of metal.
Today, there are still many idols. They may not be shaped like an animal or a person and made of metal, but they are nevertheless all around us. I find that our idols are very sneaky today. They are things that we wouldn’t normally think of as being bad. These things include, but are not limited to:
Yes I will say it, FACEBOOK
If you are ever in question of what an idol is in your life, just ask yourself, “What upsets me when I can’t have it?” Are you upset when you can’t go shopping? When you can’t check your Facebook timeline? When you can’t have all the money in your bank account? They are a whole plethora of things it could be for you, go before God and ask Him to help you find out what they are.
In the middle of chapter 41, God makes a switch. He starts to speak to those who are chosen by Him and who have been stirred up by Him already. He gives countless blessings to His children through the pages of the Bible, but here are the ones that He promises in this chapter.
He promises that:
He has called and chosen them for a purpose
He is with the saved and will uphold them with His righteous right hand
All their enemies will be put to shame
He will strengthen them to crush their enemies.
In verses 14-15 God refers to His children as worm and their enemies as mountains. He uses this analogy to show us how mighty He is. He says, “Fear not, you worm of Jacob, you men of Israel! I am the one who helps your, declares the Lord, your Redeemer is the Hold One of Israel, Behold, I make of your a threshing sledge, new, sharp and having teeth, you shall make the hills like chaff, and you shall make the hills like chaff.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a worm with teeth that was able to destroy a whole mountain, others then on that Sci Fi movie, “Tremors.” (Side note, I’m pretty sure that was my favorite movie in High School.)
Because God uses this analogy of something that obviously would never happen ever, it is clear to see that God hand is in all of this. God will strengthen the saved and uphold them on His righteous right hand. He will give them the power, strength and ability to conquer their enemies one by one.
People, this is what I’m talking about. God can choose anyone. He can choose the smallest of these of the mightiest King. Whoever He wants, He will use. Verse 25 says this, “I (God) stirred up one from the north, and he has come, from the rising of the sun, and he shall call upon my name; he shall trample on rulers as on mortar, as the potter treads clay.” It must always start with one. One daughter, one wife, one friend, one brother, one sister, one niece, one nephew. One person it starts with whom God stirs up inside, and then all the rest follow. I am that first person in my family. God moved in me, not because I was a great person. Actually, I was a wreck of a little girl. But He still persisted. He chose me, picked me up out the muck and the mire at age 14 and set me down on solid ground. My knees we wobbly and I couldn’t hardly walk through this new faith at first. But He strengthened me day by day and made me stronger. Then, He did something amazing!! He started moving in my family, and He continues to to this day.
Will you be that first person for someone? Out of whatever group of people you are in, God can pull you out of the muck and mire too to set you upon the rock and strengthen you. He can move in you, then through that move in the rest. It takes one spark to set a fire.