Monday, August 18, 2008

Our Great God - Isaiah 40

We now skip to chapter 40 and the beginning of some of my favorite scriptures in the Bible. I love to start reading in Job 38 to the end of the book and then jump over to Isaiah 40 and read through the next few chapters. It’s inspiring and faith strengthening to hear God declare His power and authority throughout His creation. Though not dealing with prophecy per se, it is important to recognize just Who these prophecies are coming from—Almighty God, the Creator of the universe, a Being without comparison. I think the scripture speaks for itself, but I will include some of the comments from my journals as I focus on selected verses. This section will take more than one post.

Is. 40:12 Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?
At this point Isaiah begins to pose some interesting questions to God’s people. The content of these questions make statements of truth about God. They are intended to impress upon His people just how awesome their God is. The question is rhetorical; the answer is understood—God.

God has measured the waters of the earth in hollow of His hand (singular). Think about the quantity of water on earth; look at your own hand—staggering, unfathomable!

God measured the width of heaven with the span. This seems to be referencing heaven as the place that contains the clouds, planets, and stars. The span is a reference to the distance between the thumb and the pinkie finger when stretched to its greatest distance. Look at the sky; spread out the fingers on your hand and consider—awesome, unbelievable!

The next phrase is a little more difficult. The word measure in this phrase is yet a different Hebrew word; it seems to include an emphasis on three, such as a three-fold measure (length, width, breadth?). Just try to imagine all the dust of the earth gathered into one spot—impossible!

Most scales in biblical days operated on a system of weights and balances. Try to imagine scales large enough to weigh the hills and mountains.

This verse definitely gives a description of Someone far beyond our comprehension or understanding.

Is. 40:13 Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him?
Another rhetorical question; the obvious answer—no one.

Is. 40:14 With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?
Isaiah seems to be repeating the previous question, but with reference to more of God’s attributes. God is the source of all counsel, instruction, judgment, knowledge, and understanding.

Is. 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Psa. 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

Psa. 89:14 Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.

Prov. 2:6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

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