Recently I have been studying through the book of Isaiah and have been taken back by the greatness of our God. Our God is unique, He is not like other gods, and in fact He isn’t even like us. He loves us regardless of our status in life and in Isaiah 64: 4 it says that He is willing to work for us. “From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.” The word acts can be translated rightfully to the word performs or works. Our God works for those who wait on Him. There isn’t any god like our God! The uniqueness of our God is that He comes to those who seek Him, to those who trust in Him and to those who wait on Him. Our God comes to the weak, broken, needy, and helpless and He says I am willing to work for you, will you wait for me, will you look to me, will you trust me! All the other gods in this world go around amassing slave labor, saying prove yourself; come work for me, and then I will bless you. But not our God! In Isaiah 46 we get a glimpse of how our God is so different than other gods, “Bel bows down; Nebo stoops; their idols are on beasts and livestock; these things you carry are borne as burdens on weary beasts. They stoop; they bow down together; they cannot save the burden, but themselves go into captivity. “Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.” Isaiah 46:1-4 The Babylonian gods Bel and Nebo in this text must be carried. They do not bear the burden, but put a burden on their worshippers. But our God says “I have carried you from the womb and even to gray hairs I will carry you!” When other gods demand performance as a grounds for blessing, our God offers performance for those who will look to him, trust in him, and wait for Him. Our God is like none other! Our God loves us and carries our burdens!
In Isaiah 55 it says that our God also abundantly pardons us, “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:6-9 Once again this passage reminds us of the greatness of our God. Regardless of what we have done in life our God abundantly pardons those who seek Him, for those who call on Him! The very essence of our wickedness and unrighteousness is the failure to seek Him and instead seek other things as our treasure. But our fulfillment is only found in our God, other things tend to burden us. I like the fact that in this passage of scripture we are also reminded that God is not like us. We struggle to pardon others, memories are forever etched in our minds and we often have a blurred vision when looking at those who have wronged us. I remember recently looking at a Classification Report of an inmate that I had been mentoring and wondering if I was ever able to look at him the same way again. But our God does not have blurred vision; He gave His only Son, Jesus, who gave up His life a ransomed for many. Our God loves us and He abundantly pardons those who return to Him. For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling, and you said, “No! We will flee upon horses”; therefore you shall flee away; and, “We will ride upon swift steeds”; therefore your pursuers shall be swift. A thousand shall flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you shall flee, till you are left like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain, like a signal on a hill. Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. Isaiah 30:15-19 It is in returning and resting(trusting) in God that we will be saved and where we will find our strength. I love how this passage also points out that though we chose at times to flee from God, that He waits to be gracious and show mercy to us and at the sound of our cry, when He hears it, He answers us. No matter how far man runs from God, or what man does, God waits for him! God will not reward us for our wrongs but waits to show grace to us. Friends, we serve a great God. Be encouraged that He loves you regardless of what you have done and wants to serve you! Will you wait for Him? Will you trust Him?