Who is Like Our God?
A daily devotion for February 17th
12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance?
13 Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord,
or instruct the Lord as his counselor?
14 Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him,
and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge,
or showed him the path of understanding?
15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
they are regarded as dust on the scales;
he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.
16 Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires,
nor its animals enough for burnt offerings.
17 Before him all the nations are as nothing;
they are regarded by him as worthless
and less than nothing.
18 With whom, then, will you compare God?
To what image will you liken him?
19 As for an idol, a metalworker casts it,
and a goldsmith overlays it with gold
and fashions silver chains for it.
20 A person too poor to present such an offering
selects wood that will not rot;
they look for a skilled worker
to set up an idol that will not topple.
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? (Isaiah 40:12)
This section has some of the most majestic and superb language about God found in Scripture. God himself is asking man,
Can you do what I do? Can you hold the waters of earth in the hollow of your hand? I stood on the beach at San Diego. It was a gorgeous day. I watched the great combers coming in from the Pacific. As I watched those great billows crashing on the sand I thought of the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, extending thousands upon thousands of miles to the West. These words came to my mind,
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand? God himself in majesty and greatness controls all the forces of earth.
Verses 13 and 14 speak of God's incredible wisdom:
Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or as his counselor has instructed him? (Isaiah 40:13 RSV) Who could do that? Many attempt to. I confess there have been times when I have been confronted with a difficult problem which I analyzed and thought I had solved. Then I have come to God and told him step by step what he could do to work out the problem—only to find, to my utter astonishment, that he completely ignored my approach and did nothing about it. I have become irritated over this. I have said to him,
Lord, even I can see how to work this out. Surely you ought to be able to understand. But as the problem remained, and a whole new situation came to light, I realized that God saw far more than I could see, that he knew of obstacles I had no knowledge of, complexities that touched the lives of hundreds of people. He was working out purposes that would go on not only for the moment, but on and on into one generation after another; that his solution ultimately was the best one. I had to say, as the Apostle Paul says in Romans 11,
O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! (Romans 11:33 RSV).
In Verses 15 to 17, God compares himself with the proud nations of earth:
Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the isles like fine dust. (Isaiah 40:15 RSV). How feeble seem the boasts of men, the leaders of the nations, with their claims to glory and might and power, when compared with the greatness, the majesty and the strength of God himself. They are nothing, God says, absolutely nothing.
Almighty and Eternal God, I humble myself before you as the Creator and Sustainer of all things. Who am I, that I should question your ways? I gladly submit my will to yours and trust that you will work out even the most difficult of circumstances.
Life Application: Are we considering the absurdity of questioning or propositioning Almighty and Sovereign God? Do we pray with Jesus, 'Thy will be done,' or the futile folly of 'my will be done'?
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