Monday, November 30, 2009

Decmber 1- Isaiah 44:6-8- The God who holds the future

Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

11/16- Isaiah 44:6-8

6 "This is what the LORD says— Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last;
apart from me there is no God. 7 Who then is like me? Let them proclaim it. Let them declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come— yes, let them foretell what will come. 8 Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one."

Calvin abridged: We never ascribe as much as we ought to ascribe to the power of God, but we are distracted by adversity and a variety of thoughts, and are too strongly attached to the present state of things. God is not only the “King” but also the “Redeemer” because the power of God is not enough if we do not believe in God’s good will toward us. “I am the first” God not only asserts his eternity here, but shows that He is always faithful to himself, and that our hope rests in that he will be in the future what we have found him to be in the past. The Prophet wants our minds to be free from false imagination, and instead we should raise them to heaven, that they may be altogether fixed on God. 7Who then is like me? The Lord compares himself with idols. Though they would be fiercely insulted by their Babylonian conquerors, they should not lose hope or be discouraged. God governs all things by his providence, so he knows everything in the future, and gives evidence of his foreknowledge. God is the only one who can raise up and call up deliverers. 8 “Fear not”- Since the Lord is so powerful and governs all things at his pleasure, the people whom he has taken under his protection ought not to be afraid.

Thoughts: The context of Isaiah 44- the way it was written, is the God proves himself different from idols because he can predict the future, and holds the future of his people in his hands. So God predicts through Isaiah about 130 years before it happened, that Cyrus (by name) would arise to bring the people back from their exile (44:28). If we really believed with all our heart that God not only knew the future but held our future, we would trust Him more. We cannot see around the next corner, but if we know God can, we ought to seek to communicate with Him. When I lived in the mountains, there were times when I would get behind a slow moving truck going up those curvy mountain roads. I could not see ahead to know when I should pass. It would be nice if I could have communicated with someone in a plane who could see and tell me by radio when it was safe to pass. God is King, and sees all things. We should call out to Him the only real God.

Prayer: Lord, our future is uncertain. Help us to listen to your voice, and to trust your advice to us.

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