Isaiah 40:21-24

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Isaiah 40:21-24

21 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? 22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. 23 He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. 24 No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.

Of course we know and we have heard of God’s greatness, but how often do we take it for granted? How do we mere grasshoppers fail to see beyond the next clump of grass as if our tiny domain is the center of the universe? This verse at the same time reminds me not only of my insignificance in the grand scheme of God’s plan, but of the equality I have with all other grasshoppers; the kings, the rulers, the celebrities of our day. Our time on this earth is brief and fleeting.

God takes the long view. It is hard for us to think beyond what we need to do on a day to day basis, although perhaps in January we will try to make plans for the coming year. We know it is good to formulate goals for the next five to ten years – maybe career aspirations or retirement plans or even places we’d like to travel. But to look back from the very beginning of time? That’s something only God is able to do.

Notice some of the words used to describe the majesty of God – God is enthroned above the earth, while we are like grasshoppers (we certainly do “hop” around keeping busy!) God is creator – stretching out the heavens like a canopy, forming the skies to be as a covering or tent for us to live in. Even more, this scripture says that God takes an active role in how the peoples of this earth are governed.

From our short-sighted perspective, it’s hard to step back the way God does. God has seen many dynasties come and go, dictators and rulers and kings who thought themselves invincible but were subject to God’s rules about human lifetimes, no different from the humblest person walking this earth. What to us may seem a long time, as in a presidential term of office, is to God but a blink in time. I hope this is reassuring, even comforting, to hear that God has all things well in hand.

God’s power and majesty are beyond my comprehension. In order for me to leave any mark on this world it is only through the power of Christ within me and the leading of His Holy Spirit. It is for His glory that I strive to live.

 

Prayer

Lord, help me to always be mindful of your power and majesty. Thank you that you stretch out the heavens as a canopy for me to live under. All I have, all I know, and so much more are all gifts from you. Prevent me from feeling my own importance or that I am somehow superior to other grasshoppers. Thank you for your love and grace to each and every one of us. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

 

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