“I am the Lord, your Holy One, The Creator of Israel, your King.” Isaiah 43:15
In our western society we don’t really include God in our thinking. Society as a whole doesn’t consider a superior being as having a direct daily influence on our surroundings. Many people may believe that there is a God, and in theory, agree that God has an influence on the working of things, but in our everyday thoughts, we don’t think that way. For example, we don’t usually think of God when we think of the weather. We don’t hear the TV weatherman saying, “God brought some rain today to help the farmer’s crops so we can have a good harvest this year and plenty of food.” We have removed God from our thinking thanks to ideas like the separation of church and state, or the theory of evolution taught in our schools along with other scientific or humanistic teachings. Humans are the highest form of life in our way of thinking. We have a deeper and better scientific understanding of natural events than those in the past, so we think that since we understand these things, and explain why they happened that we don’t need to make a connection to God. We think that the earthquake happened because there was an underground fault line that has built up pressure over the years and finally has shifted, so God didn’t just reach down and start shaking the earth and open up the ground. This is how most of us are raised. It’s how most of our parents and teachers think. It’s what we see on the television shows and movies, and that’s where we get much of our training on how to think.
Even the pagan cultures of the past had considered a superior being as the source of natural events and activities. Their so called “gods” were false, but they knew that there was some superior force that controlled events that impacted their lives; they had that part right. And they thought that way as a culture. We now think that this is foolish thinking. A “god” doesn’t control the rain (is our thinking). The sun causes the water to evaporate and form clouds and the clouds build up until the atmospheric pressure changes and then it rains. This is simple science that grade school children are taught. It’s a “natural” event and “mother nature” is the underlying force behind it.
But the truth is, whether we think we understand it or not, God is still in control of these events. Our knowledge is still limited as to what is really happening with natural events. The Bible is very clear that it is God who created these things and it is He who ultimately controls them. I believe that when we pass over to the next life, we will see and understand even more of what His power and influence has been on this earth.
My point is this: We need to make an effort to change the way that we think about God’s power and influence in our lives and surroundings because we are not accustomed to thinking this way. It is not the way that we have been raised to think. For the pagan cultures that worshiped false God’s, it was probably easier for them to shift their thinking from a false God to the true and living God. They always knew that events and occurrences were being orchestrated by a superior being, so when they converted to Christianity, they knew the true source and just fit Him into their thinking habits. For many of us, we can’t just fill in the true God into our thinking habits because we never established those habits that look to God as the source in the first place.
In Isaiah 43:15 we see four characterizations of God: 1) the Lord, 2) the Holy One, 3) the Creator of Israel, 4) the King. Let’s look at each one.
As Lord, this suggests ownership. If you buy a plot of land, you become the land owner and also the land lord. As landlord, you have a right to whatever value comes from that land, and you have a right to control whatever happens on that land. Since we were created by God and since He is the source of our life, therefore He essentially owns us. He has breathed life into us. The very workings of our body from the circulation of our blood to the reproduction of our cells is under His control. The Bible says that He has the very hairs on our heads numbered. He supplies the food that we eat to sustain us. We therefore have a responsibility to honor Him. In addition to this, we were purchased by the price that Jesus paid on the cross. He paid for our redemption and with His shed blood He has purchased us. Again, He really does own us.
Your Holy One
We must recognize that God is unique, separated and far above all other things. He is also perfect and righteous, meaning that he is a perfect example of love, justice, and moral correctness. His character needs to be regarded as the highest example of truth. This nature and character has been exemplified in the life and teachings of Jesus. We honor God when we seek to learn and know more about His character and attempt to imitate His behavior and to please Him.
The Creator of Israel
Not only has God created this world and all that is in it including every living thing, but He has also created Israel as a holy nation through which He has introduced a Messiah or Savior to the world. He spoke to Abraham and started a nation from his descendants from which Jesus was also descended. He is the source of our spiritual life also, and has made a way for us to be removed from the judgment of the wickedness of this world. We must recognize Him as the source of this privilege.
A king is a ruler and a leader, and one who controls the government of a nation and whose sovereign will guides all of its citizens. As Christians we recognize God as our King, but not of an earthly kingdom, but of a heavenly one that will become a new earthly kingdom when Jesus returns to establish a new earth. Jesus is the King of all Kings even now, but in the future will establish His kingdom and we will also reign with Him.
So what does this mean to us now? Well, again I say, we must walk, live and think in the reality of God’s high position, with us as His royal children. As His children, we must recognize that all circumstances in our lives are under His control and guidance. Nothing goes unnoticed by Him. He is aware of our thoughts and feelings. He is able to influence every part of our lives. Nothing is left to chance or coincidence. We can totally trust in Him to make sure that we are in the best place at every moment of our lives.
Isaiah 43 goes on the explain some of the benefits: (verses 16-21)
“Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea and a path through the mighty waters, who brings forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power (they shall lie down together, they shall not rise; they are extinguished, they are quenched like a wick): Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing. Now it shall spring forth; shall you not see it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field will honor Me, the jackals and the ostriches, because I give wasters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen, this people I have formed for Myself; They shall declare My praise.”
God is able to make a clear and easy path through a stormy sea or an overgrown wilderness. I remember recently riding my bike down a mountain road that suddenly ended and there was nothing. I looked on my cell phone GPS and saw that I wasn’t far from a paved roadway so I picked up my bicycle and began to walk towards the roadway through the thick brush and overgrowth. There were fallen trees, sticker bushes, a stream, and conditions that made it almost impossible to continue, especially while carrying my bike. I finally broke through to the roadway, but it was a major effort and it left me a bit scraped up. Life can be like this sometimes as we go along all of a sudden we stop moving smoothly and hit a difficult path to travel. God is able to make a straight path for us, but we need to stop and look to Him to show us that path. Don’t worry, it’s there; we just need Him to show us. He will. He does.
God also has power over our enemies. He can deliver us from those that would want to destroy us, whether they are actual people, or circumstances, or sickness, or even the devil. God is greater than any other power in the universal. He is in control of our lives and our circumstances. He will deliver us and extinguish them.
I love that fact that God is able to make things new for us. He does this at certain intervals in our lives. He tells us to forget the past, to forget what has been happening up to that point in our lives. He does something new and fresh and different, and it’s for our good. This is the hand of our loving God who is the only One who can do such a thing. He makes it spring forth like a new plant that blooms forth flowers in our life. He refreshes us and makes things new. Only God can do this. How amazing!
It’s so easy for us to get lost in life or to come to a desert where there is no water to drink. We thirst and can’t find what satisfies that thirst. God promises to give drink to His people. He will bring what we need to find satisfaction. Remember though that God is more concerned with our spiritual well being. He knows that we need to shift our satisfaction from fleshly things to spiritual things. We must allow Him to work in our lives so that we can find the true satisfaction that comes from the living waters. True contentment and true satisfaction can be ours even in this life, no matter what the circumstances. God is faithful and true, and He is powerful and able to do beyond what we ask or think.
All this is for us to then declare His praise. To give Him the honor and praise that is due Him. God says that He has formed His people for Himself. In our human thinking, this seems demeaning, that we would be God’s “possession” and for His use. In truth, it is much better to be His than the alternative, and that is, that we unknowingly become the possession of Satan. Yes, this is true, we can’t just be neutral and not belong to anyone. We either serve God or we serve Satan. It’s our choice. Satan deceives us into thinking that we serve no one, and that we control our own lives and destiny. This is a lie; we serve Satan under these conditions but are unaware. Chose God! He is a much better master! His way is easy and His burden is light! Praise Him!