THE UNIQUENESS OF GOD
Read Isaiah 44:28; 45:1-7,11-15,18,21-22
Intro: It isn’t difficult to see what’s going on in this chapter. Please note the recurring phrase “…there is none else, there is no God besides me…” (v. 5b, 5c, 6c, 6d, 14, 18, 21f, 21h, 22) God is revealing himself to his people to be their all sufficiency. There is no one else to look to, pray to, blame or criticize. He is the SOURCE, the CAUSE, the ORIGIN, the BEGINNING, the SOLUTION TO EVERY MYSTERY, the ANSWER TO EVERY QUESTION.
This is one of the great truths God was teaching his people as a result of Babylonian exile. Back and forth in these (comforting) chapters of Isaiah we see God exposing the folly of idolatry and revealing his own glory. Oh, how we need to see the glory of our God. That there is none like him in all the earth. There is no God like Jehovah! He is unique. He is transcendent. He is Omnipotent; Omnipresent; and Omniscient. He one of a kind, he is literally out of this world.
In one of his letters to Erasmus, Martin Luther said,"Your thoughts of God are too human." Someone said that God created man in his own image and then we decided to return the favor. Oh, but he isn’t like us! Isaiah 55:8“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.”
There are two distinct sections in chapter 45, which seem to divide naturally into a discussion on God as sovereign and God as Savior. They are:
VS. 1-16…………….. NO SOVEREIGN LIKE HIM
VS. 17-25 ………….. NO SAVIOR LIKE HIM
We must understand how the scriptures portray the Lord God so that we will have no difficulty recognizing his hand in our life events.Isaiah description of Jehovah is so unique that we readily see that there is no sovereign like our God.
There is no other sovereign like Him because….
This statement is what we mean by the sovereignty of God; that is, his absolute right to do all things according to his own good pleasure, (Dan 4:25,35; Ro 9:15-23; 1Ti 6:15; Re 4:11.)
He is bound by no one. He is free to exercise his wisdom, power, love, grace, and will as he chooses. He doesn’t check in with anyone before he acts. He isn’t accountable to us.
Being infinitely elevated above the highest creature, He is the Most High, Lord of heaven and earth. Subject to none, influenced by none unless he chooses to be, as in answers to our prayers; he is absolutely independent; God does as He pleases, only as He pleases always as He pleases. None can thwart Him, none can hinder Him. Never tell me that God is “trying to save sinners but their will is so strong he cannot.” God never tries to do anything; He just does it successfully. James 1:18 “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”
So His own Word expressly declares: "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure" Isa. 46:10; "He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand," Dan. 4:35.
Divine sovereignty means that God is God in fact, as well as in name, that He is on the Throne of the universe,directing all things, working all things "after the counsel of His own will." Eph. 1:11 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Phil 2:13.
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” 1 Thess 2:13.
"But He is in one mind, and who can turn Him? and what His soul desireth, even that He doeth" Job 23:13.
The God of Scripture is no make-believe monarch, no mere imaginary sovereign, but King of kings, and Lord of lords. "I know that Thou canst do everything, and that no thought of Thine can be hindered" Job 42:2.
All that God has designed to do, He does. From the beginning of time, He is the orchestrator of events that concern us all. All that He has decreed, He performs. "But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased" (Psa. 115.3); and why has He? Because "there is no wisdom, nor understanding, nor counsel against the Lord" Prov 21:30.
From the writings of Arthur W Pink: “The absolute and universal supremacy of God is plainly and positively affirmed in many scriptures. "Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory and the majesty: for all in the heaven and all in the earth is Thine; Thine is the Kingdom, O Lord, and Thou art exalted as Head above all. . . .And Thou reignest over all" 1Chron. 29:11, 12, Note “reignest” now, not "will do so in the Millennium." "O Lord God of our fathers, art not Thou, God in heaven? and rulest not Thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in Thine hand is there not power and might, so that none (not even the Devil himself) is able to withstand Thee?" (2 Chron. 20:6). Before Him presidents and popes, kings and emperors, are less than grasshoppers. (Attributes, ch5)
And as Benjamin Franklin stated, "All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth-that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?" Ben Franklin at the Constitutional Convention.
There is no other Sovereign like Him, because…
Here is a list of ordinary things God does, vs 7, 8, 12.. ALL IN LESS THAN A WEEK! Make the earth, creates man upon it; stretch the heavens with His hands; appoint all the hosts their proper place and sphere. All to make his mighty power and glory known.
Verse 7 is a statement of ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY — the prophet doesn’t shrink from it-- even though it is seemingly incomprehensible. Isaiah isn’t worried about God’s reputation. God can hold his own against the criticisms of a corrupt world system. “When the Lord says,“ I form the light, and create darkness ; I make peace, andcreate evil”, His words are to be understood in the light of the context. He is speaking to Cyrus, whom He had appointed and empowered “to subdue nations” and to give deliverance to His earthly people the Jews.
The immediate reference is not to the evil of sin, whichGod did not create, but to other thing He does create such as bad things to happen as punishments for our transgressions; i.e. the judgments of war with its consequent calamities of injuries, turmoil and deaths , which, for instance, Cyrus was appointed to inflict upon Gentile powers, and to the peace which he, as God’s chosen instrument, would bestow upon Israel.”
In other words, the “evil” created, has reference to the bad, hurtful, miserable afflictions, and adverse events sent upon a person which are the unpleasant judgments, the reaping from what was sown, the paybacks for a person’s wicked behavior or rebellion against God.
In our minds we may equate the word “evil” with “sin.” But that is not what Isaiah is telling us. C. I. Scofield in his bible notes, supports this view also. That the Hebrew word, “ra” translated “evil” in the KJV, (could have been) translated “sorrow,” “wretchedness,” “adversity,” “afflictions,” “calamities,” which would more closely translate the true meaning; for God does create calamities as in the Egyptian plagues; but “ra” is never translated by the word “SIN.” The use of “evil” here isn’t the best translation because it confuses people as they will associate it with something sinful. God created evil only in the sense that He made sorrow, wretchedness, etc., to be the sure fruits of sin.
We can relate to how bad things were spiritually in the past century by what was said by AW Pink,(1886-1952), “The "god" of this twentieth century no more resembles the Supreme Sovereign of Holy Writ than does the dim flickering of a candle the glory of the midday sun. The "god" who is now talked about in the average pulpit, spoken of in the ordinary Sunday School, mentioned in much of the religious literature of the day, and preached in most of the so called Bible Conferences is the figment of human imagination, an invention of maudlin sentimentality. The heathen outside of the pale of Christendom form "gods" out of wood and stone, while the millions of heathen inside Christendom manufacture a "god" out of their own carnal mind. In reality there is no other possible alternative between an absolutely supreme God, and no God at all. A "god" whose will is resisted, whose designs are frustrated, whose purpose is checkmated, possesses no title to Deity, and so far from being a fit object of worship, merits nought but contempt.” (Attributes of God, ch 5)
There is no other Sovereign like Him because,
III GOD HAS THE RIGHT TO DO ALL THINGS!
He is “Maker” v. 9. By virtue of his power to make, he has the right to do what he wants to do with what he makes. By virtue of his wisdom … by virtue of His holiness… by virtue of his glory…by virtue of his grace…by virtue of his love…by virtue of his holy decrees…by virtue of his shed bloodhe has the right to do what he wants to with us. HE HASPOTTER POWER!
God isn’t overstepping his bounds when he saves a soul who doesn’t deserve to be rescued from a certain hell. God isn’t overstepping his bounds when he condemns someone to hell who has insulted the spirit of grace (Heb 10:29), or when he acts in nature with wind, storm, rain, earthquake, flood, drought, famine or pestilence. God isn’t overstepping his bounds when he deals in loving correction and holy wrath against sin. He is God and besides him there is no other.
Do you remember the Dukes of Hazard onTV? Sheriff Roscoe would chase after the Duke boys until he got to the county line. Crossing the line he would be out of his jurisdiction, an area where he had no authority over the Duke boys. There is no realm in heaven, earth, or hell where our God hasn’t the right to do as he pleases.
There is no other Sovereign like Him, because…
Our God, who is sovereign, is also righteous. It bothers some people to know that they aren’t the center of the universe and that they can’t control everything. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Gen. 18:25. Implied answer is: YES! “Is there unrighteousness with God?” Rom 9:14 answers, NO!
Regardless of the route He takes, He always reaches His destination... what He promises he fulfills. He does all things well. This is also true of the Son of God, Mark 7:37 “And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: ….”
1. He Does What He Does for Our Good. v. 13, Heb. 11:6“…he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Our ultimate spiritual good is His design.
2. He Does What He Does for His Glory ... and there’s never any conflict of interests between our good and God’s glory. (vs. 3, 4, 5, 6). THE ONE GRAND THEME IS, “I Am God.. ..no one else.” Other Gods are NO GODS. To this present hour that is what God is demonstrating to mankind... He gets glory by making even His enemies like Cyrus to serve his purposes without knowing it, v. 5 “I girded thee, though thou hast not known me” and the Pharoah, Ex 9:16 “And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.” Though these kings served false gods, both served God’s purpose with regard to his people Israel. GOD WILL ALWAYS TAKE THE ROUTE THAT BRINGS HIM THE GREATEST GLORY.
Example: Daniel 2:20-22 “Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: 21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: 22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.”
WHY DO PEOPLE in the public square STRIVE SO AGAINST HIM? Why is He being squeezed out of recognition by schools, colleges, homes and government? Why is the mere mention of his name so hated?
Because people are more interested in their own selfish interests than in acknowledging GODS GLORY! And as depraved human beings, in our flesh, people don’t even know what is GOOD for them! Jesus said they hated him without a cause. People don’t need a reason to hate God, it is in their DNA makeup to do it: “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” What is the end of those who hate God? Isaiah 41:11 “Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.”
Do we not tremble at the word “perish?” What a scary scenario, for a person to live an earthly life as a sinner, then for the soul at death to sink to the depths of a fiery hell to suffer for his sins for eternity! 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord ….is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing (Greek mns intending/desiring) that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
There are several shock inducing words in our English vocabulary: Lost, hopeless, helpless, hell bound; worthless, wicked, wasted; destitute, depraved, despicable, degenerate; unreachable, untouchable, unrecoverable; bad, bound, broken; senseless, slave, sluggard; ugly, unready, uncaring; evil,exasperating, expendable; immoral, immobile; impossible; corrupt, confused, confounded, to name but a few.
But to PERISH forever in the fires of hell should send shock waves from our top to our toes. But there is HOPE, His name is JESUS. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
We will never win an argument with the Almighty!!! Rom 9:19-21 “Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?”
CONC: What does all this mean for us?
1.This DEMANDS Our SILENCE. Psalms 46:10“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Isa 45: 9, “Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker!” Who are we to argue, to find fault with the things God does with His own world and with His own people? We are as Job’s friends were, Job 16:2 “…. miserable comfortersare ye all.” We both advise and criticize God’s doings basically displaying our own depravity and evil heart. Sinners run their mouths so long and loud that they do not hear the “still small voice” of God. (I Ki 19:12)
Perhaps if people just kept silence before Him, they would hear the wise words He would say to them. Hab. 2:1, “I will stand in my watch and see what He will say to me...”
2.This DEMANDS Our SUBMISSION. v. 11 “…the work of my hands command ye me.” This is brought out by the image of the Potter and the Clay (v. 9-10). Instead of complaining of God’s plans, or finding fault with his sovereignty, it was their privilege to inquire respecting his dealings, and even to 'command' him. He was willing to be inquired of, and to instruct them in regard to the events which were occurring. Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
(1) We must submit to the Potter’s PURPOSE. He has one. Eph. 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
(2) We must submit to the Potter’s PLAN.. His way of accomplishing that purpose may seem strange; the shape of the vessel may appear odd; how fast the wheel spins may seem to take too long; but something good is in the making! Jer. 18:1-6 “The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. 3 Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. 4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to makeit. 5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, soare ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.”
Our God chooses some pretty rough pieces of clay to transform into vessels he can use. 1 Cor 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 Andbase things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
(3) We must submit to the Potter’s PRESSURE. There is no other way to shape the clay, to accomplish His purpose and plan. After we are converted unto Jesus Christ, there is a lifetime of being shaped and conformed to His image. Paul calls it being, “transformed by the renewing of your mind.” 1 Thess 4:3-4For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;” And, Eph 4:15 “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” Jude 1:20 “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,”
Saul on the road to Damascus determined to persecute Christians and bring them to Jerusalem for trial of heresy, when struck down by a voice from heaven and the blinding light, was then submissive saying, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”
Lyrics of a chorus: Only to be what He wants me to be, Every moment of every day. Yielded completely to Jesus alone Every step of this pilgrim way. Just to be clay in the Potter's hands, Ready to do what His will demands Only to be what He wants me to be,
Every moment of every day.
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Revelation 11:17 "Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned."
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