Is This the God I Knew?
Lord God, show me where and how You are at work around me today, so that I may join You.
Read Isaiah 44:24-28
 “This is what the LORD says- your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself,  who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense,  who carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited,’ of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,’ and of their ruins, ‘I will restore them,’  who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up your streams,’  who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”‘ Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat promises does the Lord make to his people here?
Here, the prophet broadens his audience’s imagination. Their view of God has shrunk with familiarity, disappointment and their own unfaithfulness. We can become over-familiar with a god of our own construction and lose any sense of awe in worship and any expectation of seeing God at work. Isaiah takes his audience on a mind-stretching trajectory of revelation. The Lord, he says, formed you in the womb (24a). More than that, he made all things unaided (24b). He is Lord of time and space, unfolding history as he chooses and revealing the future to his prophets. He is the God of change. Every year, he turns the rivers to dry beds; now he will transform Jerusalem’s ruins to prosperity. Then comes the really surprising revelation: the Lord will operate through a pagan ruler, Cyrus. All Isaiah’s other statements may have been logical extensions of what Israel already knew. But this is quite different. Titles normally restricted to Jewish figures, such as “my shepherd” (28) and “the Lord’s anointed / messiah” (45:1) must have been astonishing. It was time to reassess their view of God and how he works.
Are you over-familiar with God? Are you willing to see him at work through people who don’t acknowledge him?
Lord God, keep me open to, and aware of, the many ways and people through whom You choose to work.
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