Meditations on God 5

Isaiah 40:17 All the nations are as nothing before Him, They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless. 18 To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare with Him? 19 As for the idol, a craftsman casts it, A goldsmith plates it with gold, And a silversmith fashions chains of silver. 20 He who is too impoverished for such an offering Selects a tree that does not rot; He seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman To prepare an idol that will not totter. 21 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. 23 He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless. 24 Scarcely have they been planted, Scarcely have they been sown, scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth, But He merely blows on them, and they wither, And the storm carries them away like stubble. 25 “To whom then will you liken Me That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One. 26 Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing.

In the passage above we see the greatness of God and the nothingness of man (in comparison to God). The Scriptures speak of creation as revealing the greatness of God as opposed to a mindless and godless evolutionary process. When God is removed from anything, those things will not be seen in the appropriate light. When the truth of the nature of God is removed from the churches, they will also not be seen for what they are either. The purpose of the churches will be diminished and they will become a flurry of human activity focused on humanistic things while still using the name of God.

The God of creation and the God of all things is utterly glorious in who He is and what He does. While man may think of politics and of evangelism as the center of all human life in terms of how things are done in the nations and in the churches, God is the One who is in actual control. It is God who plants the politicians and it is God who removes them at His good pleasure. The picture from Isaiah 40 is that all of human activity is under the sovereign hand of God and it is with great ease that He does what He does. The heavens are compared to a curtain that God spreads out at His pleasure and that He does so with great ease. Behold the true and living God!

In the churches there is great activity at many places trying and fighting to obtain converts for various reasons. While this is not entirely a terrible activity, the way it is done, however, is as if God did not exist. It is done in a way where the activity of evangelism depends on man’s initiative and efforts. Salvation is talked about in some sort of objective and unclear way without the true Gospel even being declared. The Gospel is no longer the Gospel of the glory of God in the face of Christ, but instead it is the Gospel of human choice and power. However, the Gospel has to do with the glories and wonders of the true God of all creation and the true God of all Scripture. He is the One who is to be preached. He is the One who is to be declared. He is the One who is sinned against. He is the One who alone can take away the sins of man by the sacrifice of Christ. He alone is the One who can regenerate dead men. He alone is the One who can unite men to Christ. How dare men denigrate the Gospel by making it so dependent upon the frail arm of humanity? How dare men denigrate the Gospel of God by such humanistic preaching and messages? Evangelism can be idolatry as well as anything and when it is a false god or even presumed rather than the true God, evangelism is idolatry.

The glory of the Gospel of God is God Himself. He is the One that we should be talking about. The power of the Gospel is not in the arms and power of man, it is in the Spirit of the living God. When we lift up our eyes to the stars, we are to know that not one of them is missing and the reason for that is because of God Himself. The stars exist and are held into being “because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power.” So is each human soul and each human ruler, but also each preacher and each speaking of the true Gospel. When the false gospel is preached or presented or taught, a false god is being held forth as well. As evolution is false because it does not depend on the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, so evangelism and church activity is false when it does not depend on the greatness of His might and the strength of His power. In reality, men have erected an idol of church and evangelism that are covered with the false gold of humanism and it is in the power of men to keep their idols from falling. In beholding the light of the true God idols appear and should be repugnant.

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