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  • Chad Werkhoven

Isaiah 46:8-13 - All That God Pleases

Relax: God omnipotently controls all of history as He pleases.



Isaiah 46:8-13 (NIV) CONTEXT: God is once again calling His sinful people back to Him.

8 “Remember this, keep it in mind,

take it to heart, you rebels.

9 Remember the former things, those of long ago;

I am God, and there is no other;

I am God, and there is none like me.

10 I make known the end from the beginning,

from ancient times, what is still to come.

I say, ‘My purpose will stand,

and I will do all that I please.’

11 From the east I summon a bird of prey;

from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.

What I have said, that I will bring about;

what I have planned, that I will do.

12 Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted,

you who are now far from my righteousness.

13 I am bringing my righteousness near,

it is not far away;

and my salvation will not be delayed.

I will grant salvation to Zion,

my splendor to Israel.


Listen to passage & devotional:


 

Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 1


We all believe in our hearts

and confess with our mouths

that there is a single

and simple spiritual being,

whom we call God—


eternal,

incomprehensible,

invisible,

unchangeable,

infinite,

almighty;


completely wise,

just,

and good,

and the overflowing source of all good.

 

Summary

Most of the book of Isaiah was written to warn God's rebellious people that if they did not repent God would send them into exile, which of course did happen when God used the Babylonians to defeat Israel. But this final section of the book is written to be an encouragement to the people once the exile has occurred. God tells His people of their coming salvation, even before their exile had begun!


History records that one of the most powerful men to ever live, King Cyrus, would be the one to defeat the Babylonians and subsequently return Israel's remnant back home seventy years after they had been taken away. God reminds His people - both then, and now - that He is omnipotently controlling history (Cyrus is the "bird of prey" from the east that God has summoned in v11 to "fulfill His purpose").


God calls His people to two specific actions in today's passage: First He calls the "rebels" to remember who He is (v9): to know He is God and there is none other like Him, and that He will "do all that [He] pleases (v10)."


Secondly, He demands the "stubborn hearted" must "listen to me" (v12). Of course all of God's Word is worth listening to, but the next few words that come in v13 are key to understanding the message of the gospel. God is not coming to bring salvation just to make life a little better for His people. Rather, He's bringing salvation to those "far from [His] righteousness" by "bringing [His] righteousness near" (v12-13).


In the immediate context, God would use mighty King Cyrus to bring salvation to Israel, but it's not hard to see how this passage illustrates that all of God's omnipotence is focused on one goal: restoring the righteousness of His rebellious, stubborn people (us) through His Son so that we can once again be in a right relationship with Him.



Dig Deeper


The Latin-based word, omnipotence, literally means all-power. So it's not really wrong for you to understand that your omnipotent Father can do all things. But that's not really technically correct when it comes down to it.


Every kid has pondered the age old question: can God make a rock so big that He can't lift it? The paradoxical question is silly for sure, but it does help us understand God's omnipotence correctly.


There are limits to what God can do: God constrains Himself by Himself. In other words, God can not do that which violate His own attributes. He can not show anger in a way that violates His love, just as He cannot show mercy in a way that infringes His justice.


God explains exactly how you ought to understand His omnipotence in v10 when He says, "I will do all that I please."


As you begin a new year, find peace by keeping these two commands God gives you in Isaiah 46: Remember who God is and that He has an unblemished record in controlling history in the way that He pleases, and, listen to Him as He builds you up in the righteousness won for you by Christ.



  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our omnipotent Father, who will do all that He pleases;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that in this new year you will remember who God is and listen to His Word;

  • ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:

 

Read the New Testament in a year! Today: Mark 7

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