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Summary: God’s assurance that he cares is not enough. We must also have a God who can do what he pledges to do.

No Contest: God is Greater

(Isaiah 40:12-26)

1. You never know what is going to happen in life. For example, on Friday:

Kokomo — A 12-year-old boy suffered serious injuries early Friday when he was hit by a vehicle at Berkley Road and Columbus Boulevard.

The boy, whose name was not immediately released, was flown by helicopter to an Indianapolis hospital for treatment. More information will be released later today.

2. Life has its surprises, and not all of them are good ones!

3. I wonder if anyone has an easy life; it might be better to say that some have it easier than others, and that certain eras of life can be better than others.

4. But we don’t have to struggle through life alone.

5. We have a big God to help walk us through the perils of life.

6. The Jews were living in perilous times (Luke mentioned) Assyria/Babylonia

In verses 1-11, Isaiah answers the question the Jews would have asked, “Does God want to deliver us?” Isaiah 40:12-26 answers the second, “Can God deliver us?” [paraphrased from John Oswalt]

Main Idea: God’s assurance that he cares is not enough. We must also have a God who can do what he pledges to do.

I. Yahweh CREATED the Universe (12-14)

A. God the CONSTRUCTOR

1. Measured waters in his hand

2. Marked off the heavens

3. Enclosed the dust

4. Weighed the mountains

5. Natural revelation screams out: God is greater than we can conceive

B. God’s Infinite Spirit: No DIRECTION needed

1. Some brainy folks confused in other areas (Einstein pants); not God

2. God is beyond and separate from nature (many religions believe otherwise)

3. Other gods had councils and advisors…not our God

4. “Let us” signifies dialog between the Persons of the Trinity…God speaks of himself as “us”

C. New Testament Application (Midrash)

1. AWESTRUCK (Romans 11:33-36)

Paul was probably contemplating these verses since he quotes part of them:

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

“For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”

“Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:33-36)

2. SPIRIT filled (I Cor. 2:14-15)

I Corinthians 2:14-15 reads: “The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. ‘For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”

• Having the mind of Christ means being under the control of God’s Spirit

• The idea is to free the Spirit in our lives and nurture his influence

• Is the mind of Christ evident in your life? Are you led by the Spirit?

II. Yahweh’s GREATNESS Makes the Nations Seem as Dust (15-17)

A. A DROP in a bucket (15)

• Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, even mighty Rome

B. All livestock combined: not ONE adequate offering (16-17)

According to Wikianswers: “…the world's cattle herd went from 720 million in 1950 to 1.53 billion in 2001. In Africa there are an estimated 230 million cattle, while India hold's the world's largest cattle population with 283.1 million. The United States has 98 million head of cattle, while China has 130 million head.”

C. Implications

1. Do Not Let Others Set the STANDARD

• With Assyria soon attacking and Babylon a century later, the idea that the nation with the stronger god wins was ingrained…

• Would Judah’s captivity suggest God was weaker? No, but how interpreted

• When we try to accommodate Bible’s teaching to current social or political climate, we fall into this trap…our faith is an interpretational gridwork

• God does not operate according the standards of culture…

• Biblical Christianity is experiencing a recession in America, but not the world

• The push is on to accept gay marriage, living together, rising agnosticism

2. Appearance can be DECEIVING

• God’s answer: the combined power of the nations is like a drop in a bucket.

III. Yahweh is Not A POWERLESS Idol (18-26)

A. Yahweh is DIFFERENT from pagan deities (18-20)

B. Yahweh is ABOVE and SEPARATE from the Universe (21-24)

C. He MAINTAINS the entire universe (25-26)

Have you ever considered the speed of light? It’s pretty fast you know — about 186,000 miles per second. Since the distance around the earth is about 25,000 miles, at this speed a "particle" of light can zip around the earth about 7 or 8 times in just 1 second. That’s a huge distance in a short time! Yet our galaxy is so vast, so spread out, that we measure the distances to stars within our galaxy in light-years, where a light-year is the distance that light can travel in one year.

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