Summary: Our God sees the Big Picture like we cannot fully see it, and that understanding gives us peace and comfort
The Big Picture
October 3, 2004
Sometimes, reading the newspaper can be fun:
How about these headlines:
Two Sisters Reunited After 18 Years at Checkout Counter
War Dims Hope for Peace
Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case
Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
These are funny, but, most days, news headlines paint a scary picture of our world, don’t they? If you did nothing but listen to or watch or read news, and had no other perspective on the world, I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to maintain any kind of positive attitude about our world.
Here are a few stories and headlines I came across just these past few weeks:
Baghdad Bombings Kill 35 Children and Seven Adults, the Largest Death Toll of Children Since War Began
Hurricane Jeanne was blamed for at least six deaths in Florida after causing floods in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico last week in which at least 1,680 people died, with some 800 still missing in Haiti.
Iran is perhaps the biggest problem on the horizon of the next U.S. president because it is moving toward development of nuclear weapons. Anybody depressed yet? Anybody scared yet?
There’s the daily news from the middle east: At the center of many of the world’s most significant issues is radical Islam – a seemingly insurmountable foe.
After all, how can you reason with people who think it’s not just OK, but honorable, to cut off the head of a civilian worker - a person who’s there to help rebuild a nation’s infrastructure?
One of the most disturbing things to me in recent weeks was the terrorist killing of more than 300 school students in Russia. Killing of innocent adults is horrible enough. But children? Holding them hostage? Killing them? Where’s all this terror going to end? What’s a believer in our Lord Jesus Christ to do?
How are we to view our world today? How are we to respond? I believe there are many answers to this question in the Word of God.
But for at least one aspect of this, turn with me to Isaiah chapter 40. As you’re turning, let me give you a quick background. The prophet Isaiah was writing here to a people in exile. Israel and Judah were living under an evil empire. They had been driven from their homelands, and were virtually powerless to do anything on their own.
They’d seen their share of people killing other people, their own brand of terror.
I’m guessing that many of the people of Israel and Judah at the time of the message of Isaiah chapter 40 experienced the same kind of despair that people of our day might have, after we review the horrors of the daily news.
Without the perspective that the Word of God can provide for us, it’s easy to become hopeless – to despair of ever seeing anything positive....to think...We’re powerless. The world is a hopeless place. Where’s God? Where is He in all this stuff?
Of course, we also have the stuff that hits closer to home, that impacts our daily lives. What we must remember is something that we’re going to discover this morning as we read our text, Isaiah chapter 40. What this chapter reveals, among many other things, is that our God is a God of the big picture. That’s the title of this morning’s message. The Big Picture.
I’d encourage you to read the whole chapter on your own sometime this week, but we won’t take time to do that this morning. However, we are going to read much of it this morning, so hang with me...
Isaiah 40:1-31 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
vs. 5 “the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it.”
last part of vs 6 "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. 7The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass. 8The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever."
Now listen to this word picture of God:
“12Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? 13Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor? 14Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding?