Summary: Have you ever wondered what God is really like? Learn from the Word of God what He is truly like.
The Ultimate Question
What is God Like?
Introduction: Our text for this morning is Isaiah 40. Let us read the first 11verses.
NAS Isaiah 40:1 "Comfort, O comfort My people," says your God. 2 "Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed, That she has received of the LORD’S hand Double for all her sins." 3 A voice is calling, "Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. 4 "Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley; 5 Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken." …9 Get yourself up on a high mountain, O Zion, bearer of good news, Lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good news; Lift it up, do not fear. Say to the cities of Judah, "Here is your God!" 10 Behold, the Lord GOD will come with might, With His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him, And His recompense before Him. 11 Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs, And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.
John Blanchard, in his booklet “Ultimate Questions” writes: “Life is full of questions. Some are trivial, some are serious and tremendously important… you may have questions about your health, your financial situation, your job, your family or your future, but the greatest and ultimate questions are about God and your relationship to Him.” There are nine (9) questions that he considers we should ask and know the correct answer
1.Is God Speaking?
2.What is God like?
3.Who am I?
4.What went wrong?
5.Is sin serious?
6.Where do I go from here?
7.Can religion help?
8.Is there an answer?
9.How can I be saved?
Out of these, I want us to consider – “What is God like?” – and though I will not answer it in the outstandingly brilliant and well manner Blanchard does it in his booklet, I will attempt to do it from Isaiah 40.
CONTEXT: some sundry remarks about the context of our passage
Isaiah ministered around the year 750 BC. He wrote this book after King Uzziah died – a good king but whom God stroke at the end of his term because he became proud - Isaiah saw the declension of God’s people spirituality and in 39:6-7 he prophesied the Babylonian captivity
’Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and all that your fathers have laid up in store to this day shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the LORD
The book was not written in one shot. Experts believe that there is an obvious division between chapters 1-39 and 40-66.
First Part 1-39
Second Part 40-66
Contemporary & contextual: Israel and its surroundings during Isaiah’s time
Universal and Future. The future Glory of God’s People Jews and Gentiles
Assyria as the world power
Babylon as the world power, later conquered by the Medes & Persians
Young & Fiery Isaiah
Older and more mellow Isaiah
Indictment and condemnation
Consolation and comfort
The first part deals with the settings and circumstances under which Isaiah ministered. The second part deals with a distant future. The rising and fall of Babylon, the ministry of John the Baptist and of Christ.
Chapter 40 opens the Evangelical section of Isaiah, with many references to the death and reign of Messiah, and where the prophecies concerning His death are outstandingly accurate in Chapter 53.
God is introduced in this section in verse 9: Get yourself up on a high mountain, O Zion, bearer of good news, Lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good news; Lift it up, do not fear. Say to the cities of Judah, "Here is your God!"
THESIS: WHAT IS GOD LIKE?
1. He is Infinite & Omniscient (He knows all things)
12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, And marked off the heavens by the span, And calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, And weighed the mountains in a balance, And the hills in a pair of scales?
The water supply of the world is 326 million cubic miles.
A cubic mile of water = 1.1 trillion gallons
So the earth has 346,049 quadrillions gallons of water
God measures that in the hollow of his hand!
And marked off the heavens by the span
Light travels in space roughly at 187,000 miles per second