Passage: Isaiah 45:9-15
9 "Woe to him who strives with him who formed him,
a pot among earthen pots!
Does the clay say to him who forms it, 'What are you making?'
or 'Your work has no handles'?
10 Woe to him who says to a father, 'What are you begetting?'
or to a woman, 'With what are you in labor?'"
11 Thus says the LORD,
the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him:
"Ask me of things to come;
will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands?
12 I made the earth
and created man on it;
it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
and I commanded all their host.
13 I have stirred him up in righteousness,
and I will make all his ways level;
he shall build my city
and set my exiles free,
not for price or reward,"
says the LORD of hosts.
14 Thus says the LORD: "The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush,
and the Sabeans, men of stature,
shall come over to you and be yours;
they shall follow you;
they shall come over in chains and bow down to you.
They will plead with you, saying:
'Surely God is in you, and there is no other,
no god besides him.'"
15 Truly, you are a God who hides himself,
O God of Israel, the Savior.
Journal: God is reminding His children that He is in control of all things, and that a fear that God is blind, apathetic or unwise is tantamount to faithlessness. [v.9 -- "Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, 'What are you making?' or 'Your work has no handles'?"] Paul strikes up a similar dialogue in the Book of Romans in his discussion of the sovereignty of God and the election of His children. [Romans 9:19-23 -- "You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory . . ."]
Judah looked around the world and saw chaos. Assyria was advancing, and Israel and Syria could not be trusted. Babylon was gaining power. The economy was at risk from all sides. We are no different as we view our apparent chaos. The price of oil is advancing unchecked. Men around the world desire to stamp out our way of life and economic structure. The family is under attack by our own government. There are earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and tsunamis. The moral fabric of the culture appears to be digressing with each decade.
Yet, the same God speaking through Isaiah almost 3,000 years ago remains at our side today. He still speaks and has revealed His glory to us. [v. 12 -- "I made the earth and created man on it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host."] He is not asleep or disinterested. Instead, He is refining us for His great glory and for our great joy. He has freed us from eternal bondage and reserved for us a mansion in His kingdom. He brought Cyrus to rebuild His temple in Judah, and He has brought Christ to rebuild His temple in us. [v. 13 --"'I have stirred him up in righteousness, and I will make all his ways level; he shall build my city and set my exiles free, not for price or reward,' says the LORD of hosts."] Our life should point others to Him, even in the midst of apparent chaos. [v. 14b -- "They will plead with you, saying: 'Surely God is in you, and there is no other, no god besides him.'"]