At some time, we will all find ourselves in circumstances we are unable to change or control. It might be an incurable disease, financial difficulty, relational trouble, or a prolonged season of discouragement. Whatever the case, during those times we can be tempted to think––as was expressed by Israel––that “my way is hidden from the Lord” (Isaiah 40:27b).
I recently spoke with a woman I had prayed with many years ago—she had lost her husband, son, and father in three days. She related that now she’s doing quite well. However, she said: “What was most difficult was trying to figure out why this had happened. I was a Christian, and I loved the Lord; I thought that nothing like this was even a possibility. Was God angry? Had He forsaken me?”
Life is not fair. Like this woman and the nation of Israel, you might believe at times that God has abandoned you, that your “just claim is passed over by … God” (Isaiah 40:27c).
In Isaiah 40, the prophet reminds us of God’s greatness and shows us that He sees; we are not forsaken. And chapters 40 through 50 encourage Israel that God is with them and that He is sovereign, all-knowing, all-powerful, compassionate, and faithful.
God Is Sovereign
What does it mean that God is sovereign? It means that God is in rightful control. He has authority over all things. He is sovereign over the universe.
“To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One. “Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing” (Isaiah 40:25-26).
God is saying, “Didn’t you hear? Don’t you understand who I am? I stretched out the heavens. I placed the planets in their particular positions in the heavens. I created and named the stars.”
In verses 15 and 17, we see His sovereignty over the nations: “Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket, and are counted as the small dust on the scales; … All nations before Him are as nothing, and they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless.”
We see God’s sovereignty over all mankind in verses 21 to 24: “Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth useless. … He will also blow on them, and they will wither, and the whirlwind will take them away like stubble.”
God is sovereign—over the heavens, over the nations, over all people, and over the rulers. We sometimes become distressed over decisions being made politically by leaders, both in the U.S. and internationally. But God says He has everything under control. We will consider His omniscience and omnipotence next time.