| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 33 - Page 79 of 253 Index | Zoom | |
"Christ is the power of God, and the wisdom of God" (I Cor. 1: 24). These are two
essentials to success: wisdom to know how to do a thing, and power to carry it out. That
the purpose of the ages is assured is clear, for with such power and with such wisdom as
is set forth in Isa. 40: failure is impossible.
Twice the prophet sounds out the challenging question, "To whom then will ye liken
God? or what likeness will ye compare with Him?" He challenges man, who alone of all
creatures was made "in the likeness of God" (Gen. 5: 1), as though He would say that in
resorting to image worship, man not only degraded the name of God, but himself.
In this matter God has revealed Himself as being exceedingly jealous. Five times over
do the Scriptures declare that the Lord our God is "a jealous God" (Exod. 20: 5;
34: 14; Deut. 4: 24; 5: 9; 6: 15). In every case the context deals with the worship
of graven images or the making of the likeness of anything in heaven or earth, that could
take the place of God Himself in the heart.
When Israel dethroned the Lord, they dethroned themselves.
"They have moved Me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked
Me to anger with their vanities; and I will move them to jealousy with those which are
not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation" (Deut. 32: 21).
Image worship not only degrades the name of God and the name of Israel, but aims a
direct blow at the unique position of man in the purpose of creation, and what is of still
greater moment, thrusts at the prerogative of Christ Himself "Who is the IMAGE of the
It will be a help if we can visualize the argument of the passage in Isa. 40: which
deals with this question of the likeness of God:
A | 18. FIRST QUESTION. "To whom will ye liken God?"
B | 19, 20. FIRST ANSWER (Negative). The utter futility of idolatry.
C | 21. SECOND QUESTION.
"Have ye not known? Have ye not heard?"
D | 22-24. SECOND ANSWER. The majesty of the Creator.
A | 25. FIRST QUESTION REPEATED. "To whom will ye liken God?"
B | 26, 27. FIRST ANSWER (Positive). Omnipotence of the Creator.
C | 28. SECOND QUESTION REPEATED.
"Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard?"
D | 28-31. SECOND ANSWER. The gracious power of the Creator.
There is something of an anti-climax in the sudden insertion of B (Isa. 40: 19, 20),
the First Answer. We have heard of Him in the hollow of Whose hand the waters may be
measured, and Whose span meted out the heavens. Before this mighty One the nations,
for all their number and prowess in arms or civilization, are as a drop of a bucket.
Lebanon itself with its great cedars would not suffice to burn, nor the beasts thereof
suffice for a burnt offering. Into this ascending scale, which carries the mind on and up
until the contemplation of "the greatness of His might" causes the understanding to reel;