Speaking from Isaiah 46, our guest speaker, Sammy Davies, from Ammanford Evangelical Church discussed God’s sovereignty. It is interesting that sovereignty is not mentioned directly in this passage at all, and yet, this is exactly what we are taught about. This chapter from Isaiah works by showing us God’s sovereignty, rather than by telling us that He is sovereign. Bel and Nebo are used as examples in this segment of scripture, of things that we put in our lives instead of God; of things we put our trust in (positions, power, authority), when we should be trusting in God. There are so many things that we put in God’s place. We can say positive things about Him, but it is only when we put Him against the backdrop of what He has done that we can see how truly amazing He is.
Isaiah 46 uses Bel and Nebo to show us the contrast between them and God, effectively saying that everything they are, God is not, and vice versa. They are statues, and therefore, are a literal burden. They are images that have to be carried around from place to place. God is living, and is incomparable to these. Idols are not rescuers, they weigh us down and add to our problems. God, however, does everything that the people were expected to do for these idols, and He does it for us. Bel and Nebo need care and maintenance that God never needs. They can’t move or answer, or save them from their troubles, and they only exist because someone else has made them, whereas there is only one God, and there is NO ONE like Him.
God makes known the end from the beginning. He works very much on a “What I say goes” principle. He is sovereign and needs no advice. He doesn’t work off a committee or a vote, and He seeks no feedback. He keeps His own counsel and is free to make His own decisions. Everything is up to God. Nothing is up to Bel and Nebo. Everything is up to God. He has the power to achieve. He has the power to decide things. Bel and Nebo have neither the strength, nor the power to carry things out, but God does.
Sammy went on to say that ideas are all well and good, but without people to carry them out, they are useless, however, God doesn’t need someone else to do what he has decided. He doesn’t need to go elsewhere, but He delights in His helpers. It pleases Him to use other people to achieve His ends. He invites help even if it slows the process.
Sometimes, we have trials in life, and it is at these times that we can find ourselves questioning God. Why does He let bad things happen? Maybe God isn’t as loving as he claims to be. The truth is that we must remain consistent and calm. There is good news – God is going to rescue us. His righteousness will be brought near to us. Salvation is the proof of God saying “What I Say Goes”. God has already decided our paths, and no matter what we say or do, the Father, Son and Spirit stay the same. People may try to derail God’s plans, but He won’t let it happen.
Jesus decided to rescue us. He was tempted, but He said “No”. He had already decided what He was going to do and nothing could stop Him from carrying out the Father’s plan. He laid down His life, and He took it up again. He is the same God from Isaiah 46. God says “What I say goes” and He wants to rescue us. Even though we are stubborn and rebellious, He rescued us: His enemies, and redeemed us to Himself.
So, in closing, are you willing to put aside your own idols, remember the phrase “What I say goes”, and put God at the center of your lives?
Scripture: Isaiah 46