Instead of God

Isaiah 40.18

There are many substitutes for God in human society – things to admire, live, serve or possess. Perhaps they are preferred to the true God because they have no moral authority over us. Let Isaiah unfold the differences between these and the true God.

‘To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?’

What will you have instead of Him? Who will you have? ‘To whom then will ye liken God?’ It’s one of these sentences you think you have the meaning of on immediate reading, but you read it again: ‘To whom then will ye liken God?’ Second look, more careful look, it doesn’t make immediate sense any more. And it’s because it’s quite a complex idea. The idea behind these words is this: what can you think of that can be equal to the true God? What would you want that can be compared in any way so as to resemble Him? It’s a challenge. ‘To whom then’.

Who is your god? Who is your idol, or what is it that you choose? And how does it compare? ‘To whom then will you liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?’ That’s our subject now: idols old and new. Substitutes for God. And we have to think about it. Obviously God is far beyond our comprehension. He is high and lifted up. He has revealed Himself in the world. He has given His Word, His revelation of Himself. He tells us His attributes, His qualities and His ways, and so we understand Him from that. We understand that He is infinite, a spirit being. We understand that He is eternal, everlasting. We understand from the Scriptures that He is all powerful, absolutely invincible. Nothing can thwart His purpose or His plans. We understand that He has all knowledge, that He has all power. We know His attributes from Scripture.

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Related Resources: The Dual Nature And The Duel Within & The Comprehensive Victory of the Church