Friday, October 15, 2010

I Dry up the Sea


“I dry up the sea” (Isaiah 50:2)

As Christians, are we really aware of the God who has saved us? Have we pondered and meditated who God is? Are we in awe of what he has done and what he continues to do this day? Who else can say, “I dry up the sea” and back it up by actually doing it? Simple: No one!

In Isaiah 50 we read of God challenging his people of their lack of hope in him. We see this theme all throughout the Old Testament, New Testament and right now in this day and age. Too often we think this lack of hope or depression just happened with Israelites rather than seeing this truth as a reflection of our own heart. We think too highly of ourselves rather than trusting in God alone. God challenges them with some thought provoking question: “Why, when I came, was there no man; why when I called, was there no one to answer? Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver” (Isaiah 50:2)? Basically he is asking them, “Have you completely forgotten who I am?” I am the Creator of the universe. I am the sovereign God over the entire universe. Why have you stopped trusting in me? Our prideful tendency is to think, “What a bunch of morons they were for not trusting God.” Well…we are those morons as well. God is speaking to you and me in this passage. This is why it is in his Word for us to see our normal pattern which is not trusting in God but rather trusting in ourselves. We all need a bigger picture of God which he has given to us in his Word. “Behold, by my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a desert; their fish stink for lack of water and die of thirst.” God is in control and he wants his children to trust in his sovereignty.

This is why we must get to know the God we love. We will never rightfully love him if we do not get to know who he is. He is worthy of our trust but does not mean he will instantly or ever reveal how he is working in our lives. Remember the scene at the crossing of the Red Sea? This is the moment the Lord is reminding the Israelites about when he says, “I dry up the sea.” The people began to accuse the Lord of leading them to their death when they were being sought after by the Egyptians. “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out to Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness” (Exodus 15:12). Do you see your own heart in this complaint? How many times in your heart have you thought, “This isn’t right Lord, I should have done it my way.” But what looks like a dead end to death for his people becomes a moment when God displays his power over creation. The Lord is faithful but we sinfully do not want to trust him like he is worthy to be trusted.

Listen to him speak you his child: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Do you believe this promise? He does not promise us the how or the when or the why but he does promises “all things” to work together for good. The God who sent his Son to die as our substitute for our sins and to bear our wrath promises to work everything together for good. Since he crushed his Son for our sins and lavished his grace upon us to save us from the wrath to come shouldn’t we trust that he will keep his promise? We are talking about the Creator of all things including us. When he promises something may we faithful cling to his promise. He did promise to lead the people out of Egypt. Maybe it wasn’t the way he planned but nonetheless he did exactly what he promised. As he reminds them so he reminds us, “I dry up the sea.”

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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