I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
The gods of this world are designed and created by people. People carry them. People sustain them. People protect them. Yet somehow, they trust them. They create safe gods that can be controlled and manipulated. It is hard for us to identify with this passage. In 21st Century America we do not carve gods and bow down to them. We do not worship gods of wood and stone. Yet, we do worship at the altar of manmade gods. The gods we serve are our philosophies, science, reason, passion, and emotion, just to name a few. These are all gods that we somehow think define us, protect us, or order our lives. Yet them are man-centered and man-made.
Our gods cannot sustain themselves. We sustain them. Our gods cannot protect themselves. We protect them. Our gods cannot predict or determine the future. They are creations of the created. Yet we allow them control and power in our lives. We laugh and ask why ancient people would bow down before a piece of wood or stone, and them we kneel at the altar of our own man-made gods.
The gods of our own design morph, change, or disappear at our whim. God is God. He never changes. He is always there. Whether we believe in him or not, whether we acknowledge him or not, whether we yield and submit to him or not, he is always there. He sustains himself. He protects us. He knows “the end from the beginning” (Is 46:10). He is God.
For the believer, this comforts in the midst of pain. It encourages where there is no outward sign of hope. It fosters peace in the face of danger and uncertainty. Knowing that God is God is what transformed Peter’s life from one controlled by his emotion to one who preached powerfully at Pentecost, and kept preaching even when James was put to death and he was imprisoned. Knowing that God is God is what prompted Daniel’s friends to remain firm in their faith when they were thrown into the fiery furnace. Knowing that God is God is what has sustained countless Christians in the face of opposition, persecution, and martyrdom over the past two-thousand years. It is what sustains us today.
Whether you are facing religious persecution, physical ailment, emotional pain, or spiritual opposition, remember that God is God. Isaiah records God’s words for us, “I bring near my righteousness; it is not far off, and my salvation will not delay (Is 46:13a). While the world carries its gods, our God promises deliverance. The God who made us, the God who holds all things together, the God who is self-sustaining, and who determines the end from the beginning promises deliverance. We are in his hands. There we find comfort, strength, rest, and peace. “I am God” he says, “and there is none like me” (Is 46:10).