Compassion

“No Other God Like You”

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There are many “gods” that people serve – sometimes without even realizing it. Those who know God, though, proclaim: There is no other God like you!

Scripture:

Isaiah, chapters 63-64; Psalm 107; John, chapter 2

Isaiah 63:15 – 64:7 (NLT):

Lord, look down from heaven; look from your holy, glorious home, and see us. Where is the passion and the might you used to show on our behalf? Where are your mercy and compassion now? Surely you are still our Father! Even if Abraham and Jacob would disown us, Lord, you would still be our Father. You are our Redeemer from ages past.

Lord, why have you allowed us to turn from your path? Why have you given us stubborn hearts so we no longer fear you? Return and help us, for we are your servants, the tribes that are your special possession. How briefly your holy people possessed your holy place, and now our enemies have destroyed it. Sometimes it seems as though we never belonged to you, as though we had never been known as your people.

“No Other God Like You”

Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down! How the mountains would quake in your presence! As fire causes wood to burn and water to boil, your coming would make the nations tremble. Then your enemies would learn the reason for your fame! When you came down long ago, you did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations. And oh, how the mountains quaked! For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!

You welcome gladly those who do good, who follow godly ways. But you have been very angry with us, for we are not godly. We are constant sinners; how can people like us be saved? We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind. Yet no one calls on your name or pleads with you for mercy. Therefore, you have turned away from us and turned us over to our sins.

Observations:

No Other God Like You

In the New Living Translation, Isaiah 63:15 begins a section titled “Prayer for Mercy and Pardon.” As we read through these verses, we see why we need to pray for mercy:

  • We have turned from his path (63:17a)
  • Our stubborn hearts no longer fear him (63:17b)
  • Our enemies have destroyed God’s holy place (63:18a)
  • We are not godly (64:5b)
  • Are constant sinners (64:5c)
  • Are all infected and impure with sin (64:6)
  • No one calls on God’s name or pleads for mercy (64:7a)

And Yet…

The very next verse after our passage (64:8) says, “And yet, O Lord, you are our Father.”  In spite of all they had done, God was still their Father. Even if Abraham and Jacob disown us, Lord, you would still be our Father. You are our Redeemer from ages past” (63:16b). Because of his mercy, he forgives those who seek him.

So why do we end up in this situation? Notice that the people ask, “Why have you allowed us to turn from your path? Why have you given us stubborn hearts so we no longer fear you?” (63:17a). Even as they pray for mercy and pardon, they are blaming God for not stopping them!  And yet, when God acted in mercy to get their attention along the way and stop their sin and rebellion, they ignored him.  Our reading for today from Psalm 107 illustrates God’s faithfulness.

  • Some wandered in the wilderness, lost and homeless (107:4)
  • Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom…they rebelled against the words of God (107:11)
  • Some were fools; they rebelled and suffered for their sins (107:17)
  • Some went off to sea in ships, plying the trade routes of the world. They, too, observed the Lord’s power in action (107:23-24)

In every instance, when they cried out to God, he rescued them (Psalm 107:6, 13, 20, 28).

Application:

No Other God Like You

That’s the number one reason that there is no other “god” like God. No other god always listens to his people when they cry out to him, and forgives our sins when we repent and confess. No other god acts with mercy and pardons us, or acts with grace and love toward us. Of what other god can it be said: “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8).

Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down! He did – in the person of Jesus Christ. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, to show us what God looks like.  No other god has ever done such a thing! In ancient mythologies, “gods” sometimes masquerade as humans – to trick them, or punish them, or take advantage of them. No other god has taken on flesh and lived among us. Jesus came to show us what God created each of us to be – and to enable us to begin to experience that life!

Prayer:

Father, we thank you today because there is no other God like you. Whatever gods we try to serve, they leave us empty – because only you know us inside and out. Only you know exactly what we need. You call us to be holy, as you created us to be, and you empower us to be holy through the work of your Holy Spirit.

You burst from the heavens and came down once, in the person of Jesus; we long for the day when you will do so again. In the meantime, you call us to proclaim your goodness.  As the Psalmist writes in today’s passage, “Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies” (Psalm 107:2).

There is no other God like you!  Amen.

 





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