10 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

Deuteronomy 19
Psalms 106
Isaiah 46
Revelation 16

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Isaiah 46:9–11 (CSB): “Remember what happened long ago, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and no one is like me. I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: my plan will take place, and I will do all my will. I call a bird of prey from the east, a man for my purpose from a far country. Yes, I have spoken; so I will also bring it about. I have planned it; I will also do it.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

I don’t know about you but I find great comfort in the way that God describes Himself in the verses that I have chosen for today. He claims complete control over every single thing in creation.

Sometimes, life stinks, doesn’t it? Life gets hard, or chaotic, or even unfair, and we wonder where God is. We may even wonder if He’s at the mercy of events and is just trying to play catch-up.

If I served a God who let the events around me periodically get out of His control, I would be sorely discouraged; even depressed. But, not a single thing is outside His control. He’s in charge. So, even in the “bad” times, I can take comfort that God has, for His own gracious reasons, allowed the events to take place for my good (Romans 8:28).

Let’s briefly “squeeze” the three verses that I have chosen for today to get the nourishment that we need.

Isaiah 46:9 (CSB): “Remember what happened long ago, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and no one is like me.”

In verse 9, we are called to “remember.” God doesn’t simply tell us that He’s in charge. He calls us to remember events in the past when He demonstrated that He was in control of all events.

In my own experience, I can remember (and have journaled about) events that demonstrated that God was sovereignly working for my good and the good of my family. There are a LOT of good things that God powerfully accomplished that I have included in the story of our family at the “About the Author” tab above. And there were some really, really bad things that happened in which we later looked back and saw God’s fingerprints.

My wife and I, even though we still periodically struggle, believe in God’s sovereign control over our lives because the Bible says He’s in control. But, we also rest in God’s sovereign control because we can “remember” so many of the ways that He’s worked in our lives.

Isaiah 46:10 (CSB): “I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: my plan will take place, and I will do all my will.”

In verse 10, God states that He decrees what happened at the beginning (Genesis 1-2) and has decreed what happens at the end (Revelation). Even though the book of Revelation hasn’t yet occurred, the events of that book are just as certain as the historical events in Genesis.

Oftentimes, we feel like past events are final (they are) but that future events aren’t yet written. We believe the past is finalized but the future is fluid. That’s not true. Everything will take place according to God’s plan. God WILL do His will and nothing can stop it.

So, no matter what you are experiencing, you are in God’s will, friend. You might sin and get out of God’s moral will but there is absolutely nothing you can do to mess up His decreed will. Everything He has decreed will happen.

Isaiah 46:11 (CSB): “I call a bird of prey from the east, a man for my purpose from a far country. Yes, I have spoken; so I will also bring it about. I have planned it; I will also do it.”

In verse 11, we see that God doesn’t simply declare what events will take place – He also declares who and what will participate. He has control over animals (“a bird of prey”) and mankind (“a man for my purpose from a far country”).

There has been debate for millennia about mankind’s free will. Does the Bible teach that mankind has a free will? Absolutely! Mankind is free to do absolutely anything he/she chooses to do within his/her sphere of options. But, does the Bible also teach that God has a free will? Absolutely! After all, He’s God, right? While we may struggle to understand how God AND mankind has a free will, we believe it because the Bible teaches it.

But, let there be no debate about it – Isaiah 46:11 makes it clear that God declares what actions people take. This is in the context of how God used Cyrus, the powerful king of the Medo-Persian Empire, to accomplish His divine purposes.

So, is someone mistreating you? Is someone making threatenings against you? Well, friend, that person cannot do one single thing to you unless God has allowed it.

Jesus acknowledge God’s sovereign control over people when He stood before Pilate.

John 19:10–11 (CSB): “So Pilate said to him, ‘Do you refuse to speak to me? Don’t you know that I have the authority to release you and the authority to crucify you?’ ’You would have no authority over me at all,’ Jesus answered him, ‘if it hadn’t been given you from above…’”

Conclusion

So, friend, when life gets unfair, chaotic, or in any other way threatens to undo you, rest in God’s sovereign control. Realize that He loves you and that He won’t let anything happen to you unless He has actively willed it or passively allowed it to happen. And even then, He has promised to work all things for your good (Romans 8:28). You can’t lose!

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Lord Jesus, I could easily reach a place where I might be tempted to throw up my hands in despair. But, Your Word teaches me that You sovereignly reign over Your creation. By faith, I choose to believe that fact and rest (trust) in it. Help my unbelief. Amen.

Photo by jean wimmerlin on Unsplash