Isaiah 41. Acts 28: 1-16
Isaiah 41 depicts a courtroom scene, emphasizing the authority and power of God. He is the judge, he declares the case and he pronounces the verdict. God rules. Be silent. Respect His position and recognize yours.
God rules! The chaotic events Israel find themselves in are under God’s control. God calls Cyrus, the Persian(v2), to defeat the Babylonians, Israel’s captors and thus bring their freedom. God has done this (v4), not man’s schemes and cunning. The ‘ coastlands’ are afraid of the impending aggression, and draw together (v5) for morale.
God reassures Israel, (v8) that they belong to God – they are His. His servant; chosen, called, not rejected. His word encourages them as it does us:
‘Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. (v10)
Acts 28:1-16 retells Paul’s experiences in Malta and Rome, a case study as he lives out these words, trusting the promise-maker amidst the seeming chaos, prayerfully depending on Him rather than giving way to fear.
God will also hold Israel’s right hand against their enemies (v13) redeem Israel (v14), answer their prayers and restore them (v17,18). The result is that Israel will rejoice and glory in the Lord (v16).
God initiates all this action, and brings it to pass, in His time. The future is unknown to us, as it is to Israel (v22) – only God knows (v26). Therefore God is always right. In comparison, everyone else is a delusion.
Whilst there is much in our lives that can potentially make us fearful, and certainly much clamour, God calls us, like Israel, to Listen to God in silence (v1). It’s a kindness; a call to recognize who we are and who God is. To free us from the delusion of self importance and the deception that God is unwilling or unable to help us and bring His purposes to pass.
God is in control, no matter how events seem. He has chosen; he has redeemed us. His words are true, and time and future are known to Him. So,
Listen to your God in silence this morning.
Listen to His Holiness
Listen to His Majesty
Listen to His Power and Rule
Listen to His Glory
Listen to His redeeming Love.