The Challenge to the Title

Isaiah 43:8-13

“Bring forth the people who are blind, yet have eyes,
who are deaf, yet have ears!
Let all the nations gather together,
and let the peoples assemble.
Who among them declared this,
and foretold to us the former things?
Let them bring their witnesses to justify them,
and let them hear and say, “It is true.”
You are my witnesses, says the Lord,
and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me.
I, I am the Lord,
and besides me there is no savior.
I declared and saved and proclaimed,
when there was no strange god among you;
and you are my witnesses, says the Lord.
I am God, and also henceforth I am He;
there is no one who can deliver from my hand;
I work and who can hinder it?”   NRSV

False gods have plagued the Judeo-Christian tradition from the very beginning. For whatever reason, some people don’t want to live by the citizenship rules of the kingdom of God. So they create their own. Some build statues, some build fortunes, some erect a structure out of a pile of sticks or rocks and call it “god.”

The difference? Citizenship in the kingdom of God requires you to be committed to God’s ways. All other gods, since they are of our own creation, let you set the rules. In essence, it’s a cult of self-worship. These gods are made in our image (or at least in the image of the person we think we are projecting to the world).

In our reading, God, speaking through the prophet, essentially tells those who are worshipping false gods to “put up or shut up.” “Let them bring their witnesses to justify them,” God declares.  The challenge is to come, stand before God, and prove your right to claim the title of “God.”  No one comes forth.

So God restates God’s exclusive claim to the title, “I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior….I am God, and also henceforth I am He;
there is no one who can deliver from my hand;
I work and who can hinder it?”

We would do well to remember that.

Be a blessing to someone today!

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