He Is My All in All

Opening Prayer

Are there corners of your life which you prefer to keep outside God’s care? Confess them now.

Read Isaiah 45:9–25

9 “Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker,
those who are nothing but potsherds
among the potsherds on the ground.
Does the clay say to the potter,
‘What are you making?’
Does your work say,
‘The potter has no hands’?
10 Woe to the one who says to a father,
‘What have you begotten?’
or to a mother,
‘What have you brought to birth?’

11 “This is what the Lord says—
the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:
Concerning things to come,
do you question me about my children,
or give me orders about the work of my hands?
12 It is I who made the earth
and created mankind on it.
My own hands stretched out the heavens;
I marshaled their starry hosts.
13 I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness:
I will make all his ways straight.
He will rebuild my city
and set my exiles free,
but not for a price or reward,
says the Lord Almighty.”

14 This is what the Lord says:

“The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush,
and those tall Sabeans—
they will come over to you
and will be yours;
they will trudge behind you,
coming over to you in chains.
They will bow down before you
and plead with you, saying,
‘Surely God is with you, and there is no other;
there is no other god.’”

15 Truly you are a God who has been hiding himself,
the God and Savior of Israel.
16 All the makers of idols will be put to shame and disgraced;
they will go off into disgrace together.
17 But Israel will be saved by the Lord
with an everlasting salvation;
you will never be put to shame or disgraced,
to ages everlasting.

18 For this is what the Lord says—
he who created the heavens,
he is God;
he who fashioned and made the earth,
he founded it;
he did not create it to be empty,
but formed it to be inhabited—
he says:
“I am the Lord,
and there is no other.
19 I have not spoken in secret,
from somewhere in a land of darkness;
I have not said to Jacob’s descendants,
‘Seek me in vain.’
I, the Lord, speak the truth;
I declare what is right.

20 “Gather together and come;
assemble, you fugitives from the nations.
Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood,
who pray to gods that cannot save.
21 Declare what is to be, present it—
let them take counsel together.
Who foretold this long ago,
who declared it from the distant past?
Was it not I, the Lord?
And there is no God apart from me,
a righteous God and a Savior;
there is none but me.

22 “Turn to me and be saved,
all you ends of the earth;
for I am God, and there is no other.
23 By myself I have sworn,
my mouth has uttered in all integrity
a word that will not be revoked:
Before me every knee will bow;
by me every tongue will swear.
24 They will say of me, ‘In the Lord alone
are deliverance and strength.’”
All who have raged against him
will come to him and be put to shame.
25 But all the descendants of Israel
will find deliverance in the Lord
and will make their boast in him.

Reflect

Find a version of the song “You Are My All in All” and listen and meditate on it today.

This passage leads us steadily into a sense of the completeness and the perfection of our God. No one compares to his greatness (18,21). Everything in creation will submit to him (23); he is the source of all power and goodness (24). These truths are not often clear to human beings.

Isaiah’s readers seem to have serious problems with God’s actions. As already seen, we can imagine that his choice of Cyrus ruffles feathers. Also, the subjugation of great powers described in verse 14 probably didn’t seem very apparent to the people of Israel just then.

I confess that I have some sympathy with God’s people. It is indeed the case, as grumbled in verse 15, that God’s involvement with us is not always obvious on a day-to-day basis. It must often be by faith that we take hold of the abiding and towering truths of this chapter. But then, as we move forward declaring the greatness of God and walking with him, we really can share in those promises of verses 23–25. The fact is that there is nowhere else to go (18). As John Oswalt writes, “He is not merely my Lord; he is my everything, including the next breath I take” (The NIV Application Commentary, 514).

Apply

Grasp hold of this truth: “I will never be put to shame” (16). Write it down where you can see it often if necessary.

Closing prayer

My God, I don’t always see the way clear before me. Teach me to trust You even though I may have no idea how You are working.

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Terry Schneider