Pastor’s Pen – Getting to Know God

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding, no one can fathom.” (Isaiah 40:28 NIV)

Have you ever complained to God, either verbally or silently, and accused him of not taking care of you, and failing to notice the difficulties that surround your life? Leaders like Moses and Isaiah often heard their people’s dissatisfaction with God. In verse 27, the prophet asks, “Why do you say … and complain, 0 Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God?”‘

We shouldn’t be too hard on the Israelites. At least they were being honest. They were away from the Promised Land in exile in Babylon. They were far away from the temple and the beauty of Mount Zion. In the stresses of exile and foreign captivity, they voiced their feelings regarding God. They complained that God had abandoned them. They felt that he did not know their plight and was unaware of their dire situation. Not too long ago, there was a project in which I was deeply involved. After a few years of fruitful work, it appeared that the work might be stopped and left unfinished. I felt that God had forgotten me and my plight. My complaints were deep and bitter. So were the people of Israel’s!

It may surprise us to realize that when we complain about God’s lack of care, the real dilemma lies in the fact that we really do not know the character of God. Isaiah is quick to point out both the ignorance and the short term memory of his people. In verse 28, he reminds us that our God is never plagued by fatigue or memory loss or confusion. Our God is never “asleep at the switch.” He is never afflicted by indecision or caught unaware by troubling circumstances. These are very human shortcomings. But God’s character is never reflected in human weaknesses.

Who does God help and strengthen? Does he come to the aid of the strong, the competent, the clever, the eloquent, or the self-reliant? Isaiah reminds us that those who know God’s strength are the weary, the weak, the stumbling and those who are falling. God delights in equipping those who acknowledge their need and vulnerability and flaws. We should spend time with this passage and reflect on the God it reveals to us. When we are at the end of our abilities, we should resist the desire to complain that God’s abilities are equally limited. Instead, our weakness is the entrance way to discovering a God who is ready and able and aware of our need. Indeed he delights in giving us the strength necessary to replace our pint-size efforts.

Dear God, free us from accusing you of abandoning us and not caring. Help us to know and trust you, so that our lives might bear testimony to your strength and constant care. Amen.

In His Peace,
Pastor Schultz

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