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4 A Proper View of God and Man

Our perception of who God is and who man is has a big impact on how we deal with everyday challenges, trials and problems. The bigger our God is, the smaller our problems become because every problem becomes an opportunity. The smaller our view of God is, the bigger our problems are because every problem becomes an obstacle.

Every disciple should have a clear understanding of who God is and who he is. You’ll never have a proper understanding of who God is until you understand yourself. Conversely, you’ll never have a true understanding of yourself until you understand who God is.

The nature and character of God and man are found in Isaiah 40-66.Let’s look deeper into the passages.

The Nature and Character of God

Isaiah 40:3-5: 3(A)A voice is calling,
(B)Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness;
Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.
4“Let every valley be lifted up,
And every mountain and hill be made low;
And let the rough ground become a plain,
And the rugged terrain a broad valley;
5Then the (C)glory of the LORD will be revealed,
And (D)all flesh will see it together;
For the (E)mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

The Bible teaches that God is a glorious, self-manifesting God. The whole purpose of the devotional life is to see God’s majesty and become absorbed with His glory. In verse 4 we read that God has removed every barrier or obstacle standing in the way of our fellowshipping with Him. This shows that the Lord is the initiator of the relationship between God and man. Here we see that it is God who is seeking man and not man seeking God.

Isaiah 40:10-11:

10Behold, the Lord GOD will come (A)with might,
With His (B)arm ruling for Him
Behold, His (C)reward is with Him
And His recompense before Him.
11Like a shepherd He will (D)tend His flock,
In His arm He will gather the lambs
And carry them in His bosom;
He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

Notice the balance between God’s strength on one hand and His extreme gentleness on the other. Our God is a powerful God, for by Him were all things created. (Isaiah 40:26,28) The psalmist says, “By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth”(Psalm 33:6) God created the universe by the sheer power of His Word. His Word is creative energy.

Isaiah 40:11 teaches us that the Lord is a good shepherd tending His flock – feeding us and leading us. He has made all of our needs His responsibility, so is the burden for giving us direction.

Isaiah 40:13-14

13(A)Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD,
Or as His (B)counselor has informed Him?
14(C)With whom did He consult and who (D)gave Him understanding?
And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge
And informed Him of the way of understanding?

These questions are rhetorical. Why is it that no one else can counsel God or does He need one? God himself said “I AM GOD and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My Counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure’”(Isa. 46:9-10 )

Isaiah 40:15-17

15Behold, the (A)nations are like a drop from a bucket,
And are regarded as a speck of (B)dust on the scales;
Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust.
16Even Lebanon is not enough to burn,
Nor its (C)beasts enough for a burnt offering.
17(D)All the nations are as nothing before Him,
They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless.

This puts the world in proper perspective. It is easy to look at the wrong things and be discouraged – the decadence of the human race, our own propensity for evil, our inability to control ourselves, the fact that increased technology has added to our problems – all these are enough to make many people cynical. If it is not war, then it is crime. If it is not crime, then it is scandal. If it’s not scandal, then it’s natural disasters – earthquakes, tsumanis, floods. Something is always wrong.

We have seen that world powers do not shape the destinies of men; neither do the economic, political or philosophical leader of the world. God said the mightiest of nations is less than a bucket, and as insignificant as a tiny speck of dust on a balance. God is in control.

Isaiah 40:28:

28(A)Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The (B)Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired
His understanding is (C)inscrutable.

God is in perfect and absolute control. He never makes mistakes. He has our best interest at heart. He does not want to hurt us.  Nobody, not even Satan , can hurt us without divine permission. (Job 1) Therefore, who can ruin your life? No one else except you – you are your worst enemy, But if you are walking by faith and obedience to God, then no one else can touch your life. No one else can make you miss the perfect will of God.

Isaiah 42:1-4

1(A)Behold, My (B)Servant, whom I uphold;
My (C)chosen one in whom My (D)soul delights
I have put My (E)Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth (F)justice to the nations.
2“He will not cry out or raise His voice,
Nor make His voice heard in the street.
3“A bruised reed He will not break
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;
He will faithfully bring forth (G)justice.
4“He will not be (H)disheartened or crushed
Until He has established justice in the earth;
And the (I)coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.”

This passage is a prophecy relating to Jesus Christ. Jesus said that judgment belongs to Him. (John 5:22-23) The judgment he exercises is according to truth and is absolutely consistent with Himself. Our God will bring judgment and equality to this planet called Earth.

Isaiah 42:8

8(A)I am the LORD, that is (B)My name;
I will not give My (C)glory to another,
Nor My praise to graven images.

The Lord reminds us again and again that He will not share His glory to no one. Paul made the same point when he wrote that there are not very many wise and noble people in the Kingdom of God(1 Cor. 1:26) Instead, God gives wisdom to the base and the despised when it is to be used for God’s glory. Peter and John were unlearned, ignorant fishermen, yet wrote seven New Testament books which were so profound that through centuries, great minds have not been able to fathom their depths.

Isaiah 43:11-13

11“I, even I, am the LORD,
And there is no (A)savior (B)besides Me.
12“It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed,
And there was no (C)strange god among you;
So you are My witnesses,” declares the LORD,
“And I am God.
13“Even (D)from eternity (E)I am He,
And there is (F)none who can deliver out of My hand;
(G)I act and who can reverse it?”

The Bible teaches that God is man’s Savior. He and He alone can save. Our government through its welfare programs seeks to give its citizens security. Corporations promise employees security through pension plans, medical programs, increased wages, better jobs, and stock options. We are told that man can create his own vehicles of security. The truth is only God can save, only god can deliver, only God can redeem. Only God can give man true security.

We have not even scratched the surface of the book of Isaiah to describe the nature and character of God. Yet, if we are able to grasp a vision of His greatness – then all of our problems and anxieties are rather insignificant.

The Nature of Man

Isaiah  40:6-7

6A voice says, “Call out.”
Then he answered, “What shall I call out?”
(A)All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
7The (B)grass withers, the flower fades,
When the (C)breath of the LORD blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.

This is how God and the Scriptures view man – not as a great, self-sufficient maker of his own destiny but similar to the grass of the fields – here today, gone tomorrow. James, the brother of Jesus Christ, put it this way: “For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away” (James 4:14).

Isaiah 47:8-10

8“Now, then, hear this, you (A)sensual one,
Who (B)dwells securely,
Who says in your heart,
(C)I am, and there is no one besides me
I will (D)not sit as a widow,
Nor know loss of children.’
9“But these (E)two things will come on you (F)suddenly in one day:
Loss of children and widowhood
They will come on you in full measure

In spite of your many (G)sorceries,
In spite of the great power of your spells.
10“You felt (H)secure in your wickedness and said,
(I)No one sees me,’
Your (J)wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you;
For you have said in your heart,
(K)I am, and there is no one besides me.’

Because man strives for immortality in the wrong way, he runs contrary to the purposes of God. Isaiah who prophesied the coming of Jesus Christ wrote,

6All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.”

6For all of us have become like one who is (A)unclean,
And all our (B)righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;
And all of us (C)wither like a leaf,
And our (D)iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

Here the prophet Isaiah wrote, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way” (53:6). Again, the prophet wrote, “But we are all as an unclean thing and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities like the wind, have taken us away” (64:6)

A proper perspective of God and man shows us that all of the evil and calamity that fall upon man is a product of his own folly and sinfulness.  Conversely, all of the good that falls upon man is a product of God’s grace and mercy. But man in his folly would attribute his own achievements, his blessings, and his progress to his own ingenuity and greatness. However, when calamity and disaster strike, he is quick to blame God. People who have trouble attributing all that is good to God and all that is evil and wrong to the sinfulness of man understand neither the character of God nor the character of man.

God’s Commitment to Man

In Isaiah 40-66 God gave his promise and commitment of redemption to sinful man. In His love, He saves the sinful man through the finished work of Jesus Christ, and then He blesses and prospers him so that, as he take on the character of Jesus Christ, he can effect change in the lives of other people. All of this in turn spells “purpose” for the believer. This is what “disciple-making is all about.

Please read Isaiah 40-66 over and over again in order to understand deeply the contrast between the nature and character of God and the nature and character of man.

Click here to read the Complete List of the Attributes of God