Isaiah 45-46 and 1 Timothy 4
Thanks for taking a journey with me this week! It has been a different challenge for me to focus on a book in the Old Testament, so I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have
We see the phrase “no other than/like/except/but Me” ten times out of the 38 verses in the two chapters of Isaiah we just read. That is over 25% of the message that has been written in these texts. Do you think God was trying to make a point that there is no other like Him??? Seems like something He may want us to understand…
Since there is no other God than our God, it makes sense that we acknowledge His power and authority in our life. He has been identified as the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and everything that lives in it. We know that He created the world with a purpose of filling it with good things (Isaiah 45:18). This tells me that everyone, including you and I, has a purpose in their life according to the One True God. God likes to use analogies to help His people understand His truths. In Isaiah 45 we see the analogy of God being the potter, molding the clay, His people, to be great works. In this analogy, God uses some rhetorical questions to help us identify how silly it sounds when we try to take control of our own life from Him. It’s like the clay asking the potter “What are you making?” or saying “This looks wrong…” (v. 9). I know I am guilty of being the clay that asks those questions and makes those comments when looking at my own life.
Depending on where our life is in each season, it can be hard not to question the plan God has laid out for us! And yet, Isaiah 46:10 reminds us that God knew everything that would happen in our lives from day one. It doesn’t matter how much we think we have control, because God tells us that “My plan will take place and I will do all My will.” This can be confusing, but I find it comforting as well. No matter how badly I think I have screwed up my life, I can have faith that God still has a plan and purpose for me, not necessarily because I am someone that is insanely special, but because I am God’s creation and He has a purpose for ME!
Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes it can be easy to feel like my life is supposed to have an extravagant testimony or grandiose plan to fulfill. God’s purpose has to be one of great achievement, right? That message is easily pushed by modern day Christian messages, especially those targeting youth and young adults. While I don’t think it’s bad to set big goals to achieve, I also think it is just as important to recognize that God uses everyone in impactful ways that may not lead to fame and glory on this earth like we can get the image of at times. When Paul is writing to Timothy he does not encourage Timothy to gather a bigger following or perform any miraculous wonders that will be spread throughout the land. Instead, he encourages Timothy to train himself in Godliness (1 Tim. 4:7) and to be an example in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity (v. 12). None of those things scream popularity or magnificent plans! But all of them are important for fulfilling the purpose that God has set aside for those who follow Him.
We were made by an omniscient Creator who wants His people to understand who He is so that they can be strengthened as they fulfill the purpose He has for their life. We may not always know what that purpose is, but we can trust in our God who does. We may not always understand the journey we are taking, but we can trust in our God to continue to mold us into what we should be. So if you have questions about your purpose, I encourage you to lean in to the Potter’s hands, open yourself to the not-so-extravagant, and see what amazing things God has already planned for you.
I hope this week was one that made you think, encouraged you, and grew you in your faith! Thank you for allowing me to be part of your daily readings this week, I certainly have gained a lot from it as well.
Grace be with you all.
Sarah (Blanchard) Johnson
Today’s Bible reading plan passages can be read or listened to at BibleGateway.com here – Isaiah 45-46 and 1 Timothy 4