Isaiah 40: 25-31 (NIV)
25 “To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 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.
29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
It was only three weeks ago that the world marvelled as the European Space Agency’s lander Philae bounced down onto the surface of a comet. It had been despatched from the spacecraft Rosetta which left earth in March 2004. The range of technologies brought together to make that happen is impressive: physics, chemistry, metallurgy, mathematics, computing science, micro- and nano-technologies – to name a few. The skills developed and applied for precise calculations and precision manufacturing amaze us.
And yet relatively few people lift their eyes to the heavens to wonder at the Creator of “the starry host”, who in this passage was speaking to the world through the prophet Isaiah. Not only did “the Creator of the ends of the earth” (verse 28) put all the stars and planets in place, he formulated the laws of mathematics and physics so that each part of the universe stays in its place, “not one of them is missing” (verse 26).
These same laws of mathematics and physics, though only partly understood by humankind, are now applied to send objects accurately into space to examine a miniscule part of the Creator’s universe. Despite these technological advances, even for missions into space humankind occasionally gets it wrong – with tragic results.
So to whom will we compare the Creator of all that is (verse 25)? There is no equal. God alone is God.
It should amaze us that this same omnipotent God stoops down to care for each one of us. As the prophet wrote, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” (verse 29). It is well for us to remember this always, and to acknowledge our own individual weaknesses, especially in comparison with the Holy One whose power and wisdom allowed the “starry host” to be exactly where each one was intended to be.
As the end of a Parliamentary year approaches and all are feeling that their energy has been expended, it is helpful to recognise that “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall” (verse 30). And yet God is able to use our weakness to achieve his ends. In doing so, he shows us where true strength resides. We must not be timid about appealing to the Lord to strengthen us for the work he gives us to do.