• Pastor Bowler

To Whom Then Will Ye Liken God

“To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?” Isaiah 40:18. People have asked questions about God throughout the centuries and throughout the Bible. The Philippian jailer asked: “What must I do to be saved?” Job asked, “If a man die shall he live again?” Isaac asked: “Where is the Lamb?” And the scribes asked: “Who can forgive sins but God only?” The answers to these questions form the fabric of all religion. And thankfully, the Bible gives clear, inescapable answers.  Isaiah has been called the evangelical prophet because 800 years before Christ, he described Jesus in such clear language that no honest reader can doubt but that he was inspired of the Holy Ghost…or that Jesus came to earth from Heaven’s throne.  Isaiah met God in a crisis moment after King Uzziah died (Isaiah 6:1). Earth’s throne was empty, but Isaiah discovered that heaven’s throne was occupied. He saw the Lord high and lifted up. A burning coal touched his lips. And Isaiah became God’s mouthpiece to all succeeding generations. If you have ever thrilled to Handel’s immortal oratorio, “The Messiah,” you are aware of the enormous debt the world owes to Isaiah. Today, I want you to hear Isaiah. He asks a question you and I are compelled to answer. Chapter 40, verse 18 — “To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?” A well known agnostic loved to hear Charles Spurgeon preach. When someone asked him why he, an agnostic, would listen to Spurgeon’s sermons, he replied, “Spurgeon has a great Saviour.” Well, Isaiah served a great God. I commend that God to you. It was Isaiah who asked: “To whom then will ye liken God?” That question allows me to take you to the heart of all that is true and eternal…so that you and I can glory in our God…mighty, merciful, faithful, and righteous, and redeeming as He is. Isaiah didn’t waste time trying to prove the existence of God. Only a fool says in his heart that there is no God. “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork” Psalm 19:1.  What Isaiah wants you to know is that God has no competitor. He is Incomparable. Look through chapter 40 of Isaiah’s great book. Verse 1 says — that God is a Comforter. “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.” Verse 5 says — He has provided a Redeemer. Verse 12 says — He is the Creator. And verse 14 says — He is the source of all wisdom. He is the true and living God! In utter contrast to idols with eyes that cannot see and arms that cannot save; idols carved by men out of wood or stone. But Isaiah has only begun. God reigns over all, verse 22. He sits on the circle of the earth. He is all knowing, verse 27. Nothing is hid from His eyes. And He gives strength, verses 29-31. “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah wants us to know God is holy, all-knowing, plenteous in mercy, of too pure eyes to behold iniquity, eternally the same, the God of all grace, the saint’s delight and the sinner’s refuge. Isaiah’s question rings down the centuries: “To whom then will ye liken God?” There is NO ONE! Pharaoh’s magicians by sleight of hand, could apparently turn walking sticks into snakes…but no god of Egypt or Babylon or Athens can cancel out the sins of all men or open the door of Paradise…or commission angels to carry Lazarus to Abraham’s bosom. “Who is pardoning God like Thee and who has grace so rich and free?” See Micah 7:18. Do you want to know what God is like? Read Isaiah’s inspired book. For there are Jezebels and Sanballats everywhere who laugh at Isaiah for his narrow beliefs. That is why Isaiah adds a second question in Isaiah chapter 46:5, 10 — “To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare 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.” Knowledge of the future puts the God of the Bible into a category by Himself. Fulfilled prophecy is proof, absolute proof of God. Do you know what will happen tomorrow?

  • Isaiah 53 was fulfilled on Calvary.

  • Micah 5 was fulfilled at Bethlehem.

  • John 3:16 was fulfilled when God saved me on September 2, 1957.

“I know who holds tomorrow, And I know who holds my hand. When Jesus made His way toward the Cross and insisted that He must die, the crowds that had thronged about Him drifted away. It was then our Lord turned to His disciples and asked: “Will ye also go away?” Peter answered for all of them: “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68). As we conclude for today, we must ask Jesus’ question of long ago…“Will you also go away?” And I must ask: If you were to turn from Him, to whom can you go? Will you go to the scientists?…or the politicians?…or the scholars? Will you go to the bankers and trust in their forecasting? Will you go to the comedians and ask them to keep you laughing? Will you go to the doctors and ask the for a prescription for eternal life? If it is not Jesus…to whom will you go? If it is not the God of Abraham and Isaiah and Paul, where will you find refuge? When Moses climbed the mountain to meet with God, the people assumed he had died and came to Aaron saying: “Make us a god to go before us.” Nothing has changed in 4,000 years. People don’t cease to worship when they abandon God. The just find another god to worship. There is only One Almighty. There is only One Saviour. There is only One Cross.

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