“Great is the LORD” (Psalm 48:1)
The main text for this study is contained in Isaiah 40:12-31 where the prophet reveals that God is great. There are many who see themselves as the greatest, but end up as nothing. The religions of the world think that their gods are great, yet in reality they are simply the imagination of people’s void of understanding. Nobody and nothing is greater than the Lord our God. Such a truth needs to be broadcasted from the mountaintops.
God is greater than creation
“Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and showed to him the way of understanding?” (Isaiah 40:12-14).
The Lord has measured the oceans of the world in the palm of His hand, all we could achieve is to hold a pitiful amount in ours and watch it run away. He knows the exact length, breath and height of the universe, something that astronomers only wish they could know. The vastness of space is tiny in the eyes of God. He knows the amount of dust on earth, the weight of every mountain and hill. Can you hear Him telling us that He is great?
God is greater than the nations
“Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity” (Isaiah 40:15-17).
Our nation calls itself Great. The USA declares itself to be the greatest nation on earth. How does God view the nations of the world? He sees them as the a drip left after the bucket has been emptied or as a minute grain of dust left on a scale. In reality the nations of the world are absolutely nothing compared with the greatness of God. Think about it, if we could gather every beast as a sacrifice to burn on every cedar tree cut from Lebanon to praise God, He would see it as an insult to His greatness. So what can we possibly give as an offering to Him?
God is greater than the gods of the world
“To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains. He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved” (Isaiah 40:18-20).
The Muslims cry that their god is great. Idolaters of one kind or another think that their images are great. The Lord God of the Bible is the only one who is great and worthy of praise. Our God is all powerful and almighty, the deities of the heathen are “dumb idols” (1 Corinthians 12:2). Should we be fearful of these gods since they cannot even begin to be compared with to the Lord? Those who use imagery to depict Christ are actually insulting Him rather than declaring His greatness. Our Saviour is “the Great Shepherd” (Hebrews 13:20) as well as “the Great God” (Titus 2:13).
God is greater than world rulers
“Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble” (Isaiah 40:21-24).
History is full of kings who called themselves great, such as Alexander the Great and Peter the Great, but where are they now? From the great leaders of the ancient Middle East to the monarchs of the West, each one is only a sentence in a history book. Their wealth and power is gone forever. Their pride is lost in the dust of the earth. The great God, who sits as Judge over the leaders of the world, blew them away like stubble. The same will be true of all kings, prime ministers and presidents who pass laws that offend the Holy God of Heaven. Our national leaders think they are clever, but they forget that God sees everything they do and hears all they say. One day He will act against them as He has done with others in the past.
God is greater than the stars in the heavens
“Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth” (Isaiah 40:26).
All the visible stars have been named by man, but God gave each a name when He created them. It is estimated that there are 100 million galaxies each containing 5 billion stars, and the Lord God knows the name of them all. What a vast universe! It was created by a Great God!
God is greater than our weaknesses
“Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. 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 40:27-31).
Now do we see why God has declared His greatness in these verses? He knows all about us. He is the answer to our weakness and weariness. How often we think that God has forgotten us when life goes wrong and things become desperate, but He is never indifferent to our plight and afflictions. Christ has promised to give His power to those who are weak. “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). This great God give us His strength to to mount up over all our troubles, to run as a mighty army of faith, and walk worthy of Him in this world. Those who do not know Him have no such ability. If the great God can create the universe in six days, can He not renew and revive us by His power? Imagine, the power that created all things has been given to us to overcome our weaknesses and weariness!
The point of this passage of Scripture is found in its last few verses. God is great and above all things. He sits highly exalted over all creation. He has promised to give us His strength to soar on high with Him. How great is that!