Who Is Like God?

 

In Psalm 40:12-28, we read,

“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, measured heaven with a span and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, or as His counselor has taught Him? With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of justice? Who taught Him knowledge, and showed Him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket, and are counted as the small dust on the scales; look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor its beasts sufficient for a burnt offering.

“All nations before Him are as nothing, and they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless. To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him? The workman molds an image, the goldsmith overspreads it with gold, and the silversmith casts silver chains. Whoever is too impoverished for such a contribution chooses a tree that will not rot; He seeks for himself a skillful workman to prepare a carved image that will not totter. Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth useless. Scarcely shall they be planted, scarcely shall they be sown, scarcely shall their stock take root in the earth, when He will also blow on them, and they will wither, and the whirlwind will take them away like stubble. ‘To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal?’ says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing. 

Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: ‘My way is hidden from the LORD, and my just claim is passed over by my God’? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.

The question: who is like God? The answer: no one! God is transcendent.

In his classic work Knowing God, J.I. Packer writes about the incomparable nature of God,

Image result for knowing god“Look at the tasks I have done, he says. Could you do them? Could any man do them? ‘Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basked, or weighed the mountain on the scales and the hills in a balance’ (vs. 12). Are you wise enough, and mighty enough, to do things like that? But I am, or I could not have made this world at all. Behold your God!

“Look now at the nations, the prophet continues: the great national powers, at whose mercy you feel yourselves to be. Assyria, Egypt, Babylon – you stand in awe of them, and feel afraid of them, so vastly do their armies and resources exceed yours. But now consider how God stands related to those mighty forces which you rear so much. ‘Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; … Before him all the nations are as nothing: they are regarding by him as worthless and less than nothing’ (Isa 40:15, 17). You tremble before the nations, because you are much weaker than they; but God is so much greater that the nations that they are nothing to him. Behold your God!

“Look next at the world. Consider the size of it, the variety and complexity of it; think of the nearly five thousand millions who populate it, and of the vast sky above it. What puny figures you and I are, by comparison with the whole planet on which we live! Yet what is the entire mighty planet by comparison with God? ‘He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a net to live in’ (Isa 40:22). The world dwarfs us all, but God dwarfs the world. The world is his footstool, above which he sits secure. He is greater that the world and all that is in it, so that all the feverish activity of its bustling millions does no more to affect him that the chirping and jumping of grasshoppers in the summer sun does to affect us. Behold your God!

“Look, fourthly, at the world’s great ones – the governors whose laws and policies determine the welfare of millions; the would-be world rulers, the dictators and empire builders, who have it in their power to plunge the globe into war, think of Sennacherib and Nebuchadnezzar; think of Alexander, Napoleon, Hitler. Think, today, of Clinton and Saddam Hussein. Do you suppose that it is really these top men who determine which way the world shall go? Think again, for God is greater that the world’s great men. ‘He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing’ (Isa 40:23). He is, as the prayer book says, ‘the only ruler of princes.’ Behold your God.

“But we have not finished yet. Look, lastly at the stars. The most universally awesome experience that mankind knows is to stand alone on a clear night and look at the stars. Nothing gives a greater sense of remoteness and distance; nothing makes on feel more strongly one’s own littleness and insignificance. And we who live in the space age can supplement this universal experience with our scientific knowledge of the actual factors involved—millions of the stars in number, billions of light years in distance. Our minds reel our imagination cannot grasp it; when we try to conceive of unfathomable depths of outer space, we are left mentally numb and dizzy.

“But what is this to God? ‘Lift you 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’ (Isa 40:26). It is God who brings out the stars; it was God who first set them in space; his is their Maker and Master—the are all in his hands and subject to his will. Such are his power and his majesty. Behold your God!” (Knowing God, pgs. 86-88)

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