God Is Almighty...
Sunday Evening English Worship
October 7, 2018 - 5:00 pm
Messenger: Don Frank
Bible Passages: Isaiah 40, Nahum 1:3, 1 Kings 19:11-12
Introduction: My goodness, what a month it's been since we got together last time! I don’t know about you, but I think I’ve had enough natural disasters to last my lifetime! It’s been nothing but typhoons and earthquakes recently! And I always thought that Hokkaidō was a safe place to live! One good thing was that during the blackout, I had a really good chance to disconnect from all this technology and to just enjoy a slow pace of life! Another good thing is that I jumped in to preparing for the next disaster that might be coming! I've got my "escape bag" all ready in the closet near the front door! Thank God.
And during these last couple of weeks God has been sharing some ideas with me that I’d like to pass along to you tonight. And I’d like to use a very well-known chapter from the Bible to do that. Tonight, we'll look at Isaiah 40 as the main Bible passage along with several others to learn about how big and strong and Almighty God really is.
1. ...and the World Will Hear of Him.
During the couple of typhoons that we've had recently, God brought to my mind a verse from the Bible that I learned a long time ago. It's from the book of Nahum 1:3 (NLT). And it reads like this, "The LORD is slow to get angry, but his power is great, and he never lets the guilty go unpunished. He displays his power in the whirlwind and the storm. The billowing clouds are the dust beneath his feet."
And many times throughout this summer and up till just recently, we've seen the dust of His Feet, haven't we? Typhoons 21 and 25 have been absolutely huge! And the "dust of God's Feet" has caused quite a bit of damage around this country. God is indeed Almighty!
Isaiah 40:9 (NLT) also shares with us another way that the world will hear about Almighty God. "O Zion, messenger of good news, shout from the mountaintops! Shout it louder, O Jerusalem. Shout, and do not be afraid. Tell the towns of Judah,'Your God is coming!'" We have the right and the honor to tell the whole world that our Lord is coming! And with everyday that passes, His coming is getting closer and closer! Let's not let the storms and earthquakes be the only ones to tell about Almighty God. Let's also join in the chorus and sing praises to the Lord so that the entire earth hears about our God!
2. ...but No One Can Understand Him.
And yet this great God of the universe is quite impossible to understand. Our human brains are just not big enough to know about this amazing God. Elijah had an encounter with God up on a mountaintop. Let's look at 1 Kings 19:11 (NLT), "'Go out and stand before me on the mountain,' the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake." Now, this kind of sounds like Hokkaidō recently, doesn't it?! But even though this happened, this verse tells us that God was not in the typhoon or the earthquake. So, where was He?
Going back to our main Scripture passage for tonight, let's look at Isaiah 40:12-14 (NLT), "12 Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale? 13 Who is able to advise the Spirit of the LORD? Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him? 14 Has the LORD ever needed anyone’s advice? Does he need instruction about what is good? Did someone teach him what is right or show him the path of justice?" We are just like Elijah. We can try to find God in the mighty things of nature, but He is not there. He is the Almighty God that CREATED all of nature! He is so far beyond nature that we cannot even imagine Him!
3. ...and Yet, He Will Take Care of Us.
Now, the last part that I want to teach you tonight is about God's care for us. Let's go back for just a second and see what Elijah discovered about God. In 1 Kings 19:12 (BSB), "After the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a still, small voice." That's where we are going to find God - in the still, small voice that speaks to us when we are quiet and alone with Almighty God, just as Elijah was.
Moving back to Isaiah 40, let's take a look at verses 10-11 (NLT), "10 Yes, the Sovereign LORD is coming in power. He will rule with a powerful arm. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes. 11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young." What a beautiful way for God to show Himself to us! Just as Jesus said He was the Good Shepherd, Isaiah tells us the same.
But Isaiah is not finished yet. Go down to verse 31 (NLT) and see what he says, "But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." Can you believe it?! That same Almighty God that walks on the clouds, that stirs up the winds and that shakes the earth is going to give us His strength! That's His special promise to us tonight here in this place this evening.
Conclusion: Yes indeed, typhoons and earthquakes can be pretty scary, but never forget that the Almighty God who made them has said that He will be your Good Shepherd. He will be the wind beneath your wings, giving you His strength so that you'll fly right up there with the eagles!
Closing Prayer: Let's finish this evening by taking our last Bible passage and reading it together.
"But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint."
Now let's look at our closing prayer and pray it together:
Dear Heavenly Father, we have been through a lot recently here in northern Japan. Thank you for protecting us and keeping us safe through all the storms of life. We trust You again tonight and give ourselves to You. Please be our Good Shepherd and hold us in Your Loving Arms. Now we ask for your strength for the days ahead. Carry us up into the air on eagle's wings. We pray all these things now in Jesus' precious name, Amen.