Do you believe that God is directly involved in the affairs of men? Do you believe that he is actively working in the world today? Or, even more important, do you believe that God is actively working in your life today? Many believe that he is not. Sadly, there are Christians in America today who believe in God, but who do not believe that he is involved in their life nor that he is concerned with their life. The old heresy of deism has crept back into American culture. It is the belief that God created the earth and all that is in it, and then stepped back to see what would happen. He watches, but he is unconcerned.
This uninvolved and unconcerned God is not the God of the Scriptures. The Bible is clear in its teaching that God is, God always has been, and God will continue to be intimately, directly and sovereignly involved in his creation—including the lives of men.
This of course begs the question “Why?” Why would an infinite and all-powerful God want to be involved in the lives of puny and impotent men? Why is God at work in my life? Why is God at work in your life? God is at work in your life, and God is at work in my life, and God is at work in His world for one purpose—and that is to glorify and exalt Himself. Listen to the apostle Paul as he writes to the believers at Ephesus:
Ephesians 1:9-12 /"Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ." KJV
Isaiah paints a picture of the God of Israel who has power, complete control over the past, the present, the future. God inhabits eternity; He is not bound by time, space, or any other physical construct. According to our verse, God has a will (surely as I have thought) and both power and authority to accomplish that will (so it shall come to pass).
This historical background of the verse is this: Three important predictions emerge in chapters 13-16: 1) Babylong would break the Assyrian domination of the Mideast; 2) Media would supersede Babylon; and 3) Babylon would disappear forever. Historically, we know that all three of these prophecies came true. Babylon conquered Assyria in 607 B.C., Babylon in turn fell to the Medo-Persian armies in 538 B.C.; and today, all that remains of once mighty Babylon is a few square miles of rubble—all exactly as Isaiah predicted!
More important for us tonight, Isaiah reveals to us three facts about the purpose of God which are full of comfort to every believer.
What does all this mean for us?
1) First of all, it means that He reigns everywhere. There is not one inch of the universe which is out of God’s complete control.
2) Secondly, God’s providence means we don’t have to be afraid, worried about every little thing that happens or might happen.
3) Third, God’s providence means our moral actions matter. How does God’s proactive intervention in human affairs and His sovereignty relate to our decisions and choices? Are you ready? This is profound. I don’t know. I know God is sovereign. I know we are not merely marionettes. The image I find helpful is that of a leaf carried along in a stream. It twirls this way and that on the water, side to side, but finally gets taken where the current wills. But the decisions we make and the roads we take matter.