Who Has Weighed the Mountains?

Isaiah 40:10-15 – Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. 11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. 12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? 13 Who has measured the Spirit of the LORD, or what man shows him his counsel? 14 Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding? 15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.

2014-01-23 - Who Has Weighed the Mountains (IMG_1522)The setting sun highlights the granite peaks as evening settles over the Yosemite ValleyYosemite National Park, California.

When Isaiah asks, “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?” he obviously anticipates only a single answer, it is of course the “Lord GOD [who] comes with might.”  This is really a series of rhetorical questions that are being posed here, and the implied answers clearly are intended to demonstrate the power, wisdom, and might of our God and Creator.  His conclusion that “the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales” is the exclamation point on this illustration of the insignificance of man in comparison to the magnificence of God.

And yet, if we back up to verse 11, we see that the same mighty God who created and rules over the heavens and the earth, is also a tender and loving God, for “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.”  And in John 10:14-15 we read Jesus’ own words describing himself, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.”

What an amazing God we have!  He has weighed majestic, granite mountains towering over 3000 feet above the valley below, and stretched out infinite stars in the heavens above, and measured the roaring seas across all the earth, and yet the God of all creation has, in great compassion, sent his Son, “the good shepherd,” to suffer and lay down his life for the sins of the world, so that we could be forgiven and reconciled to him.  Praise God our Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, and Lord!  Amen!

Read more about my “God is Revealed…“ category of posts

© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2014.

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The Rock That Is Higher Than I

Psalm 61:1-4 – Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; 2 from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, 3 for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. 4 Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings!

2014-01-20 - The Rock That Is Higher Than I (IMG_1523)Some of the towering cliffs along the trail in the Cantwell Cliffs area.  Hocking Hills State Park, Logan, Ohio.

If you have ever hiked in an area with towering cliffs you know just how small and insignificant you feel when you take the time to stop and look above you.  The use of rock imagery to describe God is found throughout the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament.  For centuries rock was the only available building material strong enough to build fortresses and walls to protect a city from an invading army.  And, even though the weapons of modern warfare have made the stone fortress obsolete, many ancient examples still survive demonstrating their permanence, so that this imagery is easily understood even today.

Although we can appreciate this imagery, it is still just a literary tool used to describe some of the characteristics of God in terms that we can understand.  Fortunately our God is much stronger and more permanent than any rock formation found in nature or stone fortress built by the hands of man.  Far better, still, our God is a living God, one to whom we can cry out in our times of need, one to whom we can look for protection when we are under attack from the world, the flesh, or the devil.  He is also the God to whom we commit our time, talent, and treasure, the God to whom we offer our devotion, praise, and worship.  “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

Read more about my “God is Revealed…“ category of posts

© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2014.

Break Forth Into Singing, O Mountains

Isaiah 44:22-24 I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. 23 Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it; shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and will be glorified in Israel. 24 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am the LORD, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself.”

2014-01-18 - Break Forth Into Singing, O Mountains (IMG_1464) Liberty Cap and Nevada FallYosemite National Park, California.

God is our Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer and Lord.  Take some time today to gaze at the magnificent beauty of the world around you and remember that the God who formed you in your mother’s womb is also the God who created the universe and all that is in it.  But best of all, he is also the one who died on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven!

“Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it; shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it!”

Read more about my “God is Revealed…“ category of posts

© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2014.