What, Me Worry?

“Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel,
And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:
‘I am the First and I am the Last;
Besides Me there is no God.
And who can proclaim as I do?
Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me,
Since I appointed the ancient people.
And the things that are coming and shall come,
Let them show these to them.
Do not fear, nor be afraid;
Have I not told you from that time, and declared it?
You are My witnesses.
Is there a God besides Me?
Indeed there is no other Rock;
I know not one.’ ” (Isaiah 44:6-8)

No one can stop God. All the supposed power and attributes of all the gods that the Israelites knew of from the people around them were combined into just the one God—their God—the only God that really existed. The Israelite’s neighbors, Egypt and Mesopotamia, not to mention the Canaanites, believed there were many gods—and since there were many, they were in conflict with one another. Each had his or her own agenda. The gods did not get along. The gods were like squabbling bureaucrats, each striving for advantage and prestige. So sometimes people got caught in the crossfire between them. Just because a god wanted something to happen didn’t mean that some other god couldn’t stop it. Just because you faithfully obeyed your god didn’t mean some other god might not get mad at you.

God reassured his people that there was only him to contend with. Unlike the non-existent gods their neighbors—and all too often the Israelites—worshipped, Yahweh was firmly reliable. He was strong, he was united, and he would take care of them in a consistent way. What he had said, that’s what would happen. There wasn’t some other god trying to thwart his goals.

God’s will was going to happen: he had a plan, and he knew what he was doing. So what have we ever got to worry about?

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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