This is a question Isaiah asks the people of Israel and Judah in chapter 40 of his prophecy; and this, in my opinion, is one of the greatest chapters in the whole of Scripture. Isaiah’s ministry lasted almost 60 years and covered the reigns of four kings. Isaiah lived through the dark days of civil war between Israel and Judah and saw the destruction of Israel by the Assyrians in 722BC. Isaiah used the sad lessons of Israel’s demise to teach King Hezekiah and the people of Judah to trust in the Lord.
In chapter 40 there is a shift of emphasis and, in the remaining chapters, Isaiah’s message becomes one of salvation and, through the coming Messiah, hope for the future. At the outset of this change in emphasis, Isaiah reminds the people that no one is God’s equal!
We live in a world that constantly makes comparisons. In respect of ‘lockdowns’, areas of the UK have been comparing themselves to others in relation to what ‘Tier’ their area is currently in. We are often reminded in our news bulletins of how other countries are coping – comparisons are then made between us and them!
It’s tempting to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves with others. We compare our looks, our homes, relationships, our importance in other people’s lives, our jobs, roles, gifts and abilities, our wealth, availability, knowledge, our past, our future, and so on. Such comparisons build others up, and tear us down. They only cause us to feel ‘less than’, to despair of and despise what we have and are. For some, ‘enough is never enough’!
So, how do we stop ourselves from making such comparisons? By remembering everything that we are and have and choosing to be grateful for those things; by remembering that ‘The Lord is my best friend and my Shepherd. I always have more than enough’ (The Passion Bible); by adjusting our lens on life, shifting what we’re focusing on, and looking up to our heavenly Father instead. Then, by speaking out those things that we’re grateful for, by praising God and giving Him thanks for all that He’s given us.
After Isaiah has reminded the people that no one is God’s equal and no one can be compared to Him, he draws his prophecy to a conclusion by reminding them and us of the importance of ‘waiting’ and ‘trusting’ (40:29-31) – because that’s where our strength comes from!
‘Lord, You are more precious than silver;
Lord, You are more costly than gold;
Lord, You are more beautiful than diamonds;
And nothing I desire compares with You’.