The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

04/04/2014

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God: Particular And Universal


"Who has understood the mind of the Lord, or instructed him as a counselor? Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way?" (Isa.40:13-14).

In Old Testament days, when today's verses were written, God was both particular and universal. He is today also. He was particular, in that He made a covenant with Israel, as He was the God of the descendants of Abraham. He had manifested Himself in the temple at Jerusalem. Other nations simply lacked the relationship with God that the Israelites enjoyed. But lets make no mistake here... God was not restrictive to only Jerusalem or even Israel, as he was the universal God, the Creator of everything. It is important to note that His covenant with Israel was in no way a deterrent to His rule over other nations. One of the problems that Israel had was their difficulty in understanding the balance. By that I mean that they had trouble in realizing that God was peculiarly theirs, while at the same time universal to all. They needed to reread their own law... "To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. Yet the Lord set His affections on your forefathers, and loved them, and He chose you, their descendants, above all" (Deut.10:14-15). Particular and universal! The first fall and destruction of Jerusalem and the temple dealt the children of Israel a severe blow. How could their God let the bad guys win? It was the starkest of reality checks. God rules the whole world! "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it" (Psa.24:1). The apostle Paul reminds us why writings like these in Isaiah are important to the Christian today... "These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! (1 Cor.10:11-12). There are few places in the Old Testament that provide a richer encouragement for Christians than in writings like this from the Book of Isaiah. As God led Israel with His providential care back home, He asserted that he was the God of nations and the world. Isaiah's words of encouragement help believers today to understand His loving care as in good time, He brought the words to fruition in Jesus. As God redeemed the people by returning them home, He redeems us through His Son, as he desires to bring us home... His might and glory are for all...

Have a wonderful day... Go about doing good... Love mark Phil.4:11

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