Isaiah 40:12-25

The incomparable God

12 Who has measured the waters in the palm of a hand or gauged the heavens with a ruler or scooped the earth's dust up in a measuring cup or weighed the mountains on a scale and the hills in a balance?
13 Who directed the LORD's spirit and acted as God's advisor?
14 Whom did he consult for enlightenment? Who taught him the path of justice and knowledge and explained to him the way of understanding?
15 Look, the nations are like a drop in a bucket, and valued as dust on a scale. Look, God weighs the islands like fine dust.
16 Lebanon doesn't have enough fuel; its animals aren't enough for an entirely burned offering.
17 All the nations are like nothing before God. They are viewed as less than nothing and emptiness.
18 So to whom will you equate God; to what likeness will you compare him?
19 An idol? A craftsman pours it, a metalworker covers it with gold, and fashions silver chains.
20 The one who sets up an image chooses wood that won't rot and then seeks a skilled artisan to set up an idol that won't move.
21 Don't you know? Haven't you heard? Wasn't it announced to you from the beginning? Haven't you understood since the earth was founded?
22 God inhabits the earth's horizon— its inhabitants are like locusts— stretches out the skies like a curtain and spreads it out like a tent for dwelling.
23 God makes dignitaries useless and the earth's judges into nothing.
24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely is their shoot rooted in the earth when God breathes on them, and they dry up; the windstorm carries them off like straw.
25 So to whom will you compare me, and who is my equal? says the holy one.

Isaiah 40:12-25 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 40

This chapter treats of the comforts of God's people; of the forerunner and coming of the Messiah; of his work, and the dignity of his person; of the folly of making idols, and of the groundless complaints of the church of God. The consolations of God's people, by whom to be administered, and the matter, ground, and reason of them, Isa 40:1,2. John the Baptist, the harbinger of Christ, is described by his work and office, and the effects of it; it issuing in the humiliation of some, and the exaltation of others, and in the revelation of the glory of Christ, Isa 40:3-5, then follows an order to every minister of the Gospel what he should preach and publish; the weakness and insufficiency of men to anything that is spiritually good; their fading and withering goodliness, which is to be ascribed to the blowing of the Spirit of God upon it; and the firmness and constancy of the word of God is declared, Isa 40:6-8, next the apostles of Christ in Jerusalem are particularly exhorted to publish fervently and openly the good tidings of the Gospel; to proclaim the coming of Christ, the manner of it, and the work he came about; and to signify his faithful discharge of his office as a shepherd, Isa 40:9-11, the dignity of whose person is set forth by his almighty power, by his infinite wisdom, and by the greatness of his majesty, in comparison of which all nations and things are as nothing, Isa 40:12-17 and then the vanity of framing any likeness to God, and of forming idols for worship, is observed, Isa 40:18-25, and from the consideration of the divine power in creation and upholding all things, the church of God is encouraged to expect renewed strength and persevering grace, and is blamed for giving way to a distrustful and murmuring spirit, Isa 40:26-31.

Isaiah 40:12-25 In-Context

10 Here is the LORD God, coming with strength, with a triumphant arm, bringing his reward with him and his payment before him.
11 Like a shepherd, God will tend the flock; he will gather lambs in his arms and lift them onto his lap. He will gently guide the nursing ewes.
12 Who has measured the waters in the palm of a hand or gauged the heavens with a ruler or scooped the earth's dust up in a measuring cup or weighed the mountains on a scale and the hills in a balance?
13 Who directed the LORD's spirit and acted as God's advisor?
14 Whom did he consult for enlightenment? Who taught him the path of justice and knowledge and explained to him the way of understanding?
15 Look, the nations are like a drop in a bucket, and valued as dust on a scale. Look, God weighs the islands like fine dust.
16 Lebanon doesn't have enough fuel; its animals aren't enough for an entirely burned offering.
17 All the nations are like nothing before God. They are viewed as less than nothing and emptiness.
18 So to whom will you equate God; to what likeness will you compare him?
19 An idol? A craftsman pours it, a metalworker covers it with gold, and fashions silver chains.
20 The one who sets up an image chooses wood that won't rot and then seeks a skilled artisan to set up an idol that won't move.
21 Don't you know? Haven't you heard? Wasn't it announced to you from the beginning? Haven't you understood since the earth was founded?
22 God inhabits the earth's horizon— its inhabitants are like locusts— stretches out the skies like a curtain and spreads it out like a tent for dwelling.
23 God makes dignitaries useless and the earth's judges into nothing.
24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely is their shoot rooted in the earth when God breathes on them, and they dry up; the windstorm carries them off like straw.
25 So to whom will you compare me, and who is my equal? says the holy one.
26 Look up at the sky and consider: Who created these? The one who brings out their attendants one by one, summoning each of them by name. Because of God's great strength and mighty power, not one is missing.
27 Why do you say, Jacob, and declare, Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD my God ignores my predicament"?

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