“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all of these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, “O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God?”
For just a little bit of money you can have someone name a star after you, or give one as a gift to a friend. Sounds nice doesn’t it? Actually the companies (That’s right, there are more than one.) that make these offers hold no official sway in the International Astronomical Union (IAU), which is the real international authority for naming stars.
Yet even beyond the IAU, there is Someone infinitely greater who has already named each star of the heavens, not just the 3,000 or so visible to the naked eye, but the billions of other stars in the universe: God. In the Bible, to name some thing means to know its distinguishing characteristics. He brings them out, like a general reviewing his troops, and sustains them in their life cycles and courses through the heavens by the strength of his power. Not a single one of them is forgotten, no matter how remote a spot in the universe it occupies.
And what does this say about us? God knows our very life and our every burden. Our path is not unknown to him. Though our paths are much more morally complicated than the paths of the stars, he predicts them with full foreknowledge and watches over us each with intense interest. Following these verses Isaiah makes the point of what the power of God can do in our lives, but here he drives home to our hearts before the climax one more word of encouragement about God’s greatness.
Prayer is the exercise of communicating with God our need in the awareness of his presence, including his holiness, greatness, and love. Prayer brings unexpected blessings because we have more needs and greater needs than we can think to ask God to meet. As we speak with God about what we perceive to be our needs he communicates our true needs to our hearts. Spiritual growth and maturity, in fact, can be described as the process of learning more about what we truly need in life and how to gain it from God.
Isaiah presented God’s credentials to help us based on his knowledge and greatness. The author of Hebrews presented God’s credentials based on the humility of Christ, as well as his high priesthood.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in very way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Both Isaiah and the Hebrews author came to the same point: that we can boldly and confidently approach God with out felt needs. His throne is a throne of grace and we find mercy and strength and love there. God knows, God cares, God understands, God invites us to draw near him.
What do you feel you need from God today? Peace? Daily bread? Guidance? Forgiveness? Hope? Healing? Renewal? Encouragement? Or, perhaps you just need to know that God notices you. He does.
The needs you feel in your life today are allowed by God so you will feel your need of him, and seek him out. Your cause is not disregarded by God, and even if you have a bigger need than you know of, come to him now with your requests this day and let him begin to do for you what only He can do.
Lord, you know us well and are infinitely more concerned about our progress in life than we could ever be. Thank you for noticing us, for caring about our struggles and needs. Let us receive the mercy and grace we need for this day, and let us also consider how we may be your instruments to meet other needs in other’s lives. Amen.