Thought: God is Bigger Than This
By Rev. Leo H. McCrary II – March 13, 2022
Responsive Reading – Isaiah 55:1-12
Key Verse – Isaiah 55:8-9
God is bigger than this — Do you realize that God is bigger than the biggest hills, the highest mountains, and the largest valleys that stand or lay before you on your journey?
In Psalm 121:1-2, the psalmist sings, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills — from whence (where) comes my help?” Was his help going to come from the hills? No, the psalmist replied, his help was going to come from the Lord. Are you looking for your help to come from the hills today or do you know that your help comes from the Lord?
In our key verse for this week’s message, we see the Lord state to all of Israel, through the prophet Isaiah, that His ways and thoughts were higher than theirs. Now, as I often try to mention when I speak of Israel during the days of Isaiah’s prophecy, they were a people totally given over to corruption – that is wickedness and evil; they stood against the Lord.
In their hearts they felt their way was superior to the Lord and though He sought them, they in return would not even turn their necks to look towards Him. The Lord reaches out to all of us today in a manner where He seeks to guide us and help us on this journey but how many of us have a neck that is too stiff to turn to the Lord?
What I want to share with you today is this message of the Lord: God is bigger than this. God is bigger than the world. God is bigger than your biggest problem. God is bigger than every hill, mountain, and valley that you will ever face on your pilgrimage. So, I say to you today, turn to Him.
In Psalm 121, we will see the psalmist give us a reason as to why he knew that the Lord was his help. The psalmist states that it is because God made both heaven and earth (Ps. 121:2). So, the psalmist was looking at the magnitude of God’s creation as a sign of the might and power of the Lord. Whereas, many of us today don’t think all that much of God’s creation, yet I would tell you that God’s creation testifies of Him. So, let me first establish that God is bigger to all of you today.
When I think of the magnitude of God, one of the things that first comes to mind is His creation – the universe itself. In his writing, Paul wrote of the creation about how the Lord created all things, visible and invisible (Col. 1:16). This was not something that Paul concocted in his own mind but something he pulled from the Lord testifying of His own handiwork.
Of course, the first thing that we read when we open up the bible is that In the beginning, God created the heavens (space) and the earth (Gen. 1:1). In the first chapter of Genesis, we also see that the Lord filled space with all of the heavenly bodies that occupy space and the universe (Gen. 1:14-18). Even more, through the prophet Isaiah, the Lord said, For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist” (Is. 66:2).
I know that many of you don’t look out and admire space as I do, but one thing we do understand about the universe is its vastness – it is so big that it seems boundless. Those that study space suggest that the universe is so vast that we cannot observe all of it in its entirety.
The sovereign ruler
Something else that scientists point out about the universe is its clockwork – there are laws that seemingly govern the universe to the point that it almost seems mechanical. To some, such order in the universe is unexplainable. So, where does this order in the universe come from? Let’s answer this question.
In the book of Job, the Lord testified to Job that He set the constellations in our night sky and that He set the ordinances (the law and order) of the heavens (Job 38:31-33). Again, God is painting a picture of Himself being the one who created the universe and is in total control of this universe. So, the Lord is letting us know that He is Almighty and He is the sovereign ruler over all things known and unknown.
Through the prophet Isaiah, the Lord said, “Heaven is My throne, and earth (His creation) is My footstool” (Is. 66:1). So, as vast as the universe is, the Lord is repeatedly telling us that He is bigger. In the book of Revelation, God said that He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last (Rev. 22:12). Science tells us the universe does have bounds after all, yet, God repeatedly tells us that He has no bounds! The Lord is constant — God is eternal.
The Wall of Stubbornness
So to put things into perspective, in every way we are small in comparison to the Lord. We look to the hills, the mountains, the valleys – our difficulties – that stand before us and some are small while others are high, and then there are those that look too deep and treacherous. Yet, to God, there is no hill or mountain that is too high nor no valley that is too deep and treacherous – they pose no challenge to Him.
So, why don’t we turn to the Lord when it comes to these difficulties – our trials, tribulations, struggles, troubles, and problems? Why do we look to the hills and expect for help to come out of the hills and be able to help us over that is not coming from the Lord?
Shortchanging the Lord
Something seems to prevent some of us from turning our heads to the Lord. That something being the same stiff-necked stubbornness that plagued Israel. In our stubbornness we shortchange – limit – the Lord.
In the book of Exodus, the Lord on multiple occasions called the children of Israel a stiff-necked people. To Moses, when the children of Israel had worshiped the gold calf, the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people (the children of Israel), and indeed it is a stiff-necked people” (Ex. 32:9). Even when the Lord commanded the children of Israel to leave Mount Sinai, God again called the children of Israel a stiff-necked people (Ex. 33:3,5).
Why did the Lord call the children of Israel a stiff-necked people? God was disappointed with the lack of faith from the children of Israel. We should understand that these statements were being made after the Lord had revealed His sovereignty to them by delivering them from the hands of bondage.
God, as we know, had plagued Egypt with great plagues. When they were leaving Egypt, the Lord parted the Red Sea and guided them by day and night. So, there should have been some genuine faith and trust in God coming from the people. Yet, even after being eyewitnesses to His work and receiving the Law, the children of Israel could not turn their necks from wickedness to follow Him. Yes, they worshiped the gold calf and on several occasions desired to go back to Egypt!
Their bondage, I want you to understand, was a mountain of a hurdle that the Lord had brought them over, and yet, they were wanting to go back! God was taking them to a great blessing, and yet, they did not want to go in the direction of the blessing! Imagine the Lord’s frustration! He called them stubborn because they would not turn their heads to have faith in Him.
After hundreds and hundreds of years with prophets sent to testify of God, the Israelites still refused to turn to the Lord. When it was clear that they needed His help, they chose to be conquered by their enemies rather than turn to God!
God then did the marvelous thing of giving the world His only begotten Son, and even then, necks were still the more stiff and did not turn to the Lord. Even to this day, in all that we deal with and go through – when it is clear that we need to turn to God – necks still refuse to turn to the Lord! After all the Lord has done for all of us, there are still many whose neck is too stiff to turn their eyes towards the Lord. Why are we this way? Why do we refuse to turn to Him?
Not higher than God
It is because in our hearts, some of us truly believe that we are greater than the Lord. In our little wisdom and might, we believe it to be higher and greater than the one who created both heaven and this universe.
How many times does the Lord have to knock us down before the picture becomes clear that we need God? As the Lord states in our key verse, His thoughts are not our thoughts nor are His ways like our ways – they are higher. Look around you – we are in need of God today! We are in terrible need of the Lord’s help and His way.
Let us consider our ways to the Lord’s ways and you will see a drastic difference as to which way is greater. We will find the Lord’s way through looking at the gospel of Christ. Through His gospel, we see that God’s way reaches outwards in all directions in a manner of love and compassion without bias — God loved the world (John 3:16). Comparatively, the way of man is more inward focused — it is selfish. I tell you today that one way is limited – that being the selfish way – whereas the other way which expands outwards in all directions is unlimited and has no bounds.
Yet, we refuse to see the shortcoming of our way compared to the Lord’s way. In our hearts, some think just as the devil thought when he believed he could raise himself above the Lord (Is. 14:12-15). Instead of turning to God to help us over, we keep trying to climb up on our own, only to fall over and over again.
To continue to do something over and over again with the same results of failure without trying something different is the definition of insanity. I tell you, it would be insane for you to keep going at all of your difficulties on your own with the Alpha and the Omega has extended His hands to help you through your trials and tribulations! Will you reach your hand back out to Him?
Given to stubbornness
In his letter to the Romans, Paul wrote that there is no excuse for mankind when it comes to knowledge of the Lord. Paul wrote that since the creation of the world, God’s invisible attributes are “clearly seen” (Rom. 1:20). However, people were blatantly choosing not to acknowledge the Lord because of their stubbornness. Because of their stubbornness, Paul wrote that people become futile in their thoughts, and their “foolish hearts” are darkened (Rom. 1:21).
We find that those who refuse to turn their necks – they choose to remain stubborn – God will give them over to their stubbornness. Again, this was a major problem for the children of Israel and the Lord spoke to the end result of their stubbornness. In the book of Zechariah, we will see that the Lord said, “they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear … so they called out and I (God) would not listen” (Zech. 7:11,13).
The Israelites that had chosen to be stubborn had built up a wall of stubbornness – their hearts had gone dark – and this wall of stubbornness blocked them off from the Lord. In their day of great need, their wicked heart of stubbornness led to them being scattered “with a whirlwind” among the nations (Zech. 7:14). So, because they did not heed the voice of God, wrath fell upon them.
God is Bigger
Imagine allowing yourself to be overcome because you continue to try to tackle your trials and tribulations on your own when the Lord has extended out His arm to you. When you refuse to turn to the Lord and take His hand in your stubbornness, God will let you keep trying to go up that mountain and fall down over and over again. You see, stubbornness is disobedience and the end result of disobeying God is failure.
God’s hand is there for you if only you would just turn your stiff neck so that you can see it is there. To the Corinthians, Paul wrote, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13). Again, the Lord is there to show you the way if you desire.
With His voice, the Lord is telling you that He is bigger than you can imagine! God is bigger than any hill or mountain that you are facing and can easily bring you over them! We have to determine whether we are going to look to that hill or mountain and trust that God is our help or will we continue to turn to everything but Him.
Currently, in our world today, gas prices have skyrocketed – and that is putting it lightly. Prices for food continue to climb to ridiculous heights and in some cases, certain foods seem to be harder and harder to find. We look over at Ukraine and see what is taking place there – how man can move against one another, with little care, in such a vicious and terrible way. Close to home, we cannot forget the anger and hatred that is ever present. It would seem that now is the time to not be stubborn about turning to the Lord for His help!
Invited to come to God
In Psalm 81, the Lord again made it clear that those who do not heed His voice that they would be given over to their own counsels (Ps. 81:12). “The haters of the Lord would pretend submission to Him,” God said, “but their fate would endure forever” (Ps. 81:15). There is no escape for the stubborn heart, however, those that are not stubborn, God says that He will feed them with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock we will be satisfied (Ps. 81:16).
There is an escape from our difficulties and the Lord is willing to show you that way, but will you heed His voice? In the book of Isaiah, we will see through the prophet, a warm welcome from God to come to Him. The Lord said, “Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy, and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price” (Is. 55:1).
This same invitation was repeated again by Jesus at an occasion on the last day of the feast of tabernacles. Scripture tells us that Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anything thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38).
There is life (relief) for you when God brings you through those trials and tribulations after you have come to Him. As you have heard me say before, the Lord has no desire that you ever be overcome with your difficulties and troubles. We must humble ourselves under the mighty hand of the Lord and go to Him (1 Pet. 5:6).
God, being that He is the Creator, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End is beyond our limits and our bounds. Though the earth is His footstool, though we may be small, the Lord also said, “On this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Is. 66:2).
Yes, we may be tiny when it comes to the vastness of this creation that is the Lord’s, yet, the Lord’s love for us is far more vast than the universe. God’s love for us is eternal. “Incline (bend) your ear, and come to Me,” says the Lord, “Hear, and your soul shall live” (Is. 55:3).
Again, I ask: Why tackle that hill, mountain, or valley by yourself? Why look for some other form of help to come over that hill, mountain, or through that valley when there is better help to help you through? God will have absolutely no trouble carrying you over and through. God is bigger. Stop having a stiff neck – stop being stubborn – and come to God.