“Besides me there is no God” is repeated in one form or another at least nine times in Isaiah 45, enough times to catch my attention. I’m reminded that something similar is found in Exodus 20:3, leading off The Ten Commandments, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” This theme prompts me to ask myself, “What other gods do I put before me, other than Him?”
The first I almost immediately thought of is the god of comfort. I want nothing to rob me of it, or to disturb it. Yet in God is all comfort. He does not ask me if I’m comfortable, like flight attendants used to do, but he does say he provides, and in fact, embodies comfort.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3
The next is the god of certainty. I don’t want risk in my life. I want to always bet on a sure thing. There are many who live on the edge, but not me! What’s for certain is that there is nothing that is known for certain. But I’ve got to know, so I try in vain to cover my bets!
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! Romans 11:33
Third, is the god of security. I will do everything in my power to keep myself and my family secure, physically and financially. I study all the angles. I try to batten every hatch. I spend an inordinate amount of time watching my backside, and game-planning every eventuality. Perhaps I should say such wargaming is an obsession. From security systems to weaponry to FDIC backing, I need constant shoring up, or at least I think I do. But we will eventually, undoubtedly, be exposed in some facet of our lives. There’ll be a chink in the armor. Some breach in the wall. A break in the dam.
While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Finally, and there are surely more, is the god of life. I go to great extents to keep myself alive. Nobody gets in the way of my cycling time, but they do, and it aggravates me. I worry that failing to ride on the appointed day will cause me to lose my enviable under-50 BPM heart rate. Worse is the constant worry about any “novel” malady that comes down the pike, and the fear of the ever-lurking COVID-19 virus. Avoiding illness—to stay alive—can be become an illness. Both the pursuit of endorphins—to feel alive—and the fear of sickness—to stay alive—are gods to which I tend to voluntarily bow the knee.
Who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life. Matthew 6:27
The truth is, there is a capital G God of comfort, of certainty, of security, of life, and everything! He’s got this. All of it.
There is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other, The One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these. Isaiah 45:6–7