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Isaiah 45:18-25 - Homilies By E. Johnson

Jehovah: his nature and purposes.

I. HIS SOLE DEITY . He is the Creator, and to say this is to say that his is "the Godhead." This truth is repeated "line upon line," and "precept upon precept." Simple truths have an emphasis peculiar to them. They need to be iterated , because the memories of men are unfaithful, their imaginations vagrant, their affections prone to wander from their true and central Object. It was so in ancient times; it is so still. Then men were tempted to think that other national gods had some power; now they are disposed to turn to some "ideal substitute" for God. We should learn, not to share out our reverence among God and various ideals of the true, wise, beautiful, and good, but to conceive of him as the sum total of them all. The enduringly good, and the permanently true and spiritually and essentially fair, all enter into the conception of "the Eternal, beside whom there is none."

II. HIS PURPOSE IN THE CREATION . It was to be, "not as a chaos," but a scene of order , a kosmos , as the Greek said. It was "formed, finished, and arranged, that it might be inhabited"—like "a lodging for a friend." God "rejoices in the habitable parts of the earth; and his delights are with the children of men." His thought was above all for the social êïóìïò— the spiritual system, the beauty of the regenerate state of souls; his mind to be reflected in the human creation; the human creation to illustrate the glory of his mind. If science brings to light the wonders of the natural order, true theology brings to light the greater wonders of the spiritual order. It is a discovery of the law to which the passions and forces of human nature must render obedience in order to happiness.

III. THE OPENNESS OF HIS REVELATIONS . Not in darkness and secrecy, like the heathen mysteries; nor in obscure and symbolic phrases, like theirs. Nor is it a matter of occult art and divination. It is the "light of Jehovah" (cf. Deuteronomy 30:11-14 ; Jeremiah 2:31 ). Luminous in themselves, his words lead us on to tracts of light and felicity. They are direct , and opposed to the crooked and enigmatic deliverances of the heathen oracles. Let human experience decide between Jehovah and the heathen gods. They only dare to make such an appeal who are conscious that it cannot be resisted. That religion cannot stand which will not endure satire; for ridicule is the test of truth. How can they endure it who "without knowledge carry the word of their image, and pray unto a god that cannot save"? What argument can they produce? What covenant can there be between the soul and an idol? what ability in wood or stone to save? The result remains as before. As there is but one Creator, so is there but one Moral Governor—one righteous, faithful, covenant-keeping God.

IV. CALL TO SALVATION AND TO ADORATION . "Be saved!" That is, ye shall be saved in turning unto me. If he is the only God, obedience to him must be the only salvation. And upon this end God has set his heart—this end, he swears, as God is God, shall be accomplished. The true Israel shall expand, the barriers of naturalism shall be broken down; there shall be universal, voluntary, unrestrained submission. Shame at error, and triumphant, boastful gladness in the new-found truth, shall go together. Such a communion of spirits in God and with one another is the object of faith, of aspiration now, and shall be a glorious realization hereafter.—J.

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