“For since the world began,
no ear has heard
and no eye has seen a God like you,
who works for those who wait for him!” – Isaiah 64:4
One way we have not pondered is the sheer uniqueness of this God among all the gods of the nations. In other words, Isaiah, stunned that the greatness of God has the paradoxical effect that He does not need people to work for Him, but rather magnifies Himself by working for them, if they will renounce self-reliance and “wait for Him.”
Isaiah anticipated the words of Paul —
“and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need.” – Acts 17:25
The uniqueness at the heart of Christianity is the glory of God manifest in the freedom of grace.God is glorious because He does not need the nations to work for Him. He is free to work for them.
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:45
Missions is not a recruitment project for God’s labour force. It is a liberation project from the heavy burdens and hard yokes of other gods.
What Isaiah sees everywhere he looks are gods who need service rather than serve. For example, the Babylonian gods Bel and Nebo —
“Bel and Nebo, the gods of Babylon,
bow as they are lowered to the ground.
They are being hauled away on ox carts.
The poor beasts stagger under the weight.
Both the idols and their owners are bowed down.
The gods cannot protect the people,
and the people cannot protect the gods.
They go off into captivity together.
“Listen to me, descendants of Jacob,
all you who remain in Israel.
I have cared for you since you were born.
Yes, I carried you before you were born.
I will be your God throughout your lifetime—
until your hair is white with age.
I made you, and I will care for you.
I will carry you along and save you.” – Isaiah 46:1-4