For the week of August 10, 2002 / 2 Elul 5762
Torah: Devarim / Deuteronomy 16:18 - 21:9
Haftarah: Isaiah 51:12 - 52:12

Who Do You Think You Are?

I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mortal men, the sons of men, who are but grass, that you forget the LORD your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, that you live in constant terror every day because of the wrath of the oppressor, who is bent on destruction? For where is the wrath of the oppressor? (Isaiah 51:12,13).

It took me a few readings of this passage to catch what God was saying through Isaiah. I had to stop and think about the part where we read "Who are you that you fear mortal men…" When I read "who are you," I immediately thought that God was correcting our tendency to think of ourselves as greater than we ought.

There are, of course, times when we need to receive that kind of correction. This kind of pride is very destructive to ourselves and those around us.

But that is not God's intention here. He is actually addressing something else. Let's look at these words again:

Who are you that you fear mortal men, the sons of men, who are but grass, that you forget the LORD your Maker…

The people being addressed here were in fear. They didn't have a grasp of God's care and protection in their lives. They were scared of others. They had forgotten God.

But this was because these people had forgotten who they themselves were. Isaiah was speaking to the people of God, but they were living as if they were not. Who did they think they were? Did they think that they were some other nation that did not know the God of the universe? They had forgotten that they were the people of the living God – the God of power and of promise.

I love my children. I am committed to caring and providing for them. Yet at times I am shocked at some of the things they worry about - things that I have said I would take care of – things that I am able and willing to take care of. To see the level of their concern sometimes, one would think I didn't exist, or I didn't care, or I wasn't able to deliver on my promises.

That's what it is like at times in our relationship with God. Who do we think we are? Are we God's people or aren't we? If we are, then why do we relate to life's problems as if we are not. Who do we think we are?

Now, if we are estranged from God, that's another story. But even then, every human being has the opportunity to come into a right relationship with God through Yeshua the Messiah. All that God desired in his relationship with the people of Israel may be experienced by anyone through Israel's King.

If we know God, we need to live as if we know God and stop pretending that we are something that we are not. Who do you think you are?

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