June 29

Lift Up Your Eyes, Part 1

Isaiah 40:26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these?

He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name.

Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

Isaiah 49:14-18 But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!…Lift up your eyes and look around; all your children gather and come to you. As surely as I live,” declares the LORD, “you will wear them all as ornaments; you will put them on, like a bride.”

How very often we lose our perspective! Our heads get bowed down, by real or imagined weights and cares. We get confused, and Satan has a heyday. Isaiah, writing prophetically to his nation 100 years in the future, ran headlong into this coming situation with Israel, a nation that was going to be exiled, something they thought impossible, and which pulled the proverbial rug out from everything they thought they knew. They were going to be confused, heartbroken, devastated and depressed.

In verse 21 of Isaiah 40, Isaiah combats this new confusion with a reminder of old truths: “Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded?” While they were still reeling from current events and the confusion that accompanied them, Isaiah reminds them of something they already knew: “[God] sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing” (vv. 22-23).

God is saying, “Hey, I know that nothing around you makes sense right now. But remember/go back/remind yourselves of what you know about Me: I created everything. If I am bigger than creation, I am bigger than your circumstances.”

If they were going to make sense of what happened, they were going to have to re-set their thinking on a foundation of rock-solid truth. God’s response to an aching people stuck in confusion is not an explanation or more information. In fact, God’s answer interrupts their thought process and gets them refocused. The beginning of the way out was to lift up their eyes to the Lord, and let the things they genuinely knew about Him sink more deeply into their hearts and minds.

Did you ever find yourself completely thrown by events? Have you been equal parts upset and confused? Lift up your eyes to the Lord, even if you’re upset with Him. Let Him remind you of what you know. It’s times like this when we need to be recalibrated in heart and mind. God is good at this. Look to Him and let Him begin the process.

Prayer: Lord, I need to be reminded regularly to lift up my eyes to You, in good times and in bad. Thank You that You are in control, and there is nothing too big or difficult for You. In Your mercy, draw me back to You when events take my attention away from You.