Here we come to the 31st day of our Lenten journey, God bless you as you travel the path to the Cross and to our Lord’s resurrection. Our reading from scripture is Isaiah 41:4-14
Who has wrought and done these things? he has called it who called it from the generations of old; I God, the first and to all futurity, I AM. The nations saw, and feared; the ends of the earth drew nigh, and came together, 6 every one judging for his neighbor and that to assist his brother: and one will say, 7 The artificer has become strong, and the coppersmith that smites with the hammer, and forges also: sometimes he will say, It is a piece well joined: they have fastened them with nails; they will fix them, and they shall not be moved.
8 But thou, Israel, art my servant Jacob, and he whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham, whom I have loved: 9 whom I have taken hold of from the ends of the earth, and from the high places of it I have called thee, and said to thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and I have not forsaken thee. 10 Fear not; for I am with thee: wander not; for I am thy God, who have strengthened thee; and I have helped thee, and have established thee with my just right hand.
11 Behold, all thine adversaries shall be ashamed and confounded; for they shall be as if they were not: and all thine opponents shall perish. 12 Thou shalt seek them, and thou shalt not find the men who shall insolently rage against thee: for they shall be as if they were not, and they that war against thee shall not be. 13 For I am thy God, who holdeth thy right hand, who saith to thee, 14 Fear not, Jacob, and thou Israel few in number; I have helped thee, saith thy God, he that redeems thee, O Israel.
Isaiah speaks at the beginning of this section of the “artificer … and the coppersmith,” who have artistically formed idols out of the elements of the world (elements the true God created). These things that they made did not move, in that the ones who made them had “fastened them with nails.” They believed this characteristic of their idols to be virtuous - their idols would by no means move from their sacred spaces. But our God, the true God, is different. He has gone to the ends of the earth to save the people He has chosen. He has, in fact, reached beyond the physical limits of the sons of Abraham to include the Gentiles who believe as Abraham did, as St. Paul says in Galatians (3:6-9) - - “Thus Abraham ‘believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.' So you see that it is men of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are men of faith are blessed with Abraham who had faith.”
Our God does indeed move around from place to place, unlike idols made of gold and wood, and at the same time He does not move at all because He is all places at all times. He chose us, as Isaiah says, to be His servants, and through us all the nations of the earth have heard the gospel of God’s salvation. We may have been, and in some places may be today, few in number (as Isaiah says: “Fear not, Jacob … few in number”), but God helps us, and calls us by the name given to His people, Israel.