Today’s Chocolate: Chocolove Coffee Crunch in Dark Chocolate
Today’s Passage: Isaiah 43
Some biblical passages explicitly note God’s status as uncreated Creator. Among the passages that don’t, I will invariably view them in the context of God’s status as uncreated Creator–perhaps even at the expense of the passage’s point. But I’m in luck, because today’s chapter explicitly notes God’s status as uncreated Creator.
That’s not the central point of the chapter, though. Isaiah’s main theme here is Israel’s identity as God’s chosen people, both belonging to him and receiving his favor. But it brings up God’s
creatorhood (that’s not a word) creatorship in the context of Israel’s divinely-given identity. Isaiah lays it down at the outset: “But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel” (43:1). Much to my disappointment, the Hebrew for “your Creator” and “He who formed you” do not connote creation out of nothing, of the “a thing did not exist and then I made it exist” variety (I love creation ex nihilo). The words are bara’ and yatsar, and as I read their definitions in Strong’s Concordance, I’m picking up a sense of shaping or forming from both of them. God is like a craftsman, defining the contours of his people so that they’ll be able to fulfill his purposes.
And what’s that purpose? God, gathering his people, describes them: “My sons…and My daughters…whom I have created for My glory” (43:6-7). God isn’t just a craftsman, he’s also a dad, and his children have their particular form in order to glorify him. They’re his workmanship, they belong to him, and Isaiah wants us to read the passage with that in mind.
I’ve got to finish the last monthly comic strip for my Patreon before the end of the day today, so I’m gonna wrap this post up and encourage you to read Isaiah 43 on your own, looking at it through the lens of God’s creatorship and Israel’s divinely-appointed identity. But if you’d like me to come back to this passage tomorrow instead of moving on to Isaiah 44, let me know. There’s plenty more material to dig into here.