thus says the Lord, the King of israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “i am the first and i am the last; besides me there is no god. who is like me? let him proclaim it. let him declare and set it before me, since i appointed an ancient people. let them declare what is to come, and what will happen. [isaiah 44:6-7]



our mighty God has no need to defend himself. here he declares who he is. the first. the last. the one who has always been and always will be, the I AM. he is the essence of existence, and he needs nothing else. he is all sufficient in himself.


through the words of isaiah, the Lord’s servant, God simply states who he is. he is God and there is no other like him. he declares it because it is true. and because he does not feel the need here to defend his claims or prove them to be true, he invites any who would challenge the claims to step forward. of course, he knows no one will, because no one can stand in the presence of an awesome and holy God and have any words to say, any ability to speak at all, or even the strength to remain on his own two feet.

you are awesome, yes You are! who can stand in your presence once you are angry? from heaven you pronounced judgment. the earth feared and was still—when God rose up to judgment, to save all the humble of the land. for wrath upon man will bring you praise, a remnant of wrath You put on as a belt. make vows to Adonai your God and fulfill them. let all around Him bring tribute to the One who is to be feared. [psalm 76:8-12]


to any who would challenge the Creator and place himself as mightier than he, death and destruction, judgment and wrath, awaits. God will not share his glory with another. 


the awful truth is that every one of us has committed this cosmic treason. we have all risen up in rebellion, placing ourselves as god over our own lives. we have challenged the God who will not be challenged; who rightly will not give his glory to us.


but thanks be to God, that he does not require us to stand in his presence in our rebellion. someone has ascended the hill of the Lord on our behalf. someone with clean hands and a pure heart. that someone is Jesus Christ. 

who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? and who shall stand in his holy place? he who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. he will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of jacob. [psalm 24:3-6]


Christ died to pay for our rebellion. Christ died to give us his clean hands and his own pure heart. only through him can we stand in the holy presence of God. and only in him can we receive blessing and righteousness from the God of our salvation.



today, in the presence of an awesome and holy God, approach the throne of grace with confidence in the blood of Christ, and seek the face of the God of jacob. remember the wrath that was stored up for you, and remember the blood that redeemed you forever. thank you Jesus. you alone are worthy of our praise.



~ arwen eastman