5 I am the LORD, and there is no other;
besides me there is no god.
I arm you, though you do not know me,
6 so that they may know, from the rising of the sun
and from the west, that there is no one besides me;
I am the LORD, and there is no other.
7 I form light and create darkness,
I make weal and create woe;
I the LORD do all these things.
8 Shower, O heavens, from above,
and let the skies rain down righteousness;
let the earth open, that salvation may spring up,
and let it cause righteousness to sprout up also;
I the LORD have created it.
9 Woe to you who strive with your Maker,
earthen vessels with the potter!
Does the clay say to the one who fashions it, “What are you making”?
or “Your work has no handles”?
10 Woe to anyone who says to a father, “What are you begetting?”
or to a woman, “With what are you in labor?”
11 Thus says the LORD,
the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:
Will you question me about my children,
or command me concerning the work of my hands?
12 I made the earth,
and created humankind upon it;
it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
and I commanded all their host.
13 I have aroused Cyrus in righteousness,
and I will make all his paths straight;
he shall build my city
and set my exiles free,
not for price or reward,
says the LORD of hosts.
14 Thus says the LORD:
The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Ethiopia,
and the Sabeans, tall of stature,
shall come over to you and be yours,
they shall follow you;
they shall come over in chains and bow down to you.
They will make supplication to you, saying,
“God is with you alone, and there is no other;
there is no god besides him.”
15 Truly, you are a God who hides himself,
O God of Israel, the Savior.
16 All of them are put to shame and confounded,
the makers of idols go in confusion together.
17 But Israel is saved by the LORD
with everlasting salvation;
you shall not be put to shame or confounded
to all eternity.
Read the passage at least twice. Consider a third time.
Take some time to reflect on (perhaps make a list of) all the “gods” we put before the one true God.
There are many times when we DO question God about what is going on with God’s creation and with God’s children. Whether it is a shooter who takes out 26 people in an elementary school or a mother who dies from cancer leaving three small children behind or a senseless accident that leaves a friend disabled or a hurricane that wipes out entire communities, we have questions for the Maker of All things. Is this passage saying that we shouldn’t ask those questions or that we shouldn’t put ourselves on equal footing with God? And what is the difference between the two?
If your prayer today, ask God to help you remember who is the one true God and to quit relying on all of those false ones (money, pride, position, appearance, etc). And pray the questions you have. Pray your confusions over why bad things happen while affirming your belief that in all things, God is still God. When you are done with your petitions and questions, give yourself some time to sit silently in God’s presence.