I Am, and There Is No one Besides Me

This meditation is based on a passage for January 23, 2011 in the Daily Lectionary Year 1 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).

Text: Isaiah 47:1-15

Reflection and Question: Here, God speaks to Babylon, the dominant power of Isaiah’s era, arguably comparable to the United States in today’s world. Babylon has the audacity to claim the words that belong solely to God, “I am, and there is none besides me.” Since God’s response to Moses when he asks to know God’s name (Exodus 3:13-14), “I am” has been God’s name and title. And God makes it clear through Isaiah that Babylon is a puppet in God’s hands, given power to do God’s will and also doomed to failure, also in accord with God’s will. What does it mean to be powerful?

Prayer: God of all, keep us humble, we pray. Save us from the arrogance of Babylon lest we, like them, forget that we are Your servants, doing Your will. Open our eyes so that we can see and love our neighbor beside us, bowing before You. Amen.