“It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness. Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble.” Isaiah 40:22-24

Today, nearly everyone carries a high-tech digital camera with them in their cell phone. It is hard to imagine life without a camera. But the reality is that cameras have only existed for approximately 200 years. The first photographic camera was invented in 1816 and a photograph produced in roughly 1826 stands as the oldest surviving photograph. Yet, even with today’s technology, three of the most critical elements of photography remain perspective, light and focus.

As we gaze across the landscape of our world today, we observe much that is deeply disturbing. The last two years have only increased our sense of disunity within society and even within the church. A constant barrage of discouraging news at every level – Covid-19, inflation, protests, violence, political upheaval across North America – can easily lead us to despair. Canada’s own Prime Minister seems determined to redefine good and evil, based, not on Scripture, but on the radical code of the LGBTQ community, while Russian President Vladimir Putin begins a war on neighbouring Ukraine, killing thousands of innocent civilians. These events and many more would tempt us to believe that this world is spinning out of control.

But the prophet, Isaiah, reminds us this morning that, in comparison to the King of kings, all earthly leaders are but grasshoppers. All earthly leaders are raised up by Him, and accomplish His sovereign purposes until such time as He deigns to blow on them, and they are carried off like stubble. Although His ways are so much higher than our ways, much of our anxiety and fear is caused by our blurry focus and our limited perspective. If we could turn the zoom lens of our minds out to see the entire sweep of human history through the light of God’s Word, this picture would emerge in crystal clear focus: Our God is working out His perfect plan for His glory and for the well-being of His redeemed bride, the Church! May God help us to see Him more clearly, to love Him more dearly, and to trust Him through the darkness.