Devotional- Chris Tomlin
“You have no rival
You stand alone
The Heavens worship
Before Your throne
There is no one like You…”
The idea that God has no equal is found all throughout the Scriptures and is a central component of understanding what God is like. As Chris Tomlin sings through the song, God stands alone and there is no one like Him. While God wants His people to know of his greatness, it’s interesting to note when God first reveals this idea.
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.’” (Gen. 17:1-2)
Many of us sang the song “Father Abraham” during our childhood, a favorite Sunday school song that told the story of Abram (later Abraham) who had “many sons”. God actually promises Abraham, “I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.” (Gen. 22:17)
The familiar story starts here in Genesis 17 with an old man who is 99-years-old. He and his wife have no children and have advanced far beyond the age where you could even expect to have a child. (There’s a reason their first son is named Isaac, which means “laughter”!) For Abraham and Sarah to have a child would take a miracle, which is exactly what God has in mind.
Notice the way that God introduces himself before making this covenant with Abraham. The Bible specifically notes Abram’s elderly status before God introduces himself with a description that had not been used until this point in the Bible: “I am God Almighty.”
It is important for us to know who God is and what God is like, but God is interested in revealing Himself so that we can apply those characteristics. The introduction to Abram is important because God wants his creation to know that all things are possible through Him. Clearly Abraham was not going to become a father on his own – let alone the father of many nations. It would take a power beyond himself to do that. It would take God Almighty.
The same can be said for us today. We find ourselves faced with problems that seem insurmountable, and trials that leave us feeling hopeless. This story reminds us that no matter how great our problems may seem, our God is even greater. There is, indeed, no rival for God Almighty. And for that, we can be thankful.
By Matt Conner