A favorite pastime for sports fans in recent years has been to argue about who is the G.O.A.T.—the Greatest Of All Time. Is Michael Jordan or LeBron James the greatest basketball player? Has Tom Brady conclusively claimed G.O.A.T. quarterback status? Did Tiger Woods supplant Jack Nicklaus as the G.O.A.T. golfer? Can anyone dispute boxer Muhammad Ali’s proclamation, “I am the greatest!”?
When it comes to greatness, the Lord is in a category by Himself. There are no opponents worthy of rank or competition. Notice how often in our passage today Isaiah repeats the refrain: “There is no other” and “no God apart from me” (45:5, 14, 18, 21, 22). And then notice all the evidence that the Lord offers to support His claim to be the one and only God of hosts.
For instance, God knows the future with certainty, identifying Cyrus by name more than a century before his birth. This separates Him from lifeless idols who can never be omniscient or infallible (41:22–23; 44:8; 45:1–5; 46:10).
God created the heavens and earth. Light and darkness are His accomplishments, which no one else may claim (45:7, 18). He did this for His own pleasure and delight. The Lord is alone in His glory. Our response to His greatness should be repentance for our sins and singing for joy in His salvation (44:21–23).
Deciding the G.O.A.T. athletes is a subjective task, for the results are determined by ever-changing categories of comparison. But an examination of God reveals that He is the only One who has given His Son, Jesus Christ, for the salvation of the world. The Holy One of Israel alone is great!
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