The English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible renders Isaiah 52:6 as follows:
Therefore my people shall know my name. Therefore in that day they shall know that it is I who speak; here am I.
However, it was while I was reading the New English Translation (NET) of the Bible and keeping track of the different ways that God is referred to that this verse really jumped off the page at me. That translation renders it:
For this reason my people will know my name, for this reason they will know at that time that I am the one who says, ‘Here I am.’
The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) is similar,
Therefore My people will know My name;
therefore [they will know] on that day
that I am He who says:
Here I am.”
What an awesome statement from God, “I am the one who says, ‘Here I am.'” The verse is presented in the Old Testament in the context of God’s redemption of Israel (his chosen people). But at a very fundamental level, it speaks to the relational aspect of God. Here is the God who created us, spoke the world into existence and holds the universe together, and he says “Here I Am.” God does not require that we search for him or reach some higher plateau before we can find him. He is right there the whole time whispering to us, “Here I Am.” He provides us the proof of his existence that we need, and he calls out to us, “Here I am!”
The Bible tells us that God provides plenty of proof of his existence. God’s word affirms his existence, but we don’t even need the Bible to know that he exists. Consider:
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20)
The evidence around us is overwhelming, and it is only by hardening our hearts and ignoring the miracle that surrounds us each and every day that we can deny his existence. Numerous verses in the bible speak to the majesty of God’s work in creation. Here are just a few:
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. [Psalm 19:1]
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap;
he puts the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm. [Psalm 33:6-9]
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
and marked off the heavens with a span,
enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure
and weighed the mountains in scales
and the hills in a balance?
Who has measured the Spirit of the LORD,
or what man shows him his counsel?
Whom did he consult,
and who made him understand?
Who taught him the path of justice,
and taught him knowledge,
and showed him the way of understanding?
Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
and are accounted as the dust on the scales;
behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust. [Isaiah 40:12-15]
To suppose that all that happened merely by chance and that there is no God ignores the obvious. It is the height of human arrogance that we ignore the obvious in favor of man made ideas and theories which we use to rationalize our failure to honor the God who created us.
It is foolishness to deny the existence of God. Indeed Psalm 14:1 tells us that:
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
It may seem harsh, but against the background of the overwhelming proof of God, it is ultimately true. The existence of God seems unquestionable when faced with the overwhelming evidence of creation. God clearly gives us plenty of evidence of his existence. Both in his creation and is his Word, he is constantly proclaiming, “Here I Am!” What is harder to wrap our heads around in the other implication of Isaiah 52:6. Not only does God proclaim his existence, he exclaims his presence…”Here I Am!” No matter what we do, or where we are, or what we’ve done, God is always near to us proclaiming, “Here I Am.”
Consider Acts 17:24-27:
The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us. [Acts 17:24-27]
We are like little children in a pitch black room during a thunderstorm, we fumble our way around and call out, and our heavenly father calls to us, “Here I am!” Like a 12 year old hopelessly loss in a crowd of humanity and drawn along by the whims of the masses, we call out, and he answers “Here I am!” Like an adult at a low point in our lives, and we call out “What am I doing here?!?” and God answers, “Here I am!” Like sinners eternally separated from a loving God, we cry out “What must I do?” And, from beyond a bloody cross and an empty tomb, God calls out “HERE I AM!”
He is, after all, the God of all comfort who does not hide himself from us, but draws near to us. It is never to late for us to respond to the call of God. In the words of James, the brother of Jesus:
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. [James 4:8]
Our God, the God who created us and created the world with everything in it, is never far from us. In times of despair, he encourages us, “Here I am.” In times of great joy, he proclaims to us, “Here I am.” In times of trepidation, he reassures us, “Here I am.” In times of peace, he affirms to us, “Here I am.” In times of loneliness, he comforts us, “Here I am.” In times of need, he provides for us, “Here I am.” In times of contentment, he confirms for us, “Here I am.” In times of trouble, he soothes us, “Here I am.”
It is time that we heard God and humbly responded, “Here I am God…and I am yours!” Amen.