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“He that Sitteth upon the Circle of the Earth”

Isaiah 40:22


Sadly, we who embrace Holy Scripture as the inspired, inerrant Word of God are misrepresented as ignorant and unlearned people who are members of “The Flat Earth Society” (a group of people who are so out of touch with reality that they deny obvious facts, and believe the earth is flat, embracing ancient pagan notions, instead of that which anyone can see from an airplane window). Sadder still, some who profess to believe the Scriptures embrace and teach this ancient pagan notion, pointing to Isaiah 40:22, and blasphemously assert, “If you believe the earth is a globe, you believe a false gospel and worship a false god. You are an idolater.”


The Circle

Every schoolchild knows the word “circle” commonly refers to more than a circle drawn on a flat surface with a compass. A circle may refer to a group of people or things, a realm of activity, or as it does here, the globe. The earth is a sphere, a globe, not a flat plain. It is a ball hung upon nothing (Job 26:7). The Lord God, our Savior, the Triune Jehovah, sits in the ease of absolute sovereignty, as Lord and King over the entire globe he calls Earth. The government of all the earth is upon his broad shoulders of infinite omnipotence. It is our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, who orders the entire globe and all its inhabitants. Perhaps the word “circle” here refers not to the globe itself, but to “the heavens” that circle the earth, from which our God beholds the children of men, “the inhabitants” of the earth, as “grasshoppers,” puny and insignificant.


The Curtain

The Lord our God “stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain.” The heavens refer to the firmament (the vast expanse) he made at the creation. This great firmament, the heavens, our God continues to stretch out. It is he who providentially upholds all the heavens. He who dwells in the highest heaven stretches them out as a curtain, and draws them around himself. The language is obviously symbolic. God who is infinite, incomprehensible Spirit cannot be encompassed by the finite heavens he has made! The language here used symbolically asserts that the Lord God draws the curtains of the heaves around himself, thereby hiding from fallen man the ineffable light of his glorious being. He is God “who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see!” He covers himself with light as a garment, stretching out the heavens as a curtain around him (1 Timothy 6:16; Psalm 104:2). And he stretches out the heavens as “a tent” surrounding the earth and its inhabitants


The Message

Isaiah’s message is exactly that which God commands all his messengers to declare, a message of blessed comfort (Isaiah 40:1-2). — God our Savior is the absolute monarch of the universe. You may, therefore, confidently trust him. All is well. The salvation of his people is a matter of unquestionable certainty.







Don Fortner








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