It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers… Isaiah 40:22 KJV
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers… Isaiah 40:22 NASB
Isaiah conveys another of his graphic and eloquent word pictures of the greatness of God: He is seen sitting on the circle of the earth. Outside of His creation and greater than His creation, in majestic solitude, He sits surveying the work of His hands. There is a sense of calm repose and triumph; a sense of ownership and superintendence. In light of His greatness, the inhabitants of the earth are like grasshoppers.
There was a day, when this Creator-God, walked the streets of Samaria. We are told that being wearied by His journey, “He sat thus on the well” (John 4:6). The well may not have been in a circular fashion, but it could have been. The One Who sat in His majestic dignity on the circle of the earth and who is never weary (Isa 40:28), in perfect consistency with His perfect humanity, was weary and sat on the circle of the well.
There are neither units of measure nor a measuring rod to determine the distance of His stoop! Did angels look on in wonder as their Creator, marked by the rigors of the journey, sat at a well in despised Samaria?
But grace always abounds and is greater than we at first might perceive. For the One Who viewed as nothing all humanity, from the nations in their pomp (Isaiah 40:13), the princes with their power, and the judges with their wisdom (v 23), came to this well because of His interest in a thirsty Samaritan woman. Geographic boundaries said He should have no interest in her; national boundaries would have prohibited contact; gender differences made such interest unusual; and the moral boundary – He, incarnate purity and she a woman with an immoral past – precluded His interest in her.
In the eyes of the Jewish pundits, she was less than a grasshopper. She was a Samaritan woman! And a sinner as well! Yet He sat “thus on the well.” He sent away His disciples to buy food, not only to meet their needs, but to give Him an opportunity to meet this woman without the biased disciples interfering.
Even the woman herself was amazed that He would speak to her (v 9). She viewed it on a purely national basis; but the grace that spoke to her transcended that barrier by an immeasurable distance.
He cared for her! She was not a “grasshopper” in His sight. She was a soul who He coveted as a worshiper for His Father (vv 21-24). He sat in amazing condescending grace to meet her and to give her a drink of the water of life. Here was a soul for whom He would soon die, yet it brought Him joy to bring life to her. She left her water-pots and He did not need the food the disciples brought back (v 32). Each had found something more satisfying!
This Creator-God not only sat by a well to bring life to our generation of “grasshoppers,” but He graced a cross.
- Look at other occasions and places in John’s Gospel where the Lord Jesus is “sitting” and note the meekness and grace on each occasion.
- Find other contrasts in the chapter with John 4