Scripture reading – Isaiah 44

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Our chronological study of the Scriptures brings us to Isaiah 44. The prophet Isaiah continued contrasting the folly of worshipping idols formed by men with the nature and revelation of the God of the Scriptures. Isaiah 43 concluded with the LORD declaring the sins of the fathers and teachers and announcing the nation would bear the weight of its disobedience (which was fulfilled by the Babylonian captivity, Isaiah 43:27-28).

Isaiah 44

Isaiah 44 opened with the LORD’s assurance that He loved Israel and they were His people. Declaring the word of the LORD, Isaiah affirmed His love for Israel, saying: “Thus saith the Lord that made thee, And formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; And thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen” (Isaiah 44:2). [“Jesurun” is another name for Israel.] Though the Jews suffered the afflictions of captivity, they were assured that the LORD would not forsake them altogether.

The LORD Will Not Forsake His People (Isaiah 44:1-6)

 

The patriarch of the Twelve Tribes of Israel was named “Jacob” when he was born. His name was later changed to “Israel” when he acknowledged the LORD was His God (Isaiah 44:1). Thus, the LORD had “chosen” Jacob to be His servant and “formed” Israel.

Like a mother conceives a child in her womb and gives birth, so the LORD created Israel as His people (Isaiah 44:2a). As a mother nourishes her infant, God promised He would “help” Israel (Isaiah 44:2). He would pour out His Spirit upon them and bless them and their children (Isaiah 44:3). Israel was promised their offspring would grow like grass and prosper like willows growing beside streams of water (Isaiah 44:4). The day would come when God’s people would unashamedly declare, “I am the LORD’s” (Isaiah 44:5).

Who is Israel’s God? (Isaiah 44:6-8)

Who is Israel’s God? (Isaiah 44:6-8)

 

The God of Israel is the LORD [Yahweh; Jehovah; Eternal God]; He is the “King” [Ruler] and “Redeemer”of Israel (Isaiah 44:6a). He is the “LORD of Hosts,” the Mighty One of Heaven (Isaiah 44:6b). He is “the First, and …the Last” (Isaiah 44:6c; Revelation 1:8, 11, 21:6; 22:13). The God of Israel is the One and Only God, “and beside [Him] there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6d).

The God of Israel is the God of Eternity. He alone knows the past, the present, and the future. There is no other God; therefore, Israel had nothing to fear! (Isaiah 44:8)

 

The Folly of Worshipping Idols (Isaiah 44:9-20)

Isaiah 44:9-20 draws for Israel a portrait of men who make objects of their imaginations and worship them. In a lengthy diatribe, Isaiah reminded His people that the idols of men were “vanity” (Isaiah 44:9) and “profitable for nothing” (Isaiah 44:10). Idols “see not, nor know,” and those who make them should be ashamed (Isaiah 44:9-11). 

The blacksmith, silversmith, and goldsmith labor to fashion their gods with metals in hot coals and hammer the metals “with the strength” of their arms. Yet, they are mere mortals and become hungry, weak, and thirsty (Isaiah 44:12). The carpenter envisioned a god with drawings of his fancy (Isaiah 44:13). He cuts down a tree, takes the wood and saws, and chisels out of the wood “a god, and worshippeth it; He maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto” (Isaiah 44:15).

What can be said of a man who worships the labor of his hands and then calls upon it, saying, “Deliver me, for thou art my god” (Isaiah 44:17). Such a man does not see the irony that the “residue” of the tree (the wood leftover after he fashioned his god) he burns to warm himself and cook his meal (Isaiah 44:16-17).

What Manner of People Worship Objects of Their Imagination and Labor? (Isaiah 44:18-20)

They are spiritually ignorant and blind, for they “have not known nor understood: For he [the LORD] hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; And their hearts, that they cannot understand” (Isaiah 44:18).

They lack sound judgment (Isaiah 44:19a) and do not think about the foolish irony of carving an image to worship but then making ashes of that from which they have fashioned their idol (Isaiah 44:19b-20a). Such men are self-deceived, trusting in what cannot save them (Isaiah 44:20b).

What Manner of People Worship Objects of Their Imagination and Labor?

God’s Call to Israel to Remember (Isaiah 44:21-23)

The LORD urged Israel to remember He formed and called them as a people to serve Him (Isaiah 44:21). He promised He would not forget His covenant with them (Isaiah 44:21c). Though they had sinned and broken the covenant with Him, the LORD promised He would forgive their sins if they would repent and “Return unto [Him],” for He desired to redeem them (Isaiah 44:22).

Knowing the LORD was Israel’s Redeemer, Isaiah urged the people to join creation and sing unto the LORD, for “the Lord hath redeemed Jacob And glorified himself in Israel” (Isaiah 44:23).

 

The LORD Promised to Return Israel to Their Land (Isaiah 44:24-28)

Isaiah reminded the people they were redeemed by the Creator of the heavens and the earth (Isaiah 44:24), and He would perform all He promised. He exposed the false prophets among the people and proved they were liars and fools (Isaiah 44:25). Nevertheless, all that the LORD’s messengers prophesied would come to pass (Isaiah 44:26).  

Closing thoughts

Isaiah prophesied that the same God that opened the way for Israel to pass through the Red Sea and divided the Jordan River (Isaiah 44:27) would bring Israel out of captivity and restore the nation to her land. If that promise was not enough, Isaiah prophesied nearly a century before he was born that a king named Cyrus would serve the LORD as His “shepherd, and [would] perform all [His] pleasure: Even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; And to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid” (Isaiah 44:28; Ezra 1:1-11; 6:1-22; 2 Chronicles 36:22-23). 

What an excellent assurance we have that the God who kept His covenant and promises to Israel is also our God if we believe His Word and accept Him by faith. The LORD has revealed Himself in His Creation, Word, and through His Only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

Will you trust Him to be your Savior and accept Him as LORD?

Romans 10:9–109That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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