Isaiah 44:1–28 (NKJV)
44:1 “Yet hear me now, O Jacob My servant,
And Israel whom I have chosen.
2 Thus says the LORD who made you
And formed you from the womb, who will help you:
‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant;
And you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
3 For I will pour water on him who is thirsty,
And floods on the dry ground;
I will pour My Spirit on your descendants,
And My blessing on your offspring;
4 They will spring up among the grass
Like willows by the watercourses.’
5 One will say, ‘I am the LORD’s’;
Another will call himself by the name of Jacob;
Another will write with his hand, ‘The LORD’s,’
And name himself by the name of Israel.
Isaiah prophesies of a day when the Lord will restore a right relationship with His people. They will once again be identified with their God by name.
6 “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel,
And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:
‘I am the First and I am the Last;
Besides Me there is no God.
7 And who can proclaim as I do?
Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me,
Since I appointed the ancient people.
And the things that are coming and shall come,
Let them show these to them.
8 Do not fear, nor be afraid;
Have I not told you from that time, and declared it?
You are My witnesses.
Is there a God besides Me?
Indeed there is no other Rock;
I know not one.’ ”
God reaffirms His dominion over all of creation and His place as the only true God. He tells His people to declare to all they meet.
9 Those who make an image, all of them are useless,
And their precious things shall not profit;
They are their own witnesses;
They neither see nor know, that they may be ashamed.
10 Who would form a god or mold an image
That profits him nothing?
11 Surely all his companions would be ashamed;
And the workmen, they are mere men.
Let them all be gathered together,
Let them stand up;
Yet they shall fear,
They shall be ashamed together.
12 The blacksmith with the tongs works one in the coals,
Fashions it with hammers,
And works it with the strength of his arms.
Even so, he is hungry, and his strength fails;
He drinks no water and is faint.
The Lord attacks idolatry as futile and useless. God is the only true God, so idols are simply a man-made substitute. Shame comes from idolatry, for one molds a god, worships it, and then is still tired and poor. Serve Jehovah alone!
13 The craftsman stretches out his rule,
He marks one out with chalk;
He fashions it with a plane,
He marks it out with the compass,
And makes it like the figure of a man,
According to the beauty of a man, that it may remain in the house.
14 He cuts down cedars for himself,
And takes the cypress and the oak;
He secures it for himself among the trees of the forest.
He plants a pine, and the rain nourishes it.
15 Then it shall be for a man to burn,
For he will take some of it and warm himself;
Yes, he kindles it and bakes bread;
Indeed he makes a god and worships it;
He makes it a carved image, and falls down to it.
16 He burns half of it in the fire;
With this half he eats meat;
He roasts a roast, and is satisfied.
He even warms himself and says,
“Ah! I am warm,
I have seen the fire.”
17 And the rest of it he makes into a god,
His carved image.
He falls down before it and worships it,
Prays to it and says,
“Deliver me, for you are my god!”
The same wood used to cook food is then also used to create a god. How insane! If the wood is fuel in one instance, and then a god in another, the comparison is ludicrous. God created. God ordained. God provided. Don’t think the creation can replace the Creator!
18 They do not know nor understand;
For He has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see,
And their hearts, so that they cannot understand.
19 And no one considers in his heart,
Nor is there knowledge nor understanding to say,
“I have burned half of it in the fire,
Yes, I have also baked bread on its coals;
I have roasted meat and eaten it;
And shall I make the rest of it an abomination?
Shall I fall down before a block of wood?”
20 He feeds on ashes;
A deceived heart has turned him aside;
And he cannot deliver his soul,
Nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”
Idolatry is a deception. Satan convinces a man or woman that a thing is divine, when only God, the Lord, is divine.
21 “Remember these, O Jacob,
And Israel, for you are My servant;
I have formed you, you are My servant;
O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me!
22 I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions,
And like a cloud, your sins.
Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”
23 Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it!
Shout, you lower parts of the earth;
Break forth into singing, you mountains,
O forest, and every tree in it!
For the LORD has redeemed Jacob,
And glorified Himself in Israel.
The Lord declares His redemption of His people. He has blotted out their sins and unrighteousness. He has reclaimed those who are His.
24 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,
And He who formed you from the womb:
“I am the LORD, who makes all things,
Who stretches out the heavens all alone,
Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself;
25 Who frustrates the signs of the babblers,
And drives diviners mad;
Who turns wise men backward,
And makes their knowledge foolishness;
26 Who confirms the word of His servant,
And performs the counsel of His messengers;
Who says to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be inhabited,’
To the cities of Judah, ‘You shall be built,’
And I will raise up her waste places;
27 Who says to the deep, ‘Be dry!
And I will dry up your rivers’;
28 Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd,
And he shall perform all My pleasure,
Saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,”
And to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.” ’
The Lord declares not only the redemption of the people, but also the redemption of the land and the temple. This is a powerful message, because land was a precious commodity, an inheritance among the Jews. God has an inheritance for you in this life, and especially in the life to come. Follow Him. Repent and be redeemed. Watch the blessings of God come into your life. Trust Him and know that He will be established, and He will put your feet on solid ground!