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Isaiah 44

This is a continuation of the Lord speaking from Chapter 23.

In the conclusion of Chapter 23, the Lord is confirming that they haven't yet come to the time when all of these wonderful promises will be fulfilled. Sin still keeps them away from Him. However, Chapter 44 starts with the love and endearment of a Father.

  • He refers to them both as "Jacob, my servant" and "Israel, whom I have chosen".
  • He reminds them that He made them, formed them in the womb
  • Who will help you
  • Do not fear
  • He also calls them "Jeshurun", The Ryrie footnotes says that this means, "upright one" and is a term of endearment.

"For I will pour out water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants...

Isaiah 44:3

So much hope! We're those descendants! We received His Spirit!

The promises to these descendants continue in verses 4 and 5.

  • They will spring up among the grass, like poplars by streams of water
  • One will get to say, "I am the Lord's."
  • One will call on the name of Jacob.
  • Another will write on his hand, "Belonging to the Lord."
  • Israel name will have honor.

So looking forward to that day. Much has come to pass; but so much more is coming with our Lord's second appearance.

I love that...Belonging to the Lord. I'm not sure I could sit through a hand tattoo, but if I could, that would be what I would want.

"Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and His Redeemer, the Lord of hosts; 'I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me.

Isaiah 44:6

Here are all of the references to God in that one sentence:

Thus says Jehovah melek of Israel and his ga'al Jehovah Saba; I am rison and I am aharon, and besides Me there is no elohim.

  • Lord
  • King
  • Redeemer
  • Lord of hosts
  • First and Last
  • the only Elohim, creator God

Just a fraction of the names He tells us about Himself. So much about God to learn and know.

In verse 7 He challenges anyone who thinks that they are like Him to accurately explain all that has happened since ancient days and then predict the future. The whole knowledge of the past and of the future belong only to Him.

He then encourages Israel not to tremble or be afraid. He reminds them that they are His witnesses and that there is no other God. He is their Rock.

Starting in verse 9, Isaiah reminds them that graven images have no power and those who trust in them will be ashamed. Those who assemble these idols should tremble!

Then he spins a tale of the craftsmen who make these idols. First the man who makes his tools, works with tools in the coal. It makes him strong; but with no food or water, he would fade. He expends all of this effort making an image and is weaker for it, needing food and water. If it were really a god, shouldn't it have provided for the maker? It clearly makes no sense to offer so much to a thing you yourself made.

And then a lengthy tale of a craftsmen working with wood and his wood tools. Half of his log is used as fuel for fire and the other half of the same log becomes a god he bows down to, worshiping, and asking for help.

These are such good images of why our idols fail us. We are mere mortal, but we think the things we worship, often fashioned by our own hand, or at least our mind, can help us.

In verse 18 Isaiah goes on to explain that God has blinded them, in eyes and hearts, so they cannot comprehend. He reiterates the absurdity of using half a log for fire to bake bread and cooked dinner but the other half is a god to worship. It's such a good picture of the stupid thinking we allow ourselves when we want our way and we are rebelling against God's way. We delude ourselves so completely.

He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside. And he cannot deliver himself, nor say, "Is there not a lie in my right hand?"

Isaiah 44:20

Eating ashes from burnt wood provides no nourishment. Worshiping a wooden idol provides nothing (except to anger God and bring judgement).

The rest of the chapter, verses 21-28 are words from the Lord, again predicting their release from Babylon by Cyrus.

  • Verse 21 instructs them to remember "these things" which seems like it would be referring to Isaiah's tales of the craftsmen and their home-made gods.
  • Also in verse 21, He the terms "O Jacob", My servant", and promises that they will not be forgotten by Him.
  • In verse 22 He lets them know that He has wiped out their transgressions ans sins, and then invites them to Return to Him because they have been redeemed. (Past tense. Already redeemed. As usual with God, He does leave room for their action, their choice to choose to return; but the hard work of redemption was done in advance- before they could have done anything to earn or deserve it.
  • And because the Lord has done that thing, redeeming Israel, everyone and everything should shout for joy. What an amazing blessing. What amazing grace. (The MacArthur Bible Commentary points out that all of nature will be redeemed with Christ's second they have great cause to rejoice along with man. What an incredibly important point!)
  • Verse 23 ends with stating how within that redemption of Jacob, Israel shows forth His glory. We are redeemed for His name's sake. That is such an important point to remember. It's not owed to us. He is glorified in it.
  • Verse 24 begins a new paragraph. The Lord refers to Himself as Israel's redeemer, reminding them that He formed them from the womb. He is the Maker of all things, alone making the heavens and the earth.
  • He causes the omens of boasters to fail, makes diviners look like fools, and makes foolishness of the wise. (Shaming false prophets)
  • In verse 26-28 He rewards the words of the true prophets as He begins the prediction of Jerusalem being brought back from ruins and inhabited. He will dry up the depths of the sea. He calls Cyrus is Shepherd who will rebuild Jerusalem and lay the foundation of the Temple. (This prediction of Cyrus was 150 years before there even was a Cyrus!)

We have got to get idols out of our lives. The Lord desires to care for us, provide for us, protect and guide us. However, as long as we have idols in our lives, He is a good, good Father and He will discipline and chasten us.

You see this alternating message of reproof and hope throughout these "new testament" chapter in Isaiah.


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