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Isaiah 46

The Lord's predictions concerning Cyrus and Israel's deliverance from Babylon continues.

In verse 1 Isaiah predicts that the images of Babylonian gods will be carried on the backs of beast of burden. A Ryrie footnote tells us that "Bel" is the Babylonian name for Ba'al and "Nebo" is the god of learning. Images of them were carted off by the Persians when they sacked Babylon. As an aside, the MacArthur Bible Commentary points out that Nebo was so widely regarded that a form of the name shows up in multiple names of their leaders, i.e. Nebuchadnezzar.

Verse 2 points out that these "gods" are now captives, unable to save the people or themselves.

Starting in verse 3 and continuing through most of Chapters 46, 47, an 48 is God speaking.

  • In verse 3 He calls to Israel, the house of Jacob. He reminds them that they were born to Him.
  • In verse 4 He promises to see them through old age, carry and deliver them.
  • "...from womb to tomb" as Warren Wiersbe puts it.
  • Who is like the Lord? (verse 5)
  • In verse 6 He mentions those who have gold and silver, pay someone to turn it into an idol and then bow to it.
  • It just sits and cannot help them in their time of need. (verse 7)

Unlike the god who were carted off and the static gold idol, God shows Himself alive and able to be involved in the lives of His people.

In verse 8-9 He instructs them to remember these transgressions and remember that He is the only God.

As evidence that He is the only God:

  • In verse 10 He reminds them that only He was able to declare the end from the beginning and has ancient prophesies still to be revealed.
  • Also, He will establish and accomplish according to His will.
  • In verse 11 he promises a bird of prey to come from the east, a man from a far country. What He plans will happen. This seems to be an obvious prediction of Cyrus 150 years in advance. That is just stunning. Our God is a living God who knows all and is in control of all.

And as always, He also offers hope. In verse 12 He calls to the stubborn and unrighteous and promises to bring His righteousness and salvation. The Messiah's righteous Kingdom is coming.

Be ready.

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