Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Never Failing / Never Changing - Isaiah 46

"Listen to Me, O house of Jacob,
and all the remnant of the house of Israel,
You who have been born by Me from birth,
and have been carried from the womb;
even to your old age, I shall be the same,
and even to your graying years
I shall bear you!
I have done it, and I shall carry you;
and I shall bear you ,
and I shall deliver you."
(vs 3-4)

Two things are made clear in the first 4 verses of Isaiah 46. First, false gods fail. Second, the true God doesn't!

The chapter begins with a clear declaration that two of the celebrated idols of Babylon, Bel and Nebo, will be captured and taken as spoil and booty when Cyrus conquers the land. They tottered and fell at Cyrus's coming. "They could not rescue the burden, but have themselves gone into captivity" (vs 2). Some gods!

Verse 3-4 point to the true God as the absolute antithesis of the false. Throughout chapter 45 it was shown that Babylon's gods were made, created, formed. They were idols that had to be moved from place to place. How could they ever carry our burdens when they can't even carry themselves? But here is Israel's God, here is our God - the Creator, the strong and mighty One, the One who has made us and who daily bears us and our burdens. "You have been born by Me from birth, and have been carried from the womb." As David says, "It is He who has made us and not we ourselves. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance; be their shepherd also, and carry them forever." (Ps 100:3, Ps 28:9). Our Great Shepherd, our Glorious Creator, our Loving Father is not like Babylon's idols therefore we can "cast all our cares upon Him, because He cares for us." (1 Pe 5:7).

Matthew Henry writes: "The true God will never fail His worshippers. He formed them into a people and gave them their constitution. Every good man is what God makes him. "You have been born by Me from birth, and have been carried from the womb." And as God began early to do them good He had constantly continued to do them good: He had carried them from the womb to this day. We have been carried in the arms of His power and in the bosom of His love and pity. Our spiritual life is sustained by His grace as necessarily and constantly as our natural life is by His providence.

"We have been born from His belly, nursed when we were children, and even to our old age He shall bear us. Israel was now growing old and they had hastened their old age, and the calamities of it, by their irregularities. But God is still their God, will still carry them in the same everlasting arms that were laid under them in Moses's time. He will now bear them upon eagles' wings out of Babylon, as in their infancy He bore them out of Egypt.

"This promise to aged Israel is applicable to every aged Israelite. "Even to your old age," when you grow unfit for business, when you are compassed with infirmities, and perhaps your relations begin to grow weary of you, yet I am He, the very same by whom you have been born from the belly and carried form the womb. You change but He remains the same. "I will carry you," will bear you up and bear you out, and will carry you home at last."

How good to know that in this ever changing / ever failing world, we have a never changing / never failing God. Bel and Nebo have fallen yet our God reigns forever, and ever, and ever. AMEN.

Carried all the days of my life,


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