07/27/15 Weeping over the Nations

READING: Isaiah 44-48

TEXTS AND APPLICATION: I think today about the billions of people around the world who worship idols. While we in North America often worship our own types of idols, I think particularly about those who still form idols by their own hands and then bow before them. What seems almost silly to us is a matter of life and death to so many who do not know Jesus. 

Today's readings in Isaiah often compare the true God of Israel with the false gods of idolatry. Note these comparisons:

  • The idolators made their own idols (Isa. 44:9-17), but God formed His own people (Isa. 44:21).
  • The makers of idols will be humiliated (Isa. 45:16), but God’s people will not be put to shame (Isa. 45:17).
  • Idolators pray to false gods who cannot save them (Isa. 44:17, 45:20), but God alone is the righteous God and Savior (Isa. 45:21b). 
  • Idolators bow before idols they shaped with their own hammers (Isa. 44:12) and can carry in their own hands (Isa. 45:20), but God is the creator of the heavens (Isa. 45:18) whose own hand founded the earth (Isa. 48:13). 
  • Idolators carry their idols, and the same idols are a burden to the animals that must transport them (Isa. 46:1-2); God, on the other hand, carries His own people and bears the burden for them (Isa. 46:3-4). 
  • Idols cannot tell the future (Isa. 44:2), cannot save (Isa. 45:20), cannot carry a burden (Isa. 46:2), and cannot answer prayer (Isa. 46:7); God announces the future (Isa. 48:5), saves His people (Isa. 44:22), bears their burdens (Isa. 46:4), and leads them in the way they should go (48:17).
  • Idols are only a block of wood (Isa. 19), but God is Yahweh the Creator (Isa. 44:24), the Holy One of Israel (Isa. 47:4), the righteous God and Savior (Isa. 45:21). 
God is the only true God, and there is no other (repeated multiple times in Isa. 44:6, 44:8, 45:5-7, 45:14, 45:18, 45:21-22, 46:9, 48:11-12). Still, much of the world bows before their own creations, crying out to idols that cannot hear, and trusting powers that cannot save. We surely must grieve. 

PRAYER: Pray that we would weep over the lostness of the world today — and be willing to do whatever it takes that the nations would know their Creator and Redeemer. 

TOMORROW’S READING: 2 Kings 18:9-19:37; Psalm 46, 80, 135