Israel the Lord’s Chosen
44 “But now hear, O Jacob my servant,
Israel whom I have chosen!
Thus says the LORD who made you,
who formed you from the womb and will help you:
Fear not, O Jacob my servant,
Jeshurun whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
They shall spring up among the grass
like willows by flowing streams.
This one will say, ‘I am the LORD’s,’
another will call on the name of Jacob,
and another will write on his hand, ‘The LORD’s,’
and name himself by the name of Israel.”
Besides Me There Is No God
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.
Who is like me? Let him proclaim it.
Let him declare and set it before me,
since I appointed an ancient people.
Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.
Fear not, nor be afraid;
have I not told you from of old and declared it?
And you are my witnesses!
Is there a God besides me?
There is no Rock; I know not any.”
The Folly of Idolatry
All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together.
The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil. He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. He shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house. He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it. Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, “Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!” And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!”
They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”
The Lord Redeems Israel
Remember these things, O Jacob,
and Israel, for you are my servant;
I formed you; you are my servant;
O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.
I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud
and your sins like mist;
return to me, for I have redeemed you.
Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it;
shout, O depths of the earth;
break forth into singing, O mountains,
O forest, and every tree in it!
For the LORD has redeemed Jacob,
and will be glorified in Israel.
Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,
who formed you from the womb:
“I am the LORD, who made all things,
who alone stretched out the heavens,
who spread out the earth by myself,
who frustrates the signs of liars
and makes fools of diviners,
who turns wise men back
and makes their knowledge foolish,
who confirms the word of his servant
and fulfills the counsel of his messengers,
who says of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be inhabited,’
and of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall be built,
and I will raise up their ruins’;
who says to the deep, ‘Be dry;
I will dry up your rivers’;
who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,
and he shall fulfill all my purpose’;
saying of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be built,’
and of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’”
Isaiah 44 Commentary
by Hank Workman
We stand in the barren wilderness. The ground cracked and dried, our parched throats cry for water. Looking every direction there is nothing on the horizon. Not a tree for shade nor a cave to take refuge. The sun bears down upon us. Our strength zapped, our will broken, tattered and exhausted we simply can hardly take another step in any direction. It all becomes a blur.
We’ve all been there. Maybe you’re there right now.
Usually, our footsteps take us into a desert on this journey we walk. This pilgrimage toward things of God requires that we are led to the wilderness. Yes, sometimes it’s by our own choices. Other times it’s by God’s design. For in this place we finally come to a realization of how weak we are in comparison to God who has lessons for us to learn and strength to be found not in things but Him.
Charles Spurgeon said, “Without the Spirit of God we can do nothing. We are ships without wind or chariots without steeds, like branches without sap, we are withered. Like coals without fire we are useless. In such moments God’s people ought to cry to Him day and night that here may be a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit. There are many things that are desirable for the Church but one thing is absolutely needful and this is the one thing: the power of the Holy Spirit in the midst of His people.”
“This is what the Lord says – He who made you, who formed you in the womb and who will help you. Do not be afraid, for I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground. I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring and my blessing upon your descendants. They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams.”Isaiah 44:2-3
Note a critical word found in this promise. I will pour water on the thirsty land…
This is absolutely an incredible promise for people who return humbly to God. He doesn’t just give us His Spirit, He pours out His Spirit upon them. Like standing under a crashing beautiful waterfall, God longs to drench us in the power of His Spirit, the renewal and hope only found in Him. If you’re bone dry, God wants to pour. If you’re exhausted from the journey as you stand in the desert, God wants to pour. If you’re perplexed and disoriented, God wants to pour.
Without the Spirit of God in our lives, we are powerless. We hopeless. We are stuck. Seek and ask for this renewal. Humbly come before God and let Him pour out His Spirit of wisdom and discernment, of hope and power. Maybe, just maybe, your exit of this wilderness you’re currently in is dependent upon just this.
Isaiah 44 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
“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 NASB
“As first he does not derive his being from any other, but is self-existing; as last he remains supreme at the End.”Motyer
This statement alone proves the unique trinitarian nature of Jesus because in Revelation we read that He is the first and the last. In fact, it’s found 4 times in Revelation!
When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,Revelation 1:17 NASB
There is no other god that is even in the same discussion as Him. He not only makes the exclusive claim to this kind of deity, He proves it over time. The Lord, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ are consistent in their faithfulness to this claim. The point is, there is no other god before Him!
We have an opportunity to know this God personally. He loves us so much, He died for us. This is great news that should change our lives!