Isaiah 44

How did the prophet assess the history of Israel?
Isaiah 43:22-28 recount the history of Israel in a panoramic sweep. The whole history was one of failure. The people failed to call upon God and grew weary of Him (43:22). They proved to be disappointing in their worship of Him (43:23-24).

Israel’s history, especially since her “first forefather” (Jacob), had been a history of sin. Even the nation’s political and religious leaders were guilty of leading the people astray (43:27). These things were shared to explain to the exiles why they had been punished.

But, in spite of all this, they were still God’s chosen servant (44:1), formed to be an instrument of His purpose (44:2). Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, is referred to as “Jeshurun,” which means “the upright one.”

Isaiah 44:3-5 describe the blessings that will be poured out on exiles and their descendants. Isaiah 44:6-8 is a brief oracle regarding the supremacy and sovereignty of God (44:6, 8) in which the gods of the nations are again challenged to demonstrate their power (44:7).

The Stupidity of Worshiping Idols

How did Isaiah describe the stupidity of worshiping idols?
Isaiah penned some very strong, though satirical, words about the stupidity of worshiping idols. God’s people were exposed to every form of idolatry during their exile. These words were very likely intended to teach them the stupidity of choosing those man-made gods over the God of the universe. Those who fashion and worship idols will “be put to shame” (44:9-11).

Verses 12-17 describe the process of the manufacture of idols. Isaiah accentuates the absurdity of the process by noting that an idol maker cuts a piece of wood and uses part of it in his cooking fire and the other part to fashion an idol before which he falls in obeisance. Such individuals are entirely deluded and deceived (44:18-20). Note: Read Psalm 115.

Practical Consideration: God is worthy of worship.
Isaiah pointed out the absurdity of worshiping lifeless pieces of wood and metal fashioned into the likeness of a god. People today still worship lifeless pieces of wood and metal. People today still give their senseless devotion to meaningless things. People today still feverishly labor to spend on the things they worship.

It has been rightly noted, “Whatever a man seeks, honors, or exalts more than God, this is the god of his idolatry” (William B. Ullathorne). God alone is worthy of our worship. He alone is deserving of our highest praise and deepest devotion.

God’s Call for Israel to Remember His Redemption

What did God call upon Israel to remember?

God called upon Israel to “Remember these things. . .” (44:21-22): [1] “you are My servant,” [2] “I have formed you,” [3] “you will not be forgotten by Me,” [4] “I have wiped out your transgressions,” [5] “I have redeemed you.” These are wonderful assurances to a people in exile. They speak of a bright and hopeful future for God’s people. This is reason for rejoicing (44:23).

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