Of Idols and God
In our scripture, Isaiah presents yet another picture of the futility of trusting in idols. In view is the coming destruction of mighty Babylon (see 47:1-7) and the superiority of Almighty God over its gods. Isaiah looks ahead when Babylon will be conquered and brought under subjection to the Medes and Persians. Their gods (Bel, Nebo, i.e. idols) have been loaded on beasts of burden which groan and strain to carry them away into captivity. Conquering armies always captured the idols and ransacked the temples of subjected nations to demonstrate the superiority of their own gods.
Isaiah’s thought is that the gods who should have protected and saved the Babylonians have now been captured and have themselves become burdens to weary beasts. They have no life and no power. In fact, they could not save themselves let alone the nation over which they were supposed to be watching!
The Lord God speaks of Himself (46:3-4) in contrast to these lifeless and powerless images (v 7). He assures His people that He is very much alive and that He has in fact been carrying them even from birth! He makes a promise to them that He will continue to carry them and to deliver them as He has done in the past for He is God, “and there is no other.”
The same God whose Son is Jesus Christ makes the same promises to those who trust Him today. He will bless, protect, forgive and save eternally. And He can be believed and trusted for He has a spotless track record which is thousands of years old.
Beware of today’s idols. When your trusted bank account is drained - what then? When you’ve filled your anti-depressant for the umpteenth time, and nothing’s changed - what then? When your drug of choice keeps asking for more, and the booze no longer delivers - what then? When the porn no longer excites - what then? When the religion you’ve believed in for years grows stale - what then?
“...I am God, and there is no one like Me...”