Isaiah 44

Isaiah 44  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Listen from:
But yet again, chapter 44 opens with a word of mercy. In spite of his crookedness Jacob was God’s servant, chosen by Him, and God is always true to His purpose and able to carry it out. This fact should bring comfort and strength to every believer today. The history of the church, like that of Israel, is one of failure and departure from the Divine call and way, yet the purpose of God for us will stand no less securely than His purpose for Israel. The failure and sin is not excused, though in the presence of it the sovereign grace of God is magnified.
The first eight verses of this chapter breathe out that grace in no uncertain terms. The sovereignty of God is declared, for He is the First and He is the Last, and beside Him there is no “God”, or, “Rock”, as the margin reads. Consequently, though He will chastise in His holy government, He will ultimately bless according to His original purpose.
But at the time when Isaiah wrote there was among the people this persistent tendency to turn to their idols and false gods. Hence once more, in verses 9-20 of our chapter, God reasons with the people about their folly in this matter. The work of smith and carpenter are described, as a result of which an image is constructed, “according to the beauty of a man”, which can be kept in the house. Then our thoughts are carried to the work of planting trees, or hewing them down, and then the absurdity of using some of the wood for warming oneself, or baking bread and roasting meat, and then out of the remainder fashioning a “god”, before which one falls down and asks for deliverance!
The folly and absurdity of such doings should have been plain to all the people, but it was not. How was it that their eyes were closed and their understanding darkened? The trouble lay in their hearts, which were deceived. Hence they were unable to consider and discern the lie in their “right hand”. The position today is just the same. Why do so many take up the erroneous religious cults that abound? The trouble lies not so much in their intellects as in their hearts. It is true for them as for Israel of old that “a deceived heart hath turned him aside”.
Having thus reasoned with the people, once more the prophet announces the merciful interposition of God, both in its ultimate display, which is still future, and in its more immediate display in the raising up of an eastern monarch, who should be favorable to them. As to the future, they would yet be the servant of God, their transgressions and sins blotted out. This would be accomplished on the basis of redemption so that the very heavens as well as the earth will break into song, and the Lord Himself be glorified.
Then in the closing verses a deliverance that reached them about two centuries later is predicted, and Cyrus is named long before he was born. The statement that Jerusalem and the temple should be rebuilt clearly indicated that they should be destroyed, and this would confound the tokens of the lying diviners, who were always saying smooth and prosperous things, as other scriptures show. Judgment would fall, but mercy would in its season be shown, and the man through whom it would reach them is named.