This brief chapter adds to the case against idols and also reveals another layer of the tender love and mercy that God has for those He made.
In verses 1-4, God presents another impactful contrast as He has throughout Isaiah. The idols, who were supposed to have delivered the people, are themselves bowed down as they are delivered to captivity. God, as described in verses 3 and 4, has carried, is carrying and will carry the people from birth on. Compared to the nothingness of idols, God does everything for His people. Where the people suppose that idols are helping them in their lives, the idols are really only making their lives more difficult in myriad ways, the example of which here is that the people have to carry them around!
Verses 5-7 confirm once more that there is absolutely no comparison between the idols and Almighty God. The idols, fashioned from earthly minerals, cannot move, cannot answer the people and they cannot save the people. God has repeatedly made this point in many different ways. It comes up so often for the following reasons:
– The people have been repeatedly rebellious
– Different people may need to hear it in different ways
– God is hurt by the people’s continuous trust in the worthless idols
In verses 8-13, God wants His people to remember and consider Him. He wants them to recall all of the things He has done for them. God is sole Sovereign, He is the only God and there is no other like Him. Because He has all-powerful qualities, God can keep the promises He made in ancient times. In verse 11 we have yet another reference to Cyrus, the king that will come from the east to re-establish Israel. God has purposed to use Cyrus to bring back Israel, and He wants us and Israel to know that He keeps his promises, even over the centuries.
The final two verses in this chapter are a combination of frustration and love. God is the only God and He calls out Israel as stubborn for failing so often to realize it. Although He is unhappy with Israel’s choices, it does not change the deep and abiding love He has for them:
“Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, Who are far from righteousness: I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, For Israel My glory.” Isaiah 46:12-13
God is the same way with us today. We will sin and neglect and even forget God when are tempted and drawn away. Despite this, God still loves us and wishes for us to return to Him, to obey Him, and to abide in His Word. Our God is a loving and merciful God that tolerates us and accepts us because of how much He loves us. We need only to seek, follow, understand and live for Him.