READ : Isaiah 46:1-13
I will bear; I will carry and will save. (v. 4)
Bel and Nebo were the patron gods of Babylon, but when Babylon is threatened by Cyrus,
Isaiah mocks the irony that the Babylonians’ first thought is to carry their “gods” away
into safety. He envisages the towering images gradually being lowered down onto
carts—and becoming a weariness even to the pack animals! What a burden mere religion
is. And what a contrast to the living God who carries and saves us (v. 3), and that not
once or occasionally, but as long as life and need lasts (v. 4).
Isaiah will yet speak of the Messiah as “the arm of the Lord” (53:1); Jesus will speak
of his and the Father’s hand (John 10:28); Hosea knew about the loving, parental embrace
(11:3-4). When Isaiah described the Lord as our burden-bearer he was summarizing a
wonderful Bible truth.
But Isaiah has a second contrast with which to warm our hearts. No matter how
impressively an idol is decorated (v. 6), be sure of one thing: its material deadness
makes it deaf to prayer (v. 7). Not so, by implication, the Lord.
There is a third contrast: dead gods do nothing. But the living God directs world
events according to his purpose (v. 10) and to bring his salvation (v. 13).
“Jesus, I am resting, resting, in the joy of what thou art.”