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Isaiah 44

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH CHAPTER 44

God wants them to know who formed them and tells them that he will bear them.  Carry them and deliver them because he had chosen them.  He is going to pour out his spirit on them and their offspring.  They will spring forth like a garden with a sprinkler system.  Israel will once again proudly wear the LORD’s name.  God claims that there is no other god and that he is the creator.  The prophet launches into a long satire on the folly of idolatry.  The idol maker’s labor long hours with axe, hammer, tongs and compass to shape an idol.  We were made in the image of God and idols were made in the image of man or beast.  Idol worshippers lack understanding─they just can’t bring themselves to see that their fake god is nothing but a block of wood.  Finally the prophet pictures heaven and earth and all creation singing because God had taken up the cause of Israel and no idol had lifted a hand to deliver them.  God says that he frustrates the omens of soothsayers, foils wizards, turns diviners into fools and makes wise men give wrong decisions.  In summation the prophet says that the one and only God will have Cyrus shepherd his flock and give order to rebuild the nation of Israel.

EXPOSITION TO ISAIAH CHAPTER 44

1Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen:

Listen to me my chosen Israel.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT ARE CONCLUSIVE AND FINAL:

Isa 41:8  But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.

Jer 30:10  Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.

2Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.

I made you, I will bear you, I will carry you, and I will deliver you.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT RATIFY THE TEXT:

Isa 43:1  But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. . Read:  Isa 46:3; Isa 46:4

  3For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:

God is going to give them abundant water and will pour out his spirit upon them and their offspring.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT BEAR OUT THE TEXT:

Eze 34:26  And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.  Read:  Psa 78:15-16

 4And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses. 

God is going to make them like a watered garden with an automatic sprinkler system and whatever they do will prosper and this will cause praise to spring forth from among all nations.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT SPEAK VOLUMES ABOUT THE TEXT:

Isa 58:11  And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

Psa 1:3  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

 5One shall say, I am the LORD’s; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the LORD, and surname himself by the name of Israel.

They will proudly wear the name of Jacob or write on their hand the name of Jehovah, or lay claim to the name of Israel. All will claim to be God’s property.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT SHED LIGHT ON THE TEXT:

Deu 26:17-19  Thou hast avouched the LORD this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice:  And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;  And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken.

 6Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

Here is what God says:  I am your redeemer and deliverer─I am first, I am last, I am everything in between─I am the only God there is.  Only God can create and declare the future.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT VERIFY THE TEXT:

Deu 32:39  See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.  Read:  Jer 50:34; Rev 1:11

7And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.

God not only made all nations but the languages also, he announces what is coming next─so, if there is any other god let him show us the future.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT GIVE COUNTEREVIDENCE TO THE TEXT:

Gen 17:7-8  And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.  And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.  Read:  Isa 46:9-10

  8Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

Do not be alarmed or live in a state of dread, long time ago I told you that you were my witnesses.  God doesn’t know any other god─because there are none.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT CONFIRM THE TEXT:

Isa 48:5  I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them.

Psa 18:31  For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?

9They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.

These empty idols which were fashioned out of precious metals that overlaid wood were the productions of their own inventions.  They were their own witnesses─silent as a tomb because only sheer ignorant fools could put their trust in them. Verses 19-20 is a satire on the folly of idolatry.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT GIVE AUTHORITIVE DATA TO THE TEXT:

Dan 5:23  But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:  Read:  Jer 10:4-8

10Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing?

Jeroboam had two calves of gold:  He invented a political religion, and instituted feasts in his own times, different from those appointed by Jehovah; he pretended to think that it would be both inconvenient and oppressive to them to go up to Jerusalem to worship.  These calves were doubtless of the same kind as the calf which was set up by Aaron.  Solomon’s idolatry, however, had prepared the people for Jeroboam’s abomination.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT CARRY WEIGHT REGARDING THE TEXT:

1Ki 12:28  Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.  Read:  Dan 3:14; 1Co 8:4

11Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together.

What fools!!  Those who fashioned the idols must have blushed with shame when they witnessed their destruction.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT MAKE THE CASE:

Isa 1:29  For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen.

1Sa 5:3  And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again.

  12The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint.

With axe, hammer, tongs and forge the workman works day in and day out to make these gods─he works till he is hungry and faint.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT MAKE THE CASE:

Jer 10:1 5  Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:  Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.  For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.  They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.  They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

13The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house.

The workman draws lines with a pencil on a block of wood and with a compass finishes the outline and then with carving tools, chisels, dividers, and planes he ends up with a human or animal form that sits on a pedestal.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT INDORSE THE TEXT:

Exo 20:4-5  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

  14He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it.

He selects a tree that will lend itself to carving and a tree that will not decay easily.  He even plants selective trees for idol makers.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT LEND EVIDENCE TO THE TEXT:

Isa 40:20  He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved.

Hab 2:19  Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.

15Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto.

Part of the tree was used for fire wood and the main trunk was carved into an idol and he falls down and adores and praises it.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT DEMONSTRATE THE TEXT:

2Ch 25:14-15  Now it came to pass, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense unto them.  Wherefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against Amaziah, and he sent unto him a prophet, which said unto him, Why hast thou sought after the gods of the people, which could not deliver their own people out of thine hand? and with them they do hurt.  Read:  Jdg 2:19; Rev 9:20

16He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire:

He makes himself a roast and sits around the fire keeping warm─he is satisfied and well-content.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT AUTHENTICATE THE TEXT:

Isa 45:20  Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.

Isa 46:7  They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place, and he standeth; from his place shall he not remove: yea, one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble.

 

 17And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god.

As he prostrates himself before it, he actually believes that it can rescue him from any perilous situation.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

ESTABLISH THE CERTAINTY OF THE TEXT:

 

Rom 1:21-23  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Psa 81:12  So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels.

18They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand.

The idol worshipper is past understanding, past seeing─no knowledge and no intelligence─ignorant, stupid and living with a closed mind.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT MAKE THE CASE:

Mat 13:14-15  And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:   For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

19And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?

They have not reflected or considered that they have used half of the tree to build a fire and with the other half made a god from it─so they worship a log─what an abomination!

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT ARE CONCLUSIVE AND FINAL:

1Ki 11:4-5  For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.  For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.  Read  Deu 27:15; 2Ki 23:13

20He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?

The idol worshipper has a deluded heart and mind─he cannot recollect himself to say that this thing in my right hand is a fake god.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT RATIFY THE TEXT:

Hos 4:12  My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God.  Read:  Hos 12:1 

 

21Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me.

God warns Israel to remember that he formed them and that he is the one who cares for and protects them.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT BEAR OUT THE TEXT:

Deu 31:19-21  Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.  For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant.  And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware.

 

  22I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

I swept aside your ill deeds─your sins have vanished like a cloud─your transgressions have left like the morning fog.  Now it’s time for you to return to me.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT SPEAK VOLUMES ABOUT THE TEXT:

Lam 3:43-44  Thou hast covered with anger, and persecuted us: thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied.  Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through.

Psa 109:14  Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.

Lam 3:42  We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast not pardoned.

23Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.

God had taken up their cause─heaven and earth was singing─mountains and forest and trees─the author of all things had hammered out their redemption.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT SHED LIGHT ON THE TEXT:

Rev 18:20  Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

Psa 69:34  Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein.

Psa 96:11-12  Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof.  Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice

 

24Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;

No idol had done this─it was the mighty God who had formed them in the womb─who had spread out heavens canopy and laid the floor of earth.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT VERIFY THE TEXT:

Isa 43:1  But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.  Read:  Isa 49:1

 


 

  25That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;

God is the one who frustrates the omens of soothsayers, foils the wizards─makes fools of diviners, turns their wisdom into folly and makes wise men give wrong advice.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT GIVE COUNTEREVIDENCE TO THE TEXT:

Isa 19:11-14  Surely the princes of Zoan are fools, the counsel of the wise counsellors of Pharaoh is become brutish: how say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings?  Where are they? where are thy wise men? and let them tell thee now, and let them know what the LORD of hosts hath purposed upon Egypt.  The princes of Zoan are become fools, the princes of Noph are deceived; they have also seduced Egypt, even they that are the stay of the tribes thereof.  The LORD hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit.

26That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof:

God confirms the message of his servants─He makes their prophecies come true, when God said that Jerusalem would be rebuilt and lived in once again it was as good as done.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT CONFIRM THE TEXT:

1Ki 13:3-5  And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.  And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him.  The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD.

2Pe 1:21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

27That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers:

When God speaks watch and see it happen.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

GIVE AUTHORITIVE DATA TO THE TEXT:

Jer 50:38  A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols.  Read: Jer 51:31-33

 28That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.

God said through the prophet Isaiah 150 years before it happened that Cyrus would be his shepherd to gather his flock and rebuild Jerusalem and lay the foundation of the temple and rebuild it again.  The decree of Cyrus is recorded in Ezra 1:2-4: 6:3-5. See my comments in the book of Ezra.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

CARRY WEIGHT REGARDING THE TEXT:

Isa 45:1  Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;

Ezr 1:1-3  Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,  Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.  Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.

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