The Book of Isaiah Bible Study Chapter 44 Part 2

Isaiah

Isaiah 44:9-20

As we approach the last days, we need to be aware that there is going to be an increase in delusion. In other words, there is going to be greater deceit in the world (2 Thess 2:9-12). More than ever, we need the council of the Holy Spirit, discernment and Biblical wisdom so that we are not deceived. An important principle we need to learn is this: if we set out to fulfil our own desires and purposes, rather than G-ds, we are going to be easily deceived. Rebelliousness is an invitation for the enemy to deceive us. A rejection of Biblical truth leads to delusion and destruction. It is only when we are committed to the will and purposes of G-d, when our desire is to serve G-d wholeheartedly, that we will receive the anointing and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives so that we will not be deceived. Idolatry (false teaching) and deceit go hand in hand. 

In this next section Isaiah speaks boldly against idolatry. He reveals how foolish, illogical and deceived one has to be in order to practice it. Unfortunately, there are many false teachers who have infiltrated the body of believers today. These teachers do not believe the revelation of G-d and they twist the Word of G-d to suit themselves – getting people to serve the enemy rather than serve G-d. 

v9: Useless: Literally: ConfusedThe Hebrew word used here is part of the word used in Genesis 1:2 to describe the condition of the world. In Genesis it is translated as formless or empty – lacking G-d’s order. Those who practice idolatry (those who believe false teachings) find themselves confused. They lack substance and G-d’s design. 

  • Their precious (desirable) things: The things they revere – their idols and statues. 
  • Shall not profit: These things are not beneficial for them and nor do they bring about any positive outcomes. If we pursue our own dreams and desires, rather than G-d’s will, they will not be beneficial for us. 
  • They are their own witnesses: The testify against themselves. 
  • Be ashamed: When we pursue what we want it leads us to being in a shameful condition before G-d. 

v10: Who would form (create) a god: We are the creation of G-d. We cannot create Him. People who are deceived do not care about truth or reality. They think they can create their own god, a god who will wink at their sin. 

v11: All his companions: All of his friends who do the same thing as him – those who also practice idolatry. 

  • Mere men: They are not men of faith. They are from man – which means that they are not divine, there is nothing supernatural about them. 
  • Let them stand: Most of the Rabbinical scholars see this as a reference to them standing in judgment. G-d brings them all together so that He can judge them (Rev 20:11-13). 
  • They shall fear: When they encounter the real and true G-d, the G-d of Scripture, they are going to be afraid. The word used here speaks of excessive fear. 
  • Ashamed: This word is repeated therefore emphasised. 

Note: When we pick our will above G-d’s will it is going to lead to the judgment of G-d, which is a frightful experience and leads to everlasting shame and contempt (Dan 12:2).

v12: This verse focusses on the person who makes the idols. 

  • Blacksmith: Idol makers who work with iron.
  • One: Referring to the idol.
  • Hungry…his strength fails…drinks no water…is faint: Those who make idols are insufficient – they wear out. They are dependent upon food and drink; they are dependent upon rest. This is not the case with G-d. G-d transcends this world and the things of this world. G-d is not subject to hunger or thirst. He doesn’t get tired or lack strength. G-d is complete, perfect, and needs nothing.  

v13: Stretches out…marks: G-d speaks and things come into being. A craftsman (idol maker) cannot do this. To make his gods he needs a set of instructions. He needs to plot and plan before he can even begin to think of cutting, forming and fashioning. 

  • Makes it like the figure of a man: The idol-maker cannot even come up with an original pattern. He fashions his design on what G-d has already created. This also is very informative in revealing to us that idolaters worship man – ie: themselves.
  • The beauty (splendour): The best things that a man has.
  • That it may remain in the house: They invest time, work and finance into creating things to keep in their own homes. They create these things for their own enjoyment. They are concerned about their own pleasure and are not concerned about others. 

v14: He: The idol maker

  • Hews down cedars for himself: He cuts down trees from the forest so that he can make idols out of them. 
  • He plants a pine: He has to plant new trees (for the next generation of idol makers) to replace the trees that he has cut down. There is nothing eternal about these idols. Over time, new idols have to be made in order to replace the idols that have grown old, the idols that have worn out. 
  • The rain nourishes it: The rain causes the tree he has planted to grow. These idol makers are dependent upon what G-d has already created – the forests and the rain. 

Note: This speaks of the inadequacy of what the idol makers are doing, of who they are serving. Their worship is rooted in deception. Their idols give them the feelings they want to feel. They never truly submit to their idols, but the idols submit to their makers – the ones who possess them. 

v15: He will take some of it and warm himself: These idols were made carefully. They were costly, decorated with jewels. They were splendid and proudly displayed in the house. But when this person has a basic need (warmth) he thinks nothing to throw his idol in the fire so that he can warm himself with its wood. 

  • He kindles it and bakes bread: This idol comes second to another necessity in life – food. This is how idol makers behave – they burn up their gods for their own well-being. The god serves him when he wants it to, but he never serves the god. His worship is all geared toward himself. This is another example of how those who worship idols and those who worship the true G-d differ. We are called to subject ourselves to G-d – to offer ourselves up as living sacrifices for Him. It is not about us, but it is all about G-d. This is a foreign concept to those who want their gods to be in submission to them. Idolaters do whatever suits them. If they want to bow down to their gods, they bow down to their gods. If they want to burn their gods, they burn their gods. They do whatever they want to do or whatever feels “right” to them in the moment. 

v16: Half of it: Half of the idol. 

  • I am warm: The difference between the servants of G-d and idolaters is that we (the servants of G-d) do everything for Him. In idolatry the idols are ultimately used for those who practice idolatry – so that they can be comforted, satisfied and warmed. A god that can be burnt up is no G-d at all. This one cannot see the logic of this as he is deceived.
  • I have seen the fire: The source of that fire is the idol. 

v17: The rest of it: Whatever remains. The part that was not burnt in the fire. 

  • Deliver me, for you are my god: This reasoning and request is totally illogical. The idol couldn’t save itself from the fire, so how can the one who worships it expect to be saved by it? The idolater has embraced delusion. He wants a god that he can control. A god who is at his beck and call. 

v18: Shut: Literally: CoveredThis is not the word for simply shutting their eyes. It is a word that speaks of the eyes being plastered up (similar to the mixture that is mixed up and used to plaster a brick wall). 

  • Cannot see…cannot understand: Their behaviour has placed them in a position whereby they cannot find truth. Their eyes (perception) are blinded by idolatry (their own dreams and desires). A Christianized form of idolatry says this: G-d is going to give me the desires of my heart. This is a false and misleading teaching. When we submit to G-d (‘delight ourselves in Him’) He removes the carnal desires of our hearts, and He replaces those desires with His desires so that His desires become our desires. These desires (which first belonged to Him) are the desires that He delights to give us (Ps 37:4). 

v19: No one considers in his heart: This is an idiom meaning that he will not be brought to repentance. He has no knowledge or understanding of his need to repent so it doesn’t even cross his mind – he doesn’t even think about it.

  • Abomination: Idolatry is an abomination before G-d, and it leads to the idolaters dishonouring G-d. 
  • Shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?: These are the questions he should be thinking about and asking himself, but they are questions that do not even enter his mind. 

v20: Turned him aside: Moved him away from that which is holy, good or righteous to that which is unholy, ungodly and untrue.

  • Nor (will he) say: He will never acknowledge his idolatry. Isaiah warns us that idolatry moves us to a place where we will be so far away from truth that when truth is manifested to us, we can’t see it and nor will we repent and acknowledge that we are living a lie/falsehood.

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