Bel bows down, Nebo bends low. Their images weigh down animals and beasts. Your heavy images are burdensome to overworked animals. 2 Together they bend low and bow down; they are unable to rescue the images; they themselves go into captivity. 3 “Listen to me, O family of Jacob, all you who are left from the family of Israel, you who have been carried from birth, you who have been supported from the time you left the womb. 4 Even when you are old, I will take care of you, even when you have grey hair, I will carry you. I made you and I will support you; I will carry you and rescue you. 5 To whom can you compare and liken me? Tell me whom you think I resemble, so we can be compared! 6 Those who empty out their gold from a purse and weigh out their silver on the scale hire a metal worker, who makes it into a “god.” Then they bow down and worship it. 7 They put it on their shoulder and carry it; they put it in its place and it just stands there; it does not move from its place. Even when someone cries out to it, it does not reply; it does not deliver him from his distress. 8 Remember this, so you can be brave! Think about it, you rebels! 9 Remember what I accomplished in antiquity! Truly I am God, I have no peer; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 who announces the end at the beginning and reveals beforehand what has not yet occurred, who says, ‘My plan will be realized, I will accomplish what I desire,’ 11 who summons an eagle from the east, from a distant land, one who carries out my plan. Yes, I have decreed, yes, I will bring it to pass; I have formulated a plan, yes, I will carry it out. 12 Listen to me, you stubborn people, you who distance yourself from doing what is right. 13 I am bringing my deliverance near, it is not far away; I am bringing my salvation near, it does not wait. I will save Zion; I will decorate Israel with my splendour.”
Yahveh speaks through Isaiah to explain the difference between himself and the “gods” of the nations – and the gods that the rebellious Israelites had followed.
- The idols were heavy objects that could not carry themselves. They became burdens for the animals to carry from place to place. Those animals are moving to a new place, a place pf slavery and submission, and they carry the idols with them. Yahveh is no burden. In fact, it is he who has carried Israel for every generation.
- The idols take pompous names like “lord” (Bel). But they are not the sovereign Lord. They bow and bend the knee to Yahveh.
- The idols make no plans, and could not carry them out if they did. Yahveh has made a plan to deliver his people, and invites them to watch him carry his plan out.
LORD, our idols are different today, but they are still weak and incapable of delivering us. Help us to break cleanly from these idols, and trust our lives to your plan.