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Matthew Henry's Commentary

Isaiah Chapter 46

he idols could not save themselves, but God saves his people. (1-4) The folly of worshipping idols. (5-13)

Verses 1-4: The heathen insulted the Jews, as if their idols Bel and Nebo were too hard for Jehovah. But their worshippers cannot help them; both the idols and the idolaters are gone into captivity. Let not God's people be afraid of either. Those things from which ungodly men expect safety and happiness, will be found unable to save them from death and hell. The true God will never fail his worshippers. The history of the life of every believer is a kind of abstract of the history of Israel. Our spiritual life is upheld by his grace, as constantly as our natural life by his providence. And God will never leave them. The Author will be the Finisher of their well-being, when, by decays, they need help as much as in infancy. This promise to Israel, enfeebled and grown old as a nation, is applicable to every aged follower of Christ. When compassed about with infirmities, and perhaps those around begin to grow weary of you, yet I am He that I have promised to be, He that you would have me to be. I will bear you up; carry you on in your way, and carry you home at last. If we learn to trust in and love him, we need not be anxious about our remaining days or years; he will still provide for us and watch over us, both as the creatures of his power, and as new-created by his Spirit.

Verses 5-13: Here the folly of those who made idols, and then prayed to them, is exposed. How does the profuseness of idolaters shame the niggardliness of many who call themselves God's servants, but are for a religion which costs them nothing! The service of sin always costs a great deal. God puts it to them what senseless, helpless things idols are. Let, then, the Jews show themselves men, avoiding such abominations. Many Scripture prophecies, delivered long ago, are not yet fulfilled; but the fulfilling of some is an earnest that the rest will come to pass. Nothing can help more to make us easy, than to be assured that God will do all his pleasure. Even those who know not and mind not God's revealed will, are called and used to fulfil the counsels of his secret will. Heaven and earth shall pass away, sooner than one tittle of the word of God. Obstinate sinners are addressed. Such were far from acceptance, but they were summoned to hearken to the word of the Lord. The salvation of a sinner begins with a humble and contrite heart, that trembles at God's word, with godly sorrow working true repentance, and faith in his mercy, through the obedience unto death of our Divine Surety. Christ, as the Divine righteousness and salvation to his people, would come in the appointed time. His salvation abides in his church for all believers.


David Burnette's Life Application

Useless Idols

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the Book of Isaiah with Chapter 46. In our text today we see the false gods of Babylon as the Babylonians had to carry their god where ever they went. In making application we see that false gods are just that, "false". As Isaiah proclaims that our God is the only "true" god. Instead of us carrying our God around we see that our God carries His Children. How about you? Do you see how "false" and useless idols are? Let us learn from our text today and prophesy of Isaiah to see the futility of "false" idols and how much God loves you and that He is the only "true" God.

 

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Isaiah 46

Isaiah 46

 1Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: your carriages were heavy loaden; they are a burden to the weary beast.

 2They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity.

 3Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb:

 4And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.

 5To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?

 6They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship.

 7They 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.

 8Remember this, and shew yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors.

 9Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,

 10Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

 11Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

 12Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness:

 13I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.