Isaiah 44 (Amplified Bible)A Revelation to the Prophet Isaiah from God, 2700 years ago.
1YET NOW hear, O Jacob, My servant and Israel, whom I have chosen.2Thus says the Lord, Who made you and formed you from the womb, Who will help you: Fear not, O Jacob, My servant, and you Jeshurun [the upright one--applied to Israel as a type of the Messiah], whom I have chosen.
3For I will pour water upon him who is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground. I will pour My Spirit upon your offspring, and My blessing upon your descendants.(John 7:37-39 NIV)
4And they shall spring up among the grass like willows or poplars by the watercourses.
5One will say, I am the Lord's; and another will call himself by the name of Jacob; and another will write [even brand or tattoo] upon his hand, I am the Lord's, and surname himself by the [honorable] name of Israel.
6Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the First and I am the Last besides Me there is no God.(Revelation 22:13 NIV)Do you realize that this is Jesus speaking through an Old Testament prophet?
When you are determining what you believe, it is important to listen to what God has to say about Himself. Each and everyday I have tried to pass on the things that His Spirit places upon my heart, and sometimes I may not say it exactly as He would want me to. So, I am letting God let you know what He thinks. We are indeed living in exceptional times. No one can say that they have ever experienced times like these before. I really feel that we need to listen to God's word for explanations and answers for how we should handle what we are going through as a Nation and as individuals.
The verse by verse dissection and interpolation is from the Amplified Bible. They do a great job of helping us understand the meaning behind the text. I would encourage you to take a few minutes in a quite place, pray for understanding, and read and reflect on what God is saying. You will be amazed how clearly you hear His message to us today. I will take the liberty of adding my thoughts in a few places. Oh by the way, be sure to follow the bible reference links I have added and read the accompanying passages as well. This blog is a bit long, but the excercise and reading will be worth it.
7Who is like Me? Let him [stand and] proclaim it, declare it, and set [his proofs] in order before Me, since I made and established the people of antiquity. [Who has announced from of old] the things that are coming? Then let them declare yet future things.
8Fear not, nor be afraid [in the coming violent upheavals]; have I not told it to you from of old and declared it? And you are My witnesses! Is there a God besides Me? There is no [other] Rock(Matthew 16:13-20 NIRV); I know not any.
God speaks with His own authority; He alone determines and knows all things!
9All who make graven idols are confusion, chaos, and worthlessness. Their objects (idols) in which they delight do not profit them, and their own witnesses (worshipers) do not see or know, so that they are put to shame.
10Who is [such a fool as] to fashion a god or cast a graven image that is profitable for nothing?
11Behold, all his fellows shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen, [how can they make a god?] they are but men. Let them all be gathered together, let them stand forth; they shall be terrified, they shall be put to shame together.
God now is describing those today who run after the "idols" in their lives and do not seek Him.
12The ironsmith sharpens and uses a chisel and works it over the coals; he shapes [the core of the idol] with hammers and forges it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint.
13The carpenter stretches out a line, he marks it out with a pencil or red ocher; he fashions [an idol] with planes and marks it out with the compasses; and he shapes it to have the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, that it may dwell in a house.
14He hews for himself cedars, and takes the holm tree and the oak and lets them grow strong for himself among the trees of the forest; he plants a fir tree or an ash, and the rain nourishes it.
15Then it becomes fuel for a man to burn; a part of it he takes and warms himself, yes, he kindles a fire and bakes bread. [Then out of the remainder, the leavings] he also makes a god and worships it! He [with his own hands] makes it into a graven image and falls down and worships it!
16He burns part of the wood in the fire; with part of it he [cooks and] eats flesh, he roasts meat and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, Aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire!
17And from what is left [of the log] he makes a god, his graven idol. He falls down to it, he worships it and prays to it and says, Deliver me, for you are my god!
That is just like us human beings! We fashion "idols" for ourselves of a job, or possessions, or money, or relationships, etc., without realizing that all we are and all we receive is only because of God. He has made all things and He alone determines our path.
18They do not know or understand, for their eyes God has let become besmeared so that they cannot see, and their minds as well so that they cannot understand.
19And no one considers in his mind, nor has he knowledge and understanding [enough] to say [to himself], I have burned part of this log in the fire, and also I have baked bread on its coals and have roasted meat and eaten it. And shall I make the remainder of it into an abomination [the very essence of what is disgusting, detestable, and shamefully vile in the eyes of a jealous God]? Shall I fall down and worship the stock of a tree [a block of wood without consciousness or life]?
20That kind of man feeds on ashes [and finds his satisfaction in ashes]! A deluded mind has led him astray, so that he cannot release and save himself, or ask, Is not [this thing I am holding] in my right hand a lie?
Because we fail to recognize that God has given all to us, we unwittingly take credit and assume that what we have and do is because of our own efforts, and we rely on ourselves at our own peril.
21Remember these things [earnestly], O Jacob, O Israel, for you are My servant! I formed you, you are My servant; O Israel, you shall not be forgotten by Me.
22I have blotted out like a thick cloud your transgressions, and like a cloud your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.
The New Living Translation says it this way,"I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.” Do you realize what you are reading here? Here is a prophecy about what Jesus would come to earth and do for us 700 years in the future from this writing. This is amazing stuff!
23Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it; shout, you depths of the earth; break forth into singing, you mountains, O forest and every tree in it! For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and He glorifies Himself in Israel.
24Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and He Who formed you from the womb: I am the Lord, Who made all things, Who alone stretched out the heavens, Who spread out the earth by Myself [who was with Me]?--
25[I am the Lord] Who frustrates the signs and confounds the omens [upon which the false prophets' forecasts of the future are based] of the [boasting] liars and makes fools of diviners, Who turns the wise backward and makes their knowledge foolishness,(1 Corinthians 1:20 NIV)
26[The Lord] Who confirms the word of His servant and performs the counsel of His messengers, Who says of Jerusalem, She shall [again] be inhabited, and of the cities of Judah, They shall [again] be built, and I will raise up their ruins,
27Who says to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up your rivers,
28Who says of Cyrus, He is My shepherd (ruler), and he shall perform all My pleasure and fulfill all My purpose--even saying of Jerusalem, She shall [again] be built, and of the temple, Your foundation shall [again] be laid.
This is another prophecy of the Jews returning to Jerusalem at some future time, and the rebuilding of the Temple. ...The words are God's closing salutation and His statement that He alone is in charge of the affairs of mankind and He will determine all things.
Photo by Gautam Basu, Idol maker, Kumartuli, within Kolkata,India, is the main centre for idol making and thousands of idol making artists throughout the year, particularly in the season of "DurgaPuja", the biggest festive and religious occasion of Bengalees. Here one of such artists is seen busy at work.