Summary: A study of the book of Isaiah chapter 46 verses 1 through 13
Isaiah 46: 1 – 13
Hey, I’m Talking To You
Bel bows down, Nebo stoops; their idols were on the beasts and on the cattle. Your carriages were heavily loaded, a burden to the weary beast. 2 They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but have themselves gone into captivity. 3 “Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been upheld by Me from birth, who have been carried from the womb: 4 Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. 5 “To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal and compare Me, that we should be alike? 6 They lavish gold out of the bag, And weigh silver on the scales; they hire a goldsmith, and he makes it a god; they prostrate themselves, yes, they worship. 7 They bear it on the shoulder, they carry it and set it in its place, and it stands; From its place it shall not move. Though one cries out to it, yet it cannot answer nor save him out of his trouble. 8 “Remember this, and show yourselves men; recall to mind, O you transgressors. 9Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure,’ 11 Calling a bird of prey from the east, the man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it. 12 “Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, who are far from righteousness: 13 I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, for Israel My glory.
This chapter is the reversal of Genesis 11. Can you take a guess what happened back in the first book of our bibles? For those of you who responded that it dealt with the Tower of Babylon, you are right. You win a cookie. For the rest, let us take a look at what chapter 11 says, “Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. 3 Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. 4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” 5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 And the LORD said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. 7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. 9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
Our Holy Father Adoni Yahweh is on the road to His triumph, but in contrast, the phony gods of Babylon, are in total disarray, being borne away on carts, or on the backs of asses, to disgrace. They are on the road to humiliation. Their makers are confounded. This must be so when our Great God Yahweh triumphs. It is a necessary part of the picture. Babel’s growth right from the beginning meant that the world had turned away from God and set itself up in opposition to Him. So Jehovah Elyon’s triumph must result in Babylon’s disintegration, and the humiliation of their man made gods.
Isaiah here brings out the strong contrast between Babel’s gods and Israel’s God, and is preparing the way for the rise of God’s Servant and its consequences. Babel’s gods are probably to be seen as representative of all the idols that he has been deriding, the ones about whom the greatest boasts have been made. All men revered the gods of Babylon. And it is these very gods which will be humiliated and shamed.