Summary: The speaking God makes His own case.
THE TRIAL OF GOD
The LORD is deeply grieved by His people’s tendency towards idol worship. Again and again He asserts His superiority over the nations, whose ‘gods’ are nothing but dumb idols (1 Corinthians 12:2). Not only does the LORD put the false gods on trial, but He is willing to put Himself on trial before men (Job 38:4; Isaiah 40:21-22; Isaiah 41:1) - and, here in Isaiah 44:6-8, before the ‘gods’.
1. Here comes the Judge (Isaiah 44:6).
“The King of Israel” - whose Kingship precedes and supersedes that of the house of David (a house which was failing in Isaiah’s day).
“His Redeemer” - a reference to the LORD as Redeemer of Israel (Isaiah 43:1), but also a title of the LORD of hosts.
“The LORD of hosts” - the ‘Captain of the host of the LORD’ (Joshua 5:13-15) being none other than the LORD Himself, revealed to us now in the Person of Jesus.
“The first and the last” - who alone created, sustains, and brings all to a conclusion.
2. The speaking God (Isaiah 44:7).
Earlier the LORD summoned the ‘gods’, and invited them to make their case (Isaiah 41:21). Then He called His own people as His witnesses (Isaiah 43:10). Now He challenges the ‘gods’ to speak - to say something, anything: “declare it, set it forth before me, tell us what is yet to be.”
We remember Creation (Genesis 1). God spoke, and whatever He said came into being. There is power in words, especially in divine words.
By contrast, Elijah taunted the Baal prophets, exactly because their ‘god’ was incapable of answering even their wildest gesticulations (1 Kings 18:27-29). ‘All their gods are idols dumb: mouths have they, and cannot speak’ (Psalm 135:15-16). Why then should the heathen say, ‘Where is now their God?’ (Psalm 115:2).
3. Calling the witnesses (Isaiah 44:8).
The witnesses stand to the truth that the ‘gods’ cannot declare anything at all. But “I have declared it,” says the LORD. We are His witnesses (Acts 1:8), and we add our testimony to His.
4. The verdict (Isaiah 44:8).
There is no other God: no other “Rock” as some translations suggest (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 18:31). ‘Upon this Rock will I build my church,’ says Jesus (Matthew 16:18). ‘And that Rock is Christ,’ adds the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 10:4).
There is no other God, no other Saviour (45:21). He brings near His salvation (Isaiah 46:13). ‘And He shall be called JESUS (which means Salvation): for He shall save His people from their sins’ (Matthew 1:21).