Gracefully Truthful

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Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Isaiah 44:9-23

9 All who make idols are nothing, and what they treasure benefits no one. Their witnesses do not see or know anything, so they will be put to shame. 10 Who makes a god or casts a metal image that benefits no one? 11 Look, all its worshipers will be put to shame, and the craftsmen are humans. They all will assemble and stand; they all will be startled and put to shame.

12 The ironworker labors over the coals, shapes the idol with hammers, and works it with his strong arm. Also he grows hungry and his strength fails; he doesn’t drink water and is faint. 13 The woodworker stretches out a measuring line, he outlines it with a stylus; he shapes it with chisels and outlines it with a compass. He makes it according to a human form, like a beautiful person, to dwell in a temple. 14 He cuts down cedars for his use, or he takes a cypress or an oak. He lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a laurel, and the rain makes it grow.

15 A person can use it for fuel. He takes some of it and warms himself; also he kindles a fire and bakes bread; he even makes it into a god and worships it; he makes an idol from it and bows down to it. 16 He burns half of it in a fire, and he roasts meat on that half. He eats the roast and is satisfied. He warms himself and says, “Ah! I am warm, I see the blaze.” 17 He makes a god or his idol with the rest of it. He bows down to it and worships; he prays to it, “Save me, for you are my god.”

18 Such people do not comprehend and cannot understand, for he has shut their eyes so they cannot see, and their minds so they cannot understand. 19 No one comes to his senses; no one has the perception or insight to say, “I burned half of it in the fire, I also baked bread on its coals, I roasted meat and ate. Should I make something detestable with the rest of it? Should I bow down to a block of wood?”

20 He feeds on ashes. His deceived mind has led him astray, and he cannot rescue himself, or say, “Isn’t there a lie in my right hand?” 21 Remember these things, Jacob, and Israel, for you are my servant; I formed you, you are my servant; Israel, you will never be forgotten by me. 22 I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud, and your sins like a mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you. 23 Rejoice, heavens, for the Lord has acted; shout, depths of the earth. Break out into singing, mountains, forest, and every tree in it. For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and glorifies himself through Israel.

The Original Intent

1) These verses contain a detailed description of making idols. Why?

After rescuing the Israelites from Egypt, God almost immediately provides Moses with His commands for His people.

The first two command God’s children to have no god other than Himself and to make no idol (Exodus 20:1-6). Yet, before Moses even came back down the mountain with the commands, Israel had already made themselves an idol to worship (Exodus 32:1-6). Their choice to worship false gods did not stop there.

Time and again in Scripture we see Israel choosing idols over the One True God. Isaiah eloquently shows Israel how ridiculous worshipping idols is through this description.

Here they make idols from the material God Himself created, yet what have these idols ever created? Nothing.

Isaiah is pointing Israel back, yet again, to why only Yahweh deserves their praise.

The Everyday Application

1) These verses contain a detailed description of making idols. Why?

Lest we get ahead of ourselves by thinking we are different than Israel, the sad truth is we, like Israel, choose idols over the One True God repeatedly. Our idols may not be made of wood, stone, and metal, but we have them.

Many of us constantly choose to place money, success, power, and people, just to name a few, over God. We choose our desires over the Lord, by which we communicate, “I’ve got this, I’m in control” i.e. “I don’t need you God.”

Just like that, we’ve elevated ourselves in the place God belongs. We, just as the Israelites did, need reminded that only Yahweh is deserving of our worship.

The Original Intent

2) Why the call to return in verse 22?

Isaiah urges Israel to return to their first love, to return to the Lord. If they simply choose to return, they are promised redemption.

In Genesis 12:3, God told Abram, “all the peoples on earth would be blessed through him.” As Isaiah writes, this promise remained unfulfilled. However, through their return, they would be redeemed. God had not forgotten them in their sin, neither did He forget the promise He had made to Abraham. He is their Redeemer and is calling them home.

Matthew Henry says, “He has pardoned their sins, which were the cause of their calamity and the only obstruction to their deliverance. Therefore, He will break the yoke of captivity from off their necks, because he has blotted out, as a thick cloud, their transgressions.”

The Everyday Application

2) Why the call to return in verse 22?

We have the privilege of living on this side of the cross where Jesus paid the price of redemption in full as He died in our place, taking our punishment for our sin on Himself.  The work of redemption is complete!

Just as God called the Israelites to return to Him, He extends the same offer to us. However, it’s not forced upon us.

The gift is given, the invitation to return is extended, but we must choose to return. When we do, we have the assurance that we are redeemed, our transgressions forever swept away.

He is our Redeemer; Jesus has paid the price no idol ever could!

The question is, will we accept it? Will we receive the freedom given when He paid the price on the cross? Will we return?

The Original Intent

3) Verse 23 holds a description of the universe praising God. Why?

This verse is a beautiful picture of the rejoicing following redemption. It incorporates all of creation. Psalm 69:34 and Psalm 98:7-8 provide another picture of this praise.

The God of the Universe, the Only One who could redeem, is deserving of worship. “The whole creation shall have cause for joy and rejoicing in the redemption of God’s people; to that it is owing that it subsists (that it is rescued from the curse which the sin of man brought upon the ground) and that it is again put into a capacity of answering the ends of its being, and is assured that though now it groans, being burdened, it shall at last be delivered from the bondage of corruption.” (Matthew Henry)

The curse is broken and the universe rejoices.  (stars actually sing! Check out this amazing video!)

The Everyday Application

3) Verse 23 holds a description of the universe praising God. Why?

Creation sings the praises of our God. What an incredible picture! God has saved us! He has provided a way out from our sin, and there is rejoicing when we take it.

When we experience the transformation only He can give, our response should be to praise Him! However, He does not force us into worship.

While the crowds were praising Jesus, they were confronted by the Pharisees. Jesus told them if the crowds were silent in their praise, the rocks would cry out (Luke 19:37-40). Creation would do what man would not.

The reality is everyday creation is singing the praises of our King.  The question we must answer is, will we choose to add our voice to the chorus of praise?

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